Tag Archives: voting rights

Suffrage movement brawl involves Andrew Cuomo campaigner in race for governor

Marguerite's Musings: by Marguerite Kearns

It’s amazing that references to the “suffrage movement” have surfaced in New York’s election campaign for governor?  Not by the incumbent Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo himself, but a verbal brawl in the media between Christine Quinn ( Cuomo supporter) and Tim Wu (running on the Working Families Party line for lt. gov., with Zephyr Teachout for governor). The topic of the suffrage movement flared at a rally at City Hall in New York sponsored by the Women’s Equality Party in mid August 2014.

Sherlocks like me scan the internet for any and all references to the suffrage movement. Did the suffragists create a “little movement” from 1848 to 1920 as Tim Wu suggested? Did the remark offend the “legacy of Susan B. Anthony” as Christine Quinn, campaigner for Cuomo, insisted? Did Wu’s response get him off the hook with his retort that the suffrage movement had been “amazing”? Find out for yourself. PDF.

 The new music video, the “Spirit of 1776″ is out, circulating, and delivering the news of this important symbol of the suffrage movement –the unfinished American Revolution. And this means more chipping away at bringing upcoming suffrage centennials to the attention of a broader public. See article in the New York History blog. Eighty Bug is the songwriter and performer who pulled out her magic wand and the music video miracle manifested. Share the “Spirit of 1776″ music video with others! There’s an audio version too. The words and chords are great for sing alongs and for use in classrooms.

And check out this short video about the significance of NYS’s 2017 suffrage centennial.

So far, nine states have celebrated their centennials of women winning voting rights prior to 1920: Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Arizona (1912), Kansas and Oregon (1912). Montana and Nevada are observing one hundred years of women voting in 2014 with special events, projects and activities. New York’s suffrage centennial celebration is scheduled for 2017, with Michigan, Oklahoma and South Dakota to follow. 

Will New York State get its act together and engage in some substantial long-term planning for a suffrage centennial celebration in 2017? Some NYS stakeholders are on the phone monthly to discuss centennial event possibilities, but hardly a peep yet from the state Capitol in terms of appropriate funding and an official endorsement. Some observers predict that New York’s 2017 suffrage centennial will turn out to be little more than expanded opportunities for women to hold bake sales and volunteer. Can NYS pull off a celebration consistent with its position of being the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States? Follow the Suffrage Wagon and a web site called Suffrage Centennials.

And stay tuned! This week the National Archives and the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, DC hosted a streaming online discussion about the upcoming national suffrage centennial in 2020. There is significant movement with certain proposed projects that are in the planning stages in New York. It’s still too early to tell which proposals will stick to the wall. So we’ll be covering the upcoming 2017 New York State suffrage centennial celebration, as well as each and every development along the way.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon to stay current. Watch the new wagon video. And don’t forget to imagine the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon that inspired this web site on permanent exhibit at the New York State Museum for 2017 and 2020! Recent attention to “Spirit of 1776″ on WAMC public radio.

Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Check in with the magazine platform. Follow the musings of Marguerite Kearns, a regular Suffrage Wagon column. And sign up for email, Twitter, Facebook updates, and the quarterly newsletter. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is celebrating its 5th year of publishing in 2014.


Envision a NYS suffrage centennial celebration in 2017

Fireworks. Photo: Tom Walsh.The first stage is the dream, and then comes the planning and reality of a New York State suffrage centennial celebration in 2017. The facts are being collected and the dreamers called into action. Every month I’m on a conference call with others who are stepping up to the plate in terms of making sure that New  York State celebrates its 2017 suffrage centennial, and by this, I mean, big time. There’s a great deal to celebrate, and of course, in 2017 I’ll pull out the stops in terms of telling suffrage tales of old. If you’re interested in working on a suffrage centennial ad hoc committee, let me know at suffragewagon at gmail dot com.

Watch a short video with the comments of two 2017 suffrage centennial enthusiasts, Teri Gay and Antonia Petrash, who share their visions of how exciting such a 2017 NYS observance will be.

