Thursday, August 26, 2010

Schwartz on Suffrage

from the inbox, a note from Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz:

On this day ninety years ago, after over seven decades of organizing and fighting across the nation, women won the right to vote.

The road to women’s suffrage began in earnest at Seneca Falls in 1848, and came to a victorious conclusion with the vote of a young Tennessee legislator following his mother’s wishes.

Women know how hard earned this right was. In the 2008 presidential election, 65 percent of eligible women turned out to vote – more than any other group.

For the first time in American history, the Speaker of the House is a woman. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was the first woman to seriously compete for the presidential nomination. And, for the first time, three women now serve on the United States Supreme Court.

When I was elected to the Pennsylvania state Senate, I was one of only four women serving in that body. Today, ten women represent all corners of Pennsylvania in the state Senate – although, on average, only 1 in 4 state legislators in Pennsylvania and nationwide are women.

Today, one in five members of Congress are women. And, Pennsylvania is represented by just 2 women our of our 19 member delegation.

We are making progress, but at too slow a pace.

Electing more women to public office has been a priority of mine, and I am proud to currently serve as co-chair of two important national initiatives to support Democratic women running for Congress – Women LEAD, which supports women members of Congress and candidates, and Red to Blue, which works to elect talented women and men to Congress in Republican-leaning districts.

I hope you will join me today in taking a moment to reflect on the dedication of those that came before us to ensure that women across America have a voice in our democracy - as voters and as elected officials. And, I encourage you to take the time to support women running for office and encourage all women to vote this year and make our voice heard - more than ever - in the future of our nation.

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