Veta Winick, honored in September 2011

Veta Winick photo

Veta Winick was president of LWV-TX from 1970-75. Through her leadership, LWV-TX established the permanent Austin state office. During her presidency, LWV-TX worked on Texas Constitutional Revision and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The governor appointed her to five different commissions, including one on constitutional revision. On the LWVUS Board of Directors in 1976-78, she helped organize the presidential debates. In 1987-89, Veta was on the Dickinson City Council and then mayor from 1990 to 1994 and again in 2001-04. She chaired the Dickinson Economic Development Council, was President of the Galveston County Mayors and Councilmen Association, and was on the Galveston County Health District Board. She was president of such diverse groups as Temple Beth Tikvah, Dickinson Rotary Club, South Texas Girl Scout Council, Gulf Coast Government Financing Authority, and the Houston Metropolitan Area AARP. As part of the White House Conference on Aging in 1996, she chaired the Houston area regional conference. After moving to Austin, she became involved with Austin Voices for Education and Youth and Seton Southwest Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers, which she served as President in 2010-11. According to Gwen Murphree, her friend and fellow LWV-TX and LWVUS board member, "Veta Winick is a treasure to any endeavor that she has undertaken. Her sparkling personality, along with her ability to conceptualize an idea and run with it, has made her a much sought after leader." Watch Veta describe "the League as my college" which taught leadership skills, opened opportunities, and led to lifelong friendships and explain why LWV's balanced, nonpartisan approach remains as important as ever here. Frances McIntyre, former LWV Austin President, is the interviewer; Anita Privett, LWV-TX Vice President is the videographer.

Maxine Barkan, honored at LWV-Texas Convention 2010 in San Marcos

Maxine Barkan has been president of the Austin League several times and has served in a variety of other capacities. She was also the president of the League in Columbus, Ohio, before she moved to Texas in 1956. For LWV-TX, Maxine has served as the Advocacy Vice President and chair of the Nominating Committee. She was the study committee chair for the Political Campaign Process and has been the issue chair for Campaign Finance Reform and Judicial Selection. In these roles, she has represented the League on several coalitions and citizen committees and become the "Go-To" person for many organizations on the issues of campaign finance reform, judicial independence, and Making Democracy Work. But Maxine doesn't stop there. She is also an exemplary trainer for local Leagues and often makes speeches at local League annual meetings and events. Beyond the League Maxine has offered leadership to the City of Austin Arts Commission and the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau as an officer and committee chair. In addition she was a volunteer for the Capital Area Food Bank, her homeowners' association, the Mozart Fest, and the Unitarian Church. The City of Austin gave her the Distinguished Service Award for commitment, collaborative efforts, and valuable input as a member of the Austin Arts Commission. Maxine was honored at the LWV-Texas Convention in 2010 which celebrated the national League's 90th anniversary.

Louise Raggio, honored on her 90th birthday in 2009, the 90th anniversary of LWV-TX

Texas Tornado (2) Now you may ask, who is Louise Raggio? She's the Texas Tornado, the title of her autobiography co-written by Vivian Castleberry with a forward by Ann Richards. A lifelong League member, before and during her 57 year career as an attorney, she was president of the League of Women Voters of Austin in 1945. For LWV-TX she was chair of the Advisory Council. Louise is known as a crusader for women's rights and family justice. Before 1967, married women in Texas couldn't own property, even if they owned it before marriage, take out a loan or sign a contract in their own name. With the Marital Property Act in 1967, married women in Texas gained the right to conduct their own financial affairs. Within another ten years, Texas passed the Family Code, which served as a model for similar legislation across the nation. Louise wrote these bills, developed the strategies to get support from key members of the legislature and the bar association, and mothered them through the legislature. Meanwhile, she was practicing law and raising a family of three sons.

Making Democracy Work in Texas


Scott McCown


CPPP Executive Director Scott McCown's address on CPPP history and the need for a balanced approach to the Texas budget was greeted with a standing ovation LWV-Texas celebrated the work of the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) with our first Making Democracy Work in Texas Award at the UT Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on Monday evening, March 7, 2011. LWV-Texas President Karen Nicholson noted CPPP's advocacy on behalf of low-and moderate-income Texans and exemplary research, essential reading for those of all political persuasions. CPPP Executive Director Scott McCown detailed CPPP's concern for a balanced approach to the current Texas budget deficit, receiving a standing ovation. (Pictured: Scott McCown, CPPP Executive Director, accepting the Making Democracy Work in Texas Award.)