Video: “Thoughts about a New York State 2017 suffrage centennial.”

Often I hear people ask: “What’s the point of voting if the system’s stacked against us?” A bright spot on the horizon is The Center for Voting and Democracy. Celebrating how the vote was won translates into protecting the right, in spite of where one falls on the political spectrum. From the web site: “FairVote advances systemic electoral reform to achieve a fully participatory and truly representative democracy that respects every vote and every voice in every election. We work toward these goals by providing advocates with innovative research and strategic advocacy.” Sign up for email updates and get an overview of the nation.

Fresh corn is available right now at groceries and farmers’ markets. Choose the unhusked variety and check with Suffrage Wagon Cooking School in terms of preparing it, whether inside or outside, for juicy mouth-watering servings. It’s all in memory of Grandmother Edna Kearns who cooked and canned as a fundraiser for the suffrage movement.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon through email, Twitter, and Facebook.

Will “Suffragette” film win Oscar for Meryl Streep & new life for women’s history?

article-2580165-1C425C4700000578-184_306x700The filming’s continuing for “Suffragette,” the UK film and already there’s speculation about whether or not Merly Streep will win an Oscar for her role as Mrs. Pankhurst in the production. Not only that, but there’s a powerful media machine handing the film’s photos and press releases. More than 30 photos have been released to whet the public’s appetite for what’s to come. And don’t you just love those period costumes?

This is good for the suffrage movement and the public’s awareness of it as an important time in our history, though I suspect it will take some time for these influences to manifest. Ask people on the street about what they know about the suffrage movement. They’re either never heard of it, or their eyes glaze over. What? They’ll probably tell you that women’s history wasn’t covered back in their school days of old. The times, they are a’changing with an increasing number of suffrage history fans. The growing interest hasn’t yet reached the awareness of the mainstream of women voters.

Some politicians realize they need women voters to win elections, but they may not be so enthusiastic about women voters becoming excited by learning about their history. If so, they might be more inclined to vote for women political candidates and not for the men who claim to be standing up for women. This would be a switch, wouldn’t it? So meanwhile there’s plenty of lip service about women’s issues, but God forbid that women  voters start getting the point that it took 72 years from 1848 to 1920 for American women to win the vote, including the fact that the U.S. had one woman, a New Yorker, (Inez Milholland) die for the right to cast one’s vote.

More events and articles are posted on the internet about the suffrage movement than there’s time to read and stay current. So, the “Suffragette” film from the UK  is expected to place suffrage subject matter square in the faces of the American public starting in January 2015 when the film’s scheduled for release. Try a few links, including an interview with Carey Mulligan. And another piece featuring Carey Mulligan and her role in suff film. The media machine has been sending out great photos of the period production.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Stay current on the progress of the “Suffragette” film in production and remember that you read about it on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

 

 

Marguerite’s Musings: “Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement”

Marguerite's MusingsIf there’s a book that’s rocking the cradle of the women’s rights movement in NYS, it’s Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement by Antonia Petrash. The work was recently published by The History Press, and it adds volumes to what has been revealed in the past about what has happened out on the island.

Long Island historian Natalie Naylor has also covered a lot of ground going back to the earliest accounts of Long Island women; she touches on the suffrage movement, especially with her excellent research of suffrage activist Rosalie Jones. Antonia Petrash picks up on this and takes off with subject matter she clearly loves. An entire book featuring individual suffragists is an important contribution to what is known. Antonia approaches the subject as a journalist and storyteller, and she’s really good at what she does.

Long Island suffrage movementOf the 12 chapters featuring individual women in Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement, human interest abounds. The author hooks the reader on the individual activist and a particular tale –usually something with conflict and drama– before backtracking to telling about her birth and early years leading to contributions to the Votes for Women movement. Long Island claims some feisty and notable suffrage activists, including Alma Vanderbilt Belmont, Harriot Stanton Blatch, Lucy Burns, Elisabeth Freeman, Louisine Havemeyer, Rosalie Gardner Jones, Edna Buckman Kearns, Harriet Burton Laidlaw, Katherine Duer Mackay, Theodore Roosevelt, Ida Bunce Sammis, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and others.

