In October, 1914 Mary (Mrs. Gabriel) Wingate wrote an article outlining the goals of the Civic Club of Astoria. She emphasized the importance of women using their newly-won civic power of the vote.
Wingate told her readers that the members of the Civic Club were interested in all forms of community betterment and the group was "wishful to have every woman who is a resident of our city and interested in its welfare to join with us and it should be a heartfelt duty with every woman to help along these lines." Like many other recently-enfranchised women in the state, Wingate emphasized that women had a civic obligation to put their votes to good use. Members saw the Civic Club as an institution to harness that duty for collective action.
Like Portland activist Sarah Evans, Wingate contrasted women's limited "influence" before they held the right to vote with the power they now wielded with the ballot. "A few years ago we had a prosperous women's club in this city," she wrote, "with a large and enthusiastic membership who were zealous to aid in all matters that would better social and business conditions." But the women learned, she said, that "any suggestions for improvement of our city, made to the powers that be, were never seriously considered by them."
The right to vote changed that, Wingate insisted. "Now that women have the vote, and a voice in affairs, conditions in that regard are radically different, and any suggestions or recommendations we may make will, no doubt, be given careful and serious consideration." Optimistic about this new power, Wingate noted that the Civic Club was an "outgrowth" of the women's club and urged Astoria's women to register to vote and to exercise their right to have a voice in community affairs.