WHEREAS, 2017 is the one hundredth anniversary of the passage in New York State of the Suffrage Act, granting women in New York the right to vote in local and state elections, and
WHEREAS, New York was the first eastern State to pass women's suffrage, an act that led to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizing the right for women to vote across the nation, and
WHEREAS, true and full citizenship for women was not accomplished merely by achieving suffrage; for example women were not permitted to serve on juries in New York State until legislation passed in 1937, and
WHEREAS, not until federal Civil Rights legislation was passed in the 1960s were the full range of citizenship rights legally mandated to include women, and people of every and any race, and of any political suasion, as a right of that citizenship, and
WHEREAS, even today, women still must struggle for full and equal participation in the labor force and in political and economic life, and
WHEREAS, women have the right to make decisions about their lives to determine their physical and psychological well-being, yet they often suffer in a climate of sexual innuendo and/or physical harm, and
WHEREAS, the contributions of women to the progress of our nation often go unacknowledged, and
WHEREAS, if we wish to protect the rights of women in our democratic society, it is important to recognize, declare, and uphold those rights, and
WHEREAS, as the dignity of all persons must be protected, women have the right to live without fear for their physical or emotional safety and the right to pursue their own dreams in a society that recognizes their value,
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael E. Lane, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, do hereby proclaim 2017
THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN IN TOMPKINS COUNTY
and urge our residents to recognize and celebrate the crucial role that women of all races and ethnic and political backgrounds have played in our county's history, as well as their important place throughout our County today.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the great seal of Tompkins County, State of New York, on this 3rd day of January, 2017.
Carol Kammen is the Tompkins County historian and the author of several books on local history.