Press Release

Senator Gillibrand Announces Bipartisan Legislation To Establish Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission In Honor Of 100th Anniversary Of Passage And Ratification Of 19th Amendment

Oct 12, 2016

Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the bipartisan Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission Act (S.3073) at the American Legion Post 155 in Lake Ronkonkoma. This legislation would establish a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. The Commission would work with federal, state and local governments, private organizations, as well as Congress to develop and coordinate educational activities for Americans to learn about the suffrage movement. Under this legislation, the Commission would provide grants that support organizations on Long Island and across the country commemorating the anniversary of the 19th Amendment. 

“This legislation would help educate and inspire young people around the country about the unparalleled importance of the women’s suffrage movement in American history” said Senator Gillibrand. “The women’s suffrage movement was born in New York, and nearly a century after the 19th Amendment was passed and ratified, our state continues to be at the forefront of fighting for women’s rights, from paid family leave to equal pay for equal work. The 19th Amendment changed the world for the better, and it deserves our commemoration. I will urge all of my colleagues in the Senate to support the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission Act.”?

“I applaud Senator Gillibrand’s leadership in sponsoring this historic legislation,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “The Women’s suffrage movement has a rich history here in New York and we are proud to be able to commemorate the amazing work of trailblazers such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. We look forward to working with our partners in government and private organizations alike to educate residents about the importance of the women’s suffrage movement and the role of women in our democracy.” 

“Today we continue the celebration of the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote and celebrate the women of the Suffrage Movement who sacrificed and fought for this right!  We as women must exercise our right in order to continue our growth toward true equality,” said Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy 

“I have always viewed the right to vote and public education as the great equalizers of American democracy. The Woman Suffrage Centennial Commission Act creates the possibility for new research on women’s enfranchisement and new discussions in our schools thus moving our country further towards an ideal equal and democratic society,” said Jane Matthews Swersey, retired history teacher and local historian. 

The State of New York was the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement and it hosts some of the most legendary landmarks that helped shape this monumental gain in America’s history. New York was a powerful force in the movement for equal rights for women and the passage and ratification of the Nineteenth amendment.  This bill provides the opportunity for New York to be recognized as an instrumental part in the struggle for women’s suffrage by providing grant funding for programs and activities that commemorate the efforts of the movement and the role of New Yorkers who promoted the core values of our democracy.  

Senator Gillibrand is joined by U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission Act.