Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

From the State President

The first of THREE centennial years is heading fast into its peak month because it was on November 6, 1917 that suffragists officially triumphed here in NY.

We certainly hope you know about Saturday, November 4 when an exhibit, “Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial,” will open at our State Museum in Albany and continue to May 13. Our own suffrage treasure – the Susan B. Anthony gavel that you see at every LWV state convention – is just one of the items you’ll see. Go to the state museum site at http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/exhibitions/votes-for-women to see more.

Opening day will include an all-day conference right there in the same building organized by the NY Cultural Heritage Tourism Network which has held preparatory conferences in the Seneca Falls area in 2015 and 2016. They’ve all been organized by Lynn “Spike” Herzig whom some of you met when he led our pre-convention tour in Seneca Falls. He is a true champion of women’s rights and, to his delight, we made him a member of the Geneva LWV.

Visit Spike’s NY Cultural Heritage Tourism Network at http://nychtn.com and scroll down a bit to get all the information about the day’s schedule and speakers and to register. Two of the workshops are organized by the League and there is so much more. The emphasis this year is on bringing about full equality for women in our second century of exercising our right to vote. We are grateful to the  academics, politicians and activists who are participating, including the Women’s Suffrage Commission headed by Lt Gov Kathy Hochul and the NY State Archives.

And last but hardly least, the day will be topped off with a state League reception from 5 – 8 pm featuring Coline Jenkins, the great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Go to lwvny.org to buy your ticket now. We’ve been waiting a long time for this so it’s “HUGE!” and we want you there.

On November 6 (Monday, day before election day) in New York City there are two celebrations of the anniversary of the first election in which all NY women could vote. Unfortunately they are at the same time, from 6 – 8 pm. One is being hosted by Governor Cuomo and Lt Governor Hochul on the 48th floor at SAP-Gen, 10 Hudson Yards. It’s free and open to all but they ask you to RSVP by October 30 at suffrage@exec.ny.gov. The view, refreshments, and celebratory spirit should be outstanding!

The other Manhattan event at that time, also free and open to all (but no reservation required), is at BMCC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 155 Chambers St., and will include speeches, poetry and other writings, drama, music, multi-media installations and live site-specific performances, a women’s suffrage sing-along, and an open mic – and of course food.

Feeling too far away to enjoy these festivities? Don’t despair. On Election Day November 7, Lt Gov Hochul will be traveling from her own polling place and Mary Burnett Talbert’s grave in Buffalo to Susan B Anthony’s grave and home in Rochester to Matilda Joslyn Gage’s grave and home in Fayetteville. LWV leader Terri Parks is helping in Buffalo and LWV leaders Joan Johnson and Erin Leigh Darnley are helping in the Syracuse area. The Gage Center and its director Sally Wagner, who spoke at our state convention, will host a reception at Matilda’s home from 2:30 (or a bit earlier) to 3:30 and I will be introducing the Lt Governor.

And why the graves? The Women’s Suffrage Commission has supplied all Boards of Elections with I VOTED stickers to wear and/or put on your favorite suffragist’s grave. Make sure YOUR BOE is planning to distribute them. If not,
shame! but we have extras – just call.


Dare Thompson, President
League of Women Voters of NYS
darethompson@gmail.com; Tel: 518-465-4162
Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS
Twitter: @LWVNYS

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