This week U.S. Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) re-introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to award the Congressional Gold Medal to suffragist Alice Paul. The Alice Paul Women’s Suffrage Congressional Gold Medal Act officially recognizes Paul’s role in the women’s suffrage movement and in advancing equal rights for women. Make sure your congressional representatives are aware of this legislation, that they support it, and move it forward to passage.
Rep. Baca first introduced legislation to award Alice Paul the Congressional Gold Medal in 2005. His legislation garnered near unanimous, bipartisan support in the 110th Congress with 406 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. This is the most co-sponsor support in history for any Congressional Gold Medal act. Unfortunately, the legislation was not brought up for a vote in the U.S. Senate. Since then, Rep. Baca has reintroduced the legislation in both the 111th Congress and the current 112th Congress.
Alice Paul spearheaded the effort to pass the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting all American women the right to vote. Her courage inspired thousands of women to join the women’s suffrage movement. She was among the first group to ever picket the White House and later embarked on a three-week hunger strike with her fellow suffragists when they were arrested for their cause. Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 and fought tirelessly for its passage until her death in 1977.
Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), who represents Paul’s home state of New Jersey in the U.S. Congress, is the lead Republican sponsor of the legislation.