The New York State Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would create a New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission. The stated purpose of the commission is to promote the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, which will take place from 2017 to 2020.
After more than 70 years of demanding the right to vote through activism, women were enfranchised in New York in 1917, and nationally in 1920 following the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“The primary focus of the New York state women’s suffrage 100th anniversary commemoration commission will be to plan and execute an organized series of statewide conversations and programs that celebrate the accomplishment of women’s suffrage,” the bill language says.
If the bill passes the Assembly, the commission would consist of 13 members, including eight political appointees, and one non-voting member, but no statewide history organizations, and no representatives of the state’s municipal historians, nor the New York State Historian.
The commission would include the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (or a representative); the Commissioner of Education (or a representative); the Commissioner of Economic Development (or a representative); the President of the League of Women Voters of New York State; the Superintendent of the National Park Service’s Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls; the President of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester; the Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, Onondaga County, NY; a member of the board of the New York Council for the Humanities (who will serve as a non-voting member); and members appointed by the Governor; the President of the Senate; the Speaker of the Assembly; and the Senate and Assembly minority leaders.
Among the powers and duties outlined for the commission are the planning and execution of “an organized series of conversations surrounding women’s suffrage starting in 2015” and holding lectures “exploring how women have shaped history and continue to form the history of New York state.”
The commission bill does not include funding. A companion bill in the Assembly (A1019) has been read once and referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
Photo courtesy the Museum Association of New York.