A message from the President

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Homepage, News | Comments Off

Women gained the right to vote on August 26, 1920. Votes for Women 2020 has been hard at work laying the foundation for a greater understanding of the importance the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote that will be celebrated on August 26, 2020.

This amazing period of history and the battles of these brave women faced haven’t been given its due and never has the time been more important to share these stories.

Looking back only 93 years ago, it is hard to believe that women did not have claim to her own children. Her husband could take the child from her arms and give it to the woman down the street. She had no recourse. As a mother of two children, I could never even imagine this as a reality. You would never be able to take my children from me. They are the center of my universe.

Women could be beaten by their husbands with no recourse; they had no rights to the inheritance left by their family. They did not have a right to an education, to own property, to live their life as an individual with their own thoughts, hopes and dreams. Today’s women could never imagine a life such as this.

Many of us have been trailblazers, cracking the glass ceiling, holding elected offices, running companies. However, we have such a long way to go and every day around the world the gains we as women have made are being eroded in front of our eyes. Women around the world still are mistreated and threatened.

Votes for Women 2020 is honored to be working to bring this historical time to life. This past year we had some major accomplishments.

The most humbling and exciting accomplishment was getting a resolution through the New York State Senate and Assembly in the last week of the 2013 session. On June 18, 2013, with the leadership of Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey and the support of the women serving in both the Assembly and the Senate, a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the ” Spirit of 1776 ” Suffrage Wagon was passed.

The resolution, crafted by Votes for Women 2020, honored this important artifact, the importance of the homes of the suffragist leaders to New York State heritage tourism, the need to establish a historic women’s trail, and the role of Votes for Women 2020 in the planning of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the women’s right to vote.

Please read the legislative resolution and the significance of the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon in the passage of the 19th amendment.

Votes for Women 2020 also produced its first live performance entitled “Brimstone, Booze and the Ballot.”  This engaging dialogue is based on letters exchanged between Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joselyn Gage that highlight the falling out and split between two significant movers and shakers of the movement. This battle was waged over a philosophical difference about the role of the temperance movement becoming a part of the suffragist movement and the issue of separation of church and state. This fight was so significant, it led to Gage being written out of history.  However, thanks to the dedication of Deborah Hughes, President & CEO of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum  and  Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner and the Gage Foundation, Matilda’s role is taking its rightful place in the story of the movement. Votes for Women 2020 are working on crafting the performance and taking it on the road.

Votes for Women 2020 has also been working with the  Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. The park commemorates women’s struggle for equal rights, and the First  Women’s Right Convention , held at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls , NY on July 19 and 20, 1848. The park just had the honor of President Obama paying a visit and signed a Presidential Proclamation  that resolved  “ NOW , THEREFORE , I BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States , by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 26, 2013, as Women’s Equality Day. I call upon the people of the United  States to celebrate the achievements of women and promote gender equality in our country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eight.”  Thank you Mr. President.

Votes for Women 2020 have created a strong relationship with AAUW NY (American Association of University Women). We have been invited to their state conventions where we are given a prominent role and have been honored by their commitment to the success of our endeavor. We look forward to growing this strong bond.

We are in the midst of creating a product line of apparel, cards, posters and more to share the vision with the public and thank our members as we grow our organization. Keep a lookout for this creative venture.

One of the most exciting undertakings is the focus we will be putting on young girls to understand the importance of standing tall, getting involved and becoming a leader in whatever field they choose.

My daughter, recently out of college and entering the real world at a very bad economic time, was working for a company that was about to close its doors.  One day, all the employees were told to hold their paychecks. My daughter, who was living paycheck to paycheck, wouldn’t hear of it.  At the tender age of 23, she stood up to her boss and told him it was unacceptable. She stood her ground, made her case and would not walk away until she got paid for her work. Almost everyone in the company has since left and everyone but my daughter is owed money and now in negotiations with the lawyers. My daughter got to work and landed an extraordinary job immediately. I couldn’t be prouder of her.

The point of this story is the importance of the empowerment of young women. Teaching them the skills that they need to stand up for themselves and not to be taken for granted is one of the greatest lesson we can share. The stories of the suffragists and the hardship they faced with a will to preserve will be an inspiration to all.

We are having  major planning meetings in the upcoming weeks in Rochester and Seneca Falls. We will update you on the exciting progress we are making and our plans for how you can get involved and be a part of this exciting project.

Until then, thank you for visiting our site and please stay tuned. This is only the beginning.

Warm regards,
Susan Zimet
Founder and President