The League of Women Voters of Tanana Valley is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Our EIN is 23-7032293.

Officers & Directors Elected for Spring 2023- Spring 2024

To contact officers or directors, please email LWVTV at


  • Co-Presidents - Marna Sanford &
    Sue Sherif
  • Vice President - Helenmarie Matesi
  • Treasurer - David Weissman
  • Secretary - Diane Lyon
  • Past President - Shari George


  • Phyllis Darrah (2025)
  • Sarah Evans (2024)
  • Mary Galvan (2025
  • Gayle Garrigues (2024
  • Bernardo Hernandez (2024)
  • Jean James, membership, appointed (2024)
  • Janna Miller (2025)


Annual Book

June 2021 - May 2022


Click below to download the Annual Book



LWVTV Annual Book for June 2021 - May 2022
220503 LWVTV ANNUAL BOOK JUNE 2021 - MAY[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.1 MB]



The League of Women Voters of the Tanana Valley is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to encourage active and informed citizen participation in government. We provide factual information on the structure and function of government, voting procedures and election issues.


We DO NOT support or oppose candidates or political parties, but DO take positions on issues which we have studied and discussed.


Our purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government.


Why Should I Join the League of Women Voters?

Because you care about the future of America. You recognize that along with your rights as a citizen comes the responsibility to participate fully in the democratic process. As a member of the League of Women Voters you can:


  1. Stay informed about the issues that concern you the most, including those that directly affect your community.
  2. Make your views heard by adding your voice to ours. As a member of the League you join a powerful force of women and men in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. When the League speaks, lawmakers listen.
  3. Sharpen your skills and learn new ones. As an active League member you gain valuable leadership, networking and public speaking experience as you study - and act on - important community issues.
  4. Whether you choose to be an active member of the League, your membership alone gives us the political clout we need to continue to build a voice for citizens and a force for change.
  5. Receive League Publications. League members receive The National Voter magazine. In addition, you receive local and state League newsletter, and significant discounts on more than 60 League publications.


Click Here to Join!

What does the League of Women Voters of the Tanana Valley (LWVTV) do?

The LWVTV has operated a pre-election poll at the Tanana Valley Fair for many years, as well as moderating numerous state and local candidate debates.


The LWVTV has conducted extensive studies and public information meetings which are used to create consensus positions on local government issues.

How is a League position developed?

The League's program consists of those governmental issues that the League has chosen for concerted study and action at the national, state or local level. The program process is specified in the bylaws and includes the following steps:


  • Formal adoption (by members at an annual meeting or by state/national convention delegates) of an issue for study.
  • Member study and agreement on broad concepts.
  • Formulation of a position by the appropriate board of directors.
  • Action as directed by the board of directors.
  • Annual or biennial re-adoption of the position.


LWV Tanana Valley Local Positions as of May 22, 2021
210522 LWVTV All Positions.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [192.6 KB]

Bylaws of the LWV of the Tanana Valley

LWV Tanana Valley Nonpartisan and other Policy Statements as of May 22, 2021
Nonpartisan Other Policy Statement as o[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [91.1 KB]
LWV Tanana Valley Bylaws as of May 22, 2021
Bylaws LWVTV as of May 22, 2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [95.7 KB]

Officers 2022 - 2023

  • Co-Presidents - Janna Miller &
    Sue Sherif
  • Vice President - Helenmarie Matesi
  • Secretary - Diane Lyon
  • Treasurer - David Weissman
  • Past President - Shari George

Directors 2022 - 2023

  • Phyllis Darrah (2023)
  • Sarah Evans (2024)
  • Mary Galvin (2023)
  • Gayle Garrigues (2024)
  • Cathy Hanks (2024, retired 2023)
  • Bernardo Hernandez (2023)
  • Jean James, Membership - appointed

Officers 2021 - 2022


  • President - Sue Sherif
  • Vice President - Janna Miller
  • Secretary - Diane Lyon
  • Treasurer - Jean James
  • Past President - Shari George

