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In recognition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Author: Marty Block
Created: 28 August, 2009
Updated: 13 September, 2023
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3 min read

Assemblymember 78th District

 Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 The 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States contains only 39 words. But those words forever changed the way politics was practiced in our nation and provided a level of equality that was heretofore denied an entire group of citizens.

 In August of 1920, then Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification of the amendment that would give women the right to vote. That historic act ended the bitterly fought 70-year plus battle to obtain the consent of three-fourths majority of states necessary for its passage.

 This week, some 89 years later, we salute this significant event. We honor those who were at the front lines of that struggle and remember many of those who began the battle, but were not fortunate to live long enough to see its passage. They argued against the notion that a vote for women would ruin the family structure, and that were women granted the right to vote, that the traditional family would come to an end.

 We must never take for granted the privilege of casting a vote. Whether it be for national or state office, a ballot measure or proposition, it is always important to remember that for women it was not only a struggle to gain that right, but at times a hard fought conflict. Many of the wives, sisters and daughters in the suffrage movement were ridiculed, and rebuked for the very thought that they should want an equal say. Others who marched or carried out silent protests were rewarded with harsh treatment and thrown in jail. And still others were physically assaulted simply for being so daring as to ask for permission to take part in democracy.

 Together we should remember and honor those who fought for what is right over what was popular at the time. Those who took it upon themselves to convince the country that women had just as much to contribute to our nation’s politics and self governance as any other citizen. That they would not be limited to second class status and, instead, would stand toe-to-toe with any man, anywhere, to cast a vote of self-determination.

 It could not have been easy to go headfirst against the conventional morality of the time. But it is the indomitable spirit of those members of the suffrage movement, their unique independence as Americans that see us time and again, persevere even in the midst of seemingly insurmountable odds. It is important to honor their struggle and hard fought achievement. And we can honor them best by never sitting idly by when issues of importance cross our paths.

 While we know the three-fourths majority was reached back in August of 1929, few realize that the last state to ratify the amendment didn’t do so until March of 1984.

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 No matter how long it may take, we must always be vigilant in fighting for what is right, even if it isn’t always popular.

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