There’s a range of individuals from working women and grassroots activists, to wealthy women and high government officials who put themselves on the line. Antonia doesn’t claim that she has delivered a definitive survey of the Long Island suffrage movement. There’s a great deal more to say, Antonia points out, and this book is a welcome contribution, as well a delight and something worth adding to everyone’s Votes for Women library.

Antonia has her own blog about the Long Island movement. Check it out. She’s passionate about the Long Island suffrage activists. I captured some of her enthusiasm last year when I visited Antonia in Glen Cove, NY and documented some of her thoughts and comments about her work. Listen to her remarks from last year before the book’s publication. You’ll see what I mean.

Antonia’s book about Long Island suffrage movement (45 seconds). Highlights of work about Long Island suffragists (32 seconds). Edna Kearns’ contribution to suffrage movement on Long Island ( 44 seconds). The importance of New York’s suffrage movement (35 seconds). Why the suffrage movement story has been buried (39 seconds). The influential role of Long Island (NY) women (40 seconds). Celebrating the New York State suffrage centennial (42 seconds).  How Antonia became interested in the subjects of equal rights and suffrage (59 seconds). Two books Antonia wrote previously about extraordinary women in New York and Connecticut (56 seconds). Why the suffrage movement is inspiring. (60 seconds).

“Marguerite’s Musings” are a regular feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

New Video: “Rap and Roll” about Women’s Equality Day

Edna on a horseVideo and audio about August 26th or Women’s Equality Day, available now. Plus an audio reading of the 1971 resolution that passed Congress.

Video: “Rap and Roll the Suffrage Wagon” celebrates August 26th.

Audio: Amelia Bowen reads the text of the Women’s Equality Day resolution that passed the US Congress in 1971.

Audio: T. Fowler’s rap about Women’s Equality Day.

Each year the United States President announces the commemoration of the granting of the vote to women throughout the country on an equal basis with men on August 26th. US women were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution became official. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1971 when Bella Abzug introduced the legislation in Congress. 

Reminder: It’s still summer, and the first session of the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is underway. Buy corn on the cob, especially if you can get it fresh at a farmers market or grocery. Even better if you grow it yourself. Chef Cutting can guide you through its roasting that will have everyone demanding more. Include corn on the menu, whether it’s in your oven or on a grill or campfire. Visit Suffrage Wagon Cooking School for the first session with Chef Cutting.

Sweet Honey has two political hot-potato songs about voting

groupshotSweet Honey in the Rock have two great songs about voting related to the issue about the denial of voting and representation of residents in the District of Columbia. These songs can easily could be adapted for other voting issues as well (Song #1 and Song #2). Yes, Virginia. Americans have many issues with the franchise or the denial of it. Who can and can’t vote and why is a contentious issue as was seen in the 2012 election for US president. ID laws, policies about when polling places are open or closed, district creation, and a variety of other issues are other ways of defining who gets to vote and ultimately who wins elections.

Link to advocacy group, DC Vote, working for voting rights in the District of Columbia.

Visit Suffrage Wagon News Channel for holiday articles, gift ideas, a happy birthday for Grandmother Edna, and more. LINK

Women who dared: “Her Hat Was in the Ring”

Jill Norgren, Kristen Gwinn-Becker, and Wendy Chmielewski are project directors for “Her Hat Was in the Ring: U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920,” a searchable database and web site showcasing 2,300 women who campaigned for and were elected to political office in over 40 states across the U.S. between 1869 and 1920. The web site is freely available and constantly being updated. There is information on the site about campaigns, political office, campaigns by state, and political party. Links to other sites about elected women and suffrage, as well as cartoons, postcards, and literature are also included.

GIVE FEEDBACK TO THE SUFFRAGE HOLIDAY GIFT COLUMN. Fill out the Holiday Gift Suggestion form! Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.  Sign up for the quarterly newsletter. You’ll love the suffrage news notes, the special events and celebrations!