Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

From the State President

Election Day, and the days leading up to it, were filled with celebrations of the women’s suffrage centennial that were exciting and educational.

On Saturday, November 4th, a conference was held in Albany at the NYS Museum on the centennial and women’s issues today. Jennifer Wilson and I both coordinated and moderated panel discussions during the women’s conference. Mine dealt with the issues women should address moving forward, and Jen’s dealt with how to advocate. Both included impressive speakers.

That evening the League’s Education Foundation, in coordination with the NYS Archives Partnership Trust, held a reception to kick off the opening of the special exhibit on women’s suffrage history at the Museum. This was a great success with over 200 people in attendance. Coline Jenkins, great-great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, shared family stories and anecdotes with the group. Museum staff provided tours of the new exhibit as well. The exhibit is open until Mother’s Day 2018, and we encourage all to find the time to visit it. (see photos from conference and reception below).

The following Monday, November 6, the actual 100th anniversary of NY women winning the vote, many buildings in NYC and Syracuse and perhaps elsewhere were lit up in purple and gold, and Lt Gov Kathy Hochul and the Women’s Suffrage Commission (which she chairs and on which I sit) hosted a lavish and crowded party on the 48th floor of a building in Hudson Yards where we could see the lit-up Empire State Building easily. Many NYC LWV members joined in the celebration.

The next day, Election Day, I drove to Fayetteville where the Lt Gov, Sally Wagner (Gage House executive) and I put I VOTED stickers on Matilda Joslyn Gage’s grave and then participated in a reception at the Gage House. Joan Johnson, Erin-Leigh Darnley, and many other Syracuse LWV members were there, and Sally was grateful that we helped make the event so festive. The Lt Gov made “sticker” stops at Mary Burnett Talbert’s grave in Buffalo
(where Terri Parks and other LWV members helped) and at Susan B. Anthony’s grave in Rochester earlier that day, but there were no other receptions. (Note: if you don’t know who Talbert is, check her out! Amazing.)

It was delightful to celebrate this important women’s suffrage centennial in multiple places and with so many people, especially many League members. It’s been so good to be reminded of our fore mothers’ sacrifices and what those sacrifices demand of us today and into the future! The vote was won, but it will forever need protecting.

Happy Holidays to all! And, best wishes for a peaceful and healthy 2018!

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


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