Martha Cox


Nature of Involvement: 
Board Member
Email Address: 
mcox [at]
Local League(s): 

Current Roles

Martha currently serves on the Advancement Committee and 2017-2019 Nominating Committee.


Martha is the First Vice President of the League of Women Voters of California. She is a member of the North County San Diego League. Joining in 2007, she has served as a local League board member in the roles of Treasurer and VOTER Editor. She served as a member of the local League’s Initiative and Referendum study committee in 2012-13. Martha is currently cochair of the local League’s civil discourse group and has been actively engaged in the study of civil discourse for the past four years. She is also currently serving as chair of the 2015 LWVC Convention Fundraising Committee.

Martha’s League work in civil discourse has included numerous presentations; a two-day forum entitled, Democracy in the Balance: Getting Beyond the Shouting, co-sponsored with MiraCosta College; a community forum entitled What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need?, co-sponsored with Restoring Respect/CivicTalk; and a LWVC Regional Workshop, co-sponsored with Mesa College. Continued civil discourse work has evolved into further study and training in the field of deliberative dialogue through the Kettering Foundation’s Centers for Public Life program. Martha has completed a year-long program of study as a participant in the 2014-15 Kettering Cohort, where 20-25 representatives from academic institutions and community organizations across the country gather for training at the Kettering Foundation campus in Dayton, Ohio. 

The Kettering program emphasizes shared learning exchanges and collaborative capacity building/networking to assist local “democracy hubs” in their mission of promoting civil dialogue and deliberation on issues that impact their communities. From this training, the San Diego Deliberation Network has emerged, with founding members from San Diego’s seven major academic institutions, the San Diego Foundation, and the League of Women Voters. The Kettering program aligns with League’s civic engagement mission, offering a perspective that benefits our communities and strengthens our organization.

Born in Hanover, New Hampshire, and raised in a setting where political discussion was served with every meal, Martha’s interest in all things political came naturally. When Martha retired in 2006 from a career in education, she joined the League and became actively engaged in voter service activities, in addition to serving on the Board. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Keene State College in Keene, NH.

Martha and her husband, Hugh, reside in Cardiff by the Sea, a coastal town north of San Diego. They have one daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. In addition to League work, Martha savors time with her husband and their family. They get away to northern California as often as possible to spend time with their grandchildren. Martha also enjoys taking Osher classes through CSU San Marcos, serving on the CSUSM Osher Curriculum Committee, reading, gardening, and when there’s time, quilting and knitting.