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History of the Palos Verdes Peninsula League of Women Voters also serving the San Pedro area

Our League had its beginnings back in 1956 but it wasn’t until the late 1960’s that activism raised its head with the goal of trying to control development along our coast.  Following our  League study, a book by Dena Friedson, written in 1965 titled, “The Time Is Now,” focused on Los Angeles County’s plan to significantly increase density in our unincorporated area.    The inspiring title ultimately became the rallying cry for many as they sought ways of conserving open space and controlling coastal development with leadership from both unincorporated areas and existing Palos Verdes cities supporting the effort.

Several League members joined the Steering Committee of, “Save Our Coastline (SOC)” with the ultimate goal of bringing greater local control to cities along our immediate coast.  PVP League president, Marilyn Ryan, served on its Steering Committee along with LWV member Ann Shaw, who served as lobbyist and attended zoning hearings before the LA County Board of Supervisors when the issue was discussed.  The League was in the forefront of the incorporation effort with Marilyn Ryan serving as one of its main leaders.  Along with the help of many others the City of Rancho Palos Verdes was incorporated on August 28, 1973, with Marilyn Ryan, serving on its first City Council.  League members have continued to serve on all 4 City Councils in Palos Verdes throughout the years.


"My mother was a member of the League of Women Voters so I grew up with the Pros and Cons.  When our young family moved to Palos Verdes, I joined right away.  The League introduced me to people that were thoughtful and care about the community they live in, working to make it a better place.  As I went through several positions on the League Board, culminating in my chairmanship, I learned so much about government, my community and myself and I definitely expanded on my skills.  I will always be a supporter and booster for the League."
Jacki Bacharach, Former President, League of Women Voters, PVP, Former Council Member and Mayor, City of Rancho Palos Verdes

History of the PVP LWV / San Pedro

Through the decades, our League has continued to thrive.  Members participated in League studies as they came about and have been actively involved in promoting issues the League supports, particularly Voting Rights.  Non-Partisan Candidate Forums for the four cities on the peninsula and presentations on ballot propositions have been a continuing part of our yearly calendar.  A continuing concern with housing issues in our local community as well as the impact of oil deposits in the ocean immediately off our coast continues to concern us as we join with our state and national League in lobbying on behalf of legislation that will make a positive statement relating to how these issues are dealt with in our local community and the country overall. 

    "I registered to vote at a site set up by the League of Women Voters in Fridley, MN in 1963. At the suggestion of my husband I joined the League to learn about the issues and as a young stay-at-home mother their meetings became my intellectual refuge.

    "When we moved to Palos Verdes three years later, I joined the League immediately. Upon walking into the very first meeting I met Marilyn Ryan who became my lifelong friend. We soon became involved in the terrific fight to gain local control of the Peninsula’s unincorporated area by working for incorporation. The League was in the forefront of this struggle which was eventually won in August 1973. Marilyn Ryan was the first Mayor of the new city of Rancho Palos Verdes and when she was elected to the CA State Assembly, I was elected to the Council. Our League experience and training was invaluable as we took these positions."

Ann Shaw, Former Council Member and Mayor, City of Rancho Palos Verdes


Debby Stegura, Velveth Schmitz, Frank Zerunyan (Mayor), Linda Herman, Janet MacLeod and Britt Huff (Mayor Pro Tem)

Our commitment to working on behalf of the electorate is unwavering and we are pleased to report that our League was presented with a Certificate of Recognition on August 26, 2022, by the City of Rolling Hills Estates, citing our unwavering dedication to empowering voters and defending democracy.   The proclamation was given on the upcoming occasion of the 102nd Anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. 



LWV Palos Verdes Peninsula

PO Box 2933

Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274