A nonpartisan grassroots civics organization
In 1962, nineteen members
from thirteen area Leagues and the President of the Philadelphia League
met and decided a regional approach would be a step forward in League work.
The new organization's first project was to support passage of a referendum calling for a statewide Constitutional Convention. Although the ballot question failed, voters in the five counties supported the effort.
In 1964 the regional organization adopted a mission statement with input from 26 local leagues. Contacts were established with other regional citizens groups. Observer programs were put in place.
A study of regional planning in the metropolitan area was undertaken in 1967 to promote cooperation among the 239 municipalities on issues of regionwide impact.
In 1973 SEPR became an Interleague Organization (ILO). By 1974 the ILO had adopted a position on public transportation with special emphasis on funding. Action on this issue continues 23 years later. SEPR worked with citizen committees of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission when the Year 2000 Plan was debated and adopted. It continues with that involvement as a member of the current Regional Citizens Committee.
In 1988 a new position on public transit was adopted, emphasizing the operation, funding and oversight of the SoutheasternPennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
In 1990 SEPR studied the infrastructure needs of the five-county area and published its findings in April, 1995.
Today SEPR interacts with regional groups such as the Area Coalition
for Transportation (ACT), the Regional Citizens Committee of DVRPC, and
area Chamber of Commerce. It is also working with the Philadelphia Yearly
Meetings Committee on the United Nations and with area neighborhood groups
to oppose riverboat gambling.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to men and women of 18 years of age or older.