Direct Legislation League

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Direct Legislation League
Direct Legislation League is the name for a variety of state-based organizations that advocated for initiative and referendum rights.


The Initiative & Referendum Institute grew out of the California Direct Legislation League.[1]

State chapters


The Initiative and Referendum League of Maine was organized in Maine in 1905 by Roland Patten and others.[2]

North Dakota

A state chapter of the national organization was founded in North Dakota in 1902 by Katherine King. Her group succeeded in getting a bill authorizing statewide initiative, referendum and recall in 1907. Various snags kept the direct democracy provisions from being enacted until 1914. The first initiatives to then appear on the ballot were in 1918, when seven measures promoted by the Non-Partisan League qualified for the ballot and were all approved by the state's voters.[3]


The Oregon Direct Legislation League was founded in 1898 by William U'Ren.

The group led efforts in Oregon to add a system of initiative and referendum, allowing direct legislation by the state's citizens. In 1902, the Oregon Legislative Assembly voted to create such a system, which was known contemporarily as the Oregon System. The group's further efforts led the state in 1904 to add a direct primary system, and, in 1908, to allow citizens to recall election public officials.

U'Ren was motivated to action by reading James Sullivan's influential 1892 book Direct Legislation Through the Initiative and Referendum. The Oregon group's founding followed in the wake of the 1896 founding of the National Direct Legislation League, which itself had its roots in the Direct Legislation League of New Jersey and its short lived predecessor the People's Power League.[4]

Recent news

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See also

Initiative & Referendum Institute

External links