Directors 2021 - 2022


  • Phyllis Darrah (2023)
  • Mary Galvan (2023)
  • Gayle Garrigues (2022)
  • Mary Lee Guthrie (2022)
  • Bernardo Hernandez (2022)
  • Helenmarie Matesi (2022)

Officers 2020 - 2021 


  • President - Shari George
  • Vice President - Helenmarie Matesi
  • Secretary - Shoshana Kun
  • Treasurer - Jean James
  • Past President - Mary Lee Guthrie

Directors 2020 - 2021


  • Phyllis Darrah (2021)
  • Gayle Garrigues (2022)
  • Bill Rimer (2022)
  • Janna Miller (2022)
  • Siri Tuttle (2021)

Officers 2019 - 20

President - Sue Sherif & Mary Lee Guthrie

Vice President - Helenmarie Matesi

Secretary - Shari George

Treasurer - Jean James

Past President - Rebecca Heaton

Directors 2019 - 20

Julia Fisher-Salmon (Student Rep)

Phyllis Darrah

Matthew Putnam

Sylvia Slotnick

Siri Tuttle


History of the Fairbanks League

1964 The provisional League of Women Voters of the Fairbanks North Star Borough was organized in November, 1964 with Mary Jean Pe'we' as president.


1965 On November 29, 1965, the League was recognized by the National League Board as a full-fledged Local League. Mary Slotnick became president in September 1965.


1966 Prior to recognition as a local League, a study of the local government is required. The culmination of that study was publication of the pamphlet, Know Your Borough, in 1966. The first program adopted by the members was a study of the relationship between the newly formed North Star Borough and the two home rule cities, Fairbanks and North Pole.


1967 Our next publication, Fairbanks, Golden Heart City, followed the study of the City of Fairbanks. Emphasis was on the economic problems of the city and the citizen. During 1967, members voted to support the assumption of Hospital Power by the Borough.


1969-70 The 1969-70 program examined Implementation of Borough Planning and Zoning Aimed at Improving the Physical Environment of the Area. The consensus which followed stressed the need for long range planning and implementation of regulations to enforce the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. We inaugurated the Observer Program, with members attending Borough Assembly and Planning and Zoning Commission meetings.


Under the National Human Resources Position, a local study resulted in publication of The Alaska Native in Fairbanks.


1971 Locally, members probed The North Star Borough School System's Ability to Meet Changing Educational Concepts. In 1971, another school study was selected, A Study of the Regulations and Policies of the School Board as They Relate to the Needs of Youth in the Community.


1972 Our League received an Alaskan Humanities Grant in 1972 to conduct an assessment of citizen awareness concerning land use in the community. A film, "Our Community Speak," was prepared as part of this project. We updated the Your Local Government pamphlet. Action included support of the City Center Plan; an Anti-idling Campaign, during which members placed cards on the windshields of cars that were left with engines running while the cars were vacant. We presented a weekly radio show interviewing local experts about current issues.


1973 The 1973 local program included a study of the proposed unification charter, helping citizens to understand the issues involved. The publication, Juveniles in Need, was written by the local committee.


1974 The Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act was a major concern of Alaskans and the State League, with financial assistance from the LWVUS Education Fund, presented workshops throughout the state to address land use issues.


1977-78 At the 1977 Annual Meeting, members voted to Look at Borough Government. This included examination of the state statutes which describe borough structure, planning and zoning, and unification, in an effort to make local government more responsive to the citizen.


A Conflict of Interest position was adopted in 1978.


1979-81 The League emphasis during 1979-81 was on the functions of Borough and City Departments and their effectiveness. We also conducted a school-needs assessment/community survey. An ordinance requiring advertisement of vacancies was introduced in the Borough Assembly at the request of League and was adopted. An update of the booklet Your Borough Government was completed.


The League adopted a new name in 1981: Tanana Valley League of Women Voters and a local League office was established.


