Jones Co. honors centennial of 19th Amendment

Last week, the Jones County Supervisors declared 2020 as the centennial year of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Celebrating that occasion were many of the female employees of the county. Front from left are Jane Russell, Janine Sulzner, Kim Sorgenfrey, and Vicki Starn. Second row, Amy Picray, Sarah Benter, Gwyn Gapinski, and Michele Lubben. Third row, Julie Althoff, Kris Weers, Susan Yario, and Lori Jess. Fourth row, Sheri Jones, Lisa Mootz, Sarah Tate, and Stephanie Coffey. Back row, Paula Hart and Shelly Williams. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Staff report

On Jan. 2, during their first meeting of the new year, the Jones County Supervisors declared the year 2020 to be the “19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration.” 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. 

Many of the women who work for the county gathered on Jan. 7 for a group photo in honor of the commemoration, led by County Auditor Janine Sulzner. 

“We are all blessed to live in a great country where women have the right to vote,” stated Sulzner. “While most countries in the world may ‘allow’ women to vote, often they face huge hurdles and violence to do so – even from their own family members. 

“Many women of our grandmothers’ and great grandmothers’ generation did not have the right to vote in our country, but made many selfless sacrifices so that we now have that right and privilege for ourselves, our mothers, sisters, daughters, granddaughters, etc. 

“I am grateful that we have the opportunity to honor their sacrifices on this occasion, and continue to do so every time we cast our ballot. 

“I am honored to serve as your county commissioner of elections and do my part, along with my very dedicated staff, to help you exercise your right to vote.” 

The proclamation read as follows: 

“Whereas, in 1848 people gathered together in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and cited the unfairness of depriving women of the right to vote; and 

“Whereas, the fight for women’s suffrage, from the first women’s rights convention to enfranchisement, lasted more than 72 years, with women from all walks of life, political views and demographic backgrounds asking for the right to voice their opinions at the polls; and 

“Whereas, Iowa women by the thousands advocated for the right to vote and suffragists nationwide turned to public education and persuasion. They held conferences, campaigned, lobbied, marched, pleaded, petitioned, and suffered public disdain, violent opposition, and prison; and 

“Whereas, suffragists pushed for a single constitutional amendment, granting female suffrage on the federal level, dubbed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment; and 

“Whereas, Carrie Chapman Catt led the national movement, meeting with President Woodrow Wilson to secure his support for suffrage in light of women’s contributions during World War I; and 

“Whereas, it took male allies to support women in their endeavor to vote, for it was sons, husbands, and fathers who ultimately heard the calls of women, and the House of Representatives took an historic vote on May 21, 1919, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919, and three-fourths of the states needed to ratify the 19th Amendment; and 

“Whereas, Iowa was the 10th state to ratify the 19th Amendment on July 2, 1919, and Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, making it the law of the land on Aug. 26, 1920, whereby millions of women were enfranchised; and 

“Whereas, the introduction, passage and ultimate ratification of the 19th Amendment were the culmination of decades of work and struggle by advocates for the rights of women across the United States; and 

“Whereas, the ratification of the 19th Amendment ensured women could more fully participate in our democracy and fundamentally changed the role of women in the civic life of our nation; and 

“Whereas, most of the women who began asking for the right to vote never lived to see the enfranchisement of women; and 

“Whereas, the daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters of the women who fought so hard to vote have been making their voices heard at the polls for nearly 100 years; and 

“Whereas, women are running for office in unprecedented numbers, many current politicians, both male and female, remember that they follow in the footsteps of these great suffragists; and 

“Whereas, the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment represents an historical milestone to be lauded and celebrated; 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved, the Jones County Board of Supervisors: 

“1) commemorates the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, providing for women’s suffrage, to the Constitution of the United States; 

“2) honors the role of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in further promoting the core values of our democracy as promised by the Constitution of the United States; 

“3) reaffirms the opportunity for people in the United States to learn about and commemorate the efforts of the women’s suffrage movement and the role of women in our democracy; and 

“4) reaffirms the desire of Jones County citizens to continue strengthening democratic participation and to inspire future generations to cherish and preserve the historic precedent established under the 19th Amendment. 

“Therefore, the citizens of Jones County, Iowa, shall enjoy the freedom of voter participation, and continue to fight for voting rights for all citizens by celebrating this important milestone by proclaiming the calendar year 2020 to be the ‘19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration.’” 


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