In 2017 it will be 100 years since New York State signed woman’s suffrage into law, three years before the US passed the 19th Amendment. This was a milestone for the state and a transformative moment in American democracy.
Thanks to public help last November, Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther circulated letters outlining a $3.9M request to support the centennial. This funding would support grants, programs, and statewide events and activities at cultural heritage sites, museums, libraries and other community organizations. Signers from both houses added their support to these letters, but thus far no funding has been included in either the Senate or House budgets.
This week and next, the NYS legislature is meeting to discuss new items to include in the final state budget, including The Centennial. The New York Council for the Humanities wants to ensure the $3.9M request is included.
This historical moment is the perfect time to frame a statewide discussion about the social, professional and political equality of women-and by extension, all citizens-in New York State. Through dialogue about shared history and common future, the centennial is expected to produce a statewide conversation that celebrates the accomplishments of the past while helping us become a more just and equitable society for all.
The New York Council for the Humanities has announced that it is prepared to steward funding for the centennial, as part of their role on New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Commemoration Commission. The goal of The Commission is to coordinate a series of statewide programs that celebrate the accomplishment of women’s suffrage and the central role of New Yorkers and New York State in this milestone. The 14-member commission will take effect on April 1, 2016.
To show support for the Centennial, join their petition, and urge representatives to fund the commemoration and support the legacy of women’s history in NY.
Photo courtesy the National Susan B Anthony Museum & House.