Ithaca, N.Y. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the bipartisan Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission Act (S.3073) at The History Center in Tompkins County. 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 in upstate New York 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, it was championed by fearless women like Juanita Breckenridge Bates, 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.”
“As New York State gears up to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage in 2017 we see great value in the proposed national Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission that will support local and state entities to tell the stories of the arc of this struggle and that resonates with current issues,” said Rod Howe, Executive Director, The History Center in Tompkins County.
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.