1982 Education issues in 1982 included the Health Curriculum, Aims and Objectives of the Secondary Counseling, and review of the existing Policies and Regulations of the Board of Education position. The local government emphasis was on single -member vs. at-large representation for the Borough Assembly. We co-sponsored a Town Meeting of local citizens to identify community concerns. Members facilitated area land-use workshops under a Borough contract.


1983 Members chose to conduct a survey of Secondary School Counseling under the Education position and reached consensus on Borough Assembly representation.


1985-86 The local study for 1985-86 was on Borough Services. The 1986 consensus found that citizens are satisfied with the Service area concept and that the system meets their needs at that time.


TVLWV and the Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored a debate by the candidates for U.S. Congress.


1987-88 As part of our Voting Rights action we promoted a bill providing for readable ballot propositions and supported local legislators in their efforts to get the bill passed, which it did in the Spring of 1988.


In the Fall of 1987, we embarked on a new study of The Feasibility of Unification because of the old position was reached nearly 20 years before. The next year we promoted the election of a Unification Charter Commission. The Unification Charter Commission failed in the October 1988 election.


Tanana Valley League hosted a debate by Borough Mayoral Candidates in September 1988.


1988-89 League members served as facilitators and conducted workshops for various organizations and government entities. We lobbied the State Interior Delegation on open meetings, our campaign finance position, and increased funding for APOC.

A League Education Committee formed to study job readiness of local high school graduates.


1990-91 The League was contracted to observe and consult for the Laborer's Union triennial election.


In the Spring of 1991, TVLWV arrived at consensus on Preparing High School Graduates for the World of Work after a two-year study.


1991-92 The Voter Service Committee kept track of a move toward closed primaries and changes in election districts resulting from reapportionment. The Waste Reduction Committee investigated local efforts at recycling.


The Tanana Valley League hosted the state convention on April 24 and 25 at Pioneer Hall in Alaskaland.


1992-93 The League conducted two candidate forums for state and statewide candidates at the Fair and held a local candidate festival. We worked with the state League to successfully oppose the call for a constitutional convention.


A new study item was adopted, Public Safety - What are the Public's Choices and Needs?, to study police, fire and ambulance services.


1993-94 We held two public meetings on our public safety study at which information was presented by local officials and members of fire, police, and ambulance departments.


A workshop was presented on How to Facilitating Meeting for LWV members and the public. Members trained at this meeting helped facilitate a Health Care Reform meeting with the Alaska Nurses Association, the American Association of Retired Persons and TVLWV.


1994-95 The League ran a Straw Poll of the candidates on the Primary Election Ballot, and held a State Candidates Forum to inform the public on their positions.


An informational meeting was conducted on How Borough Government Works with representatives of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and members of the Borough administration.


A North Pole Borough Committee was formed to study a proposal to for a new North Pole Borough. Members attended the informational meetings borough-wide to be sure the public was asking the appropriate questions and getting fair and complete answers. Members also attended a meeting with Dan Bockhorst of the Committee on Community and Regional Affairs concerning how the state government evaluates proposals for new borough governments. In June a letter was drafted to the Local Boundary Commission raising questions and concerns regarding removal of a large portion of the current borough to form a new borough.

State Board Members

Alex Koplin, President

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2024

Marianne Mills, Vice-President

(Juneau) 2024

Sandy Garrity, Secretary (Central Kenai Peninsula) 2024

Shirley Pittz, Treasurer

(Anchorage) 2025
Sue Sherif, Past President

(Tanana Valley) 2024


Judy Andree

(Juneau) 2024

Gayle Garrigues

(Tanana Valley) 2025

Shari George

(Tanana Valley) 2024

Gail Knobf

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2025

Therese Lewandowski

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2024

Pat Redmond

(Anchorage) 2024

Local League Presidents

Shirley Pittz

LWV of Anchorage 2024


Cathleen Rolph
Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters 2024


Marna Sanford & Sue Sherif
LWV of Tanana Valley 2024


Sarah Moore

LWV of Juneau 2024

Register to Vote

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© Tanana Valley League of Women Voters - 2004-2019