On November 20th, 2020 I had the chance to interview Marion Becker who, for most of her life, was and still is a member with the League of Women Voters. She joined the League around 1952 after she graduated college that was called Oregon State College but is now referred to Oregon State University. She was a member of Portland’s League of Women Voters and she firmly believes that, “all residents [should] inform themselves about their community. Their immediate community, their bigger community, the state and the nation, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than through the nonpartisan League of Women Voters”. She describes the League with great fondness and believes that LWV deserves the reputation that it has.
As a single woman she moved to San Francisco and joined their League. However, during her membership in San Francisco she describes that she “was pretty busy with a social life, and a career so I didn’t do a lot with the League in those days”. When she married and moved to Concord, California is when she started to become more active within the League. Even pregnant and having to care for young children, Becker continued to be an active member. She recalls a story while working with the League when she was pregnant: “I went out to talk to a mens’ service group in Concord about ballot measures. Most of the men were staring at my belly, and I don’t think many of them really listened to what I was saying. I think they were worried if I was going to have a baby during their meeting. Back then very pregnant ladies didn’t usually go out to speak like that, but I was bound and determined”. Throughout her involvement in the League, she did what she could to help out with voter registration, and voter service. Becker especially enjoyed, “going out to local groups talking about the pros and cons about ballot measures”.
One of her favorite projects was when she was involved in a national League study in the ‘90s. She and her committee worked on a health study about the various proposals for health care. Their goal was to understand the pros and cons of the six proposals that were offered and inform the public which one would be best for the nation.
Becker has recently joined Davis’ League of Women of Voters since its resurgence of popularity in the last couple of years. In March she helped register voters on UC Davis campus and worked on election day at drop off box. She hopes to continue to be more involved with the LWV.
Her advice for young voters is “…to pay attention to what is going on in your community and in the country. I know that there are a lot of exciting things in young people’s lives, but at least read the headlines everyday. Young people should be encouraged, if not required to know what is happening around the world”.