Virginia AAUW Branches are doing their part to honor the women who, for decades, fought for suffrage in the United States. Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in June 1919. By August 26, 1920, 36 states had ratified the Amendment, and it was certified that the 19th Amendment had become a part of the Constitution. This has been called the single largest extension of democratic voting rights in our nation’s history.
October 10, 2019 Mt. Vernon Branch Celebrates 19th Amendment!
Pat Wirth, speaking to the Mt. Vernon Branch, October 10, 2019.
Joanne Clark, Mt. Vernon Program VP, Pat Wirth, and Patsy Quick, Mt. Vernon President
Pat Wirth, from the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association (TPSMA), presented The Best Kept Secret in America, which, of course is the story of the struggle for women to gain the right to vote in the United States. She shared the stories and photos of the inspiring and courageous women who were on the front lines during the many-years-long fight to win the vote. She updated us on the Memorial that will honor and memorialize those women, and which will educate future generations about the suffragists who fought for and won the right to vote for American women.
Many Mt. Vernon Branch members together donated $1,505 which was presented to Pat Wirth, that evening, for the construction of the Memorial. Our branch name will be engraved on the Wall of Donors. And, Pat invited us to the ground-breaking of the Memorial on November 14, 2019. We couldn’t be more excited and proud!
To see the photos of Lobby Day in Richmond, February 7, 2019, click below:
Lobby Day RichmondAAUW of Virginia Feb2019
Susan Burk and Sylvia Rogers, Co-Vice Presidents for Public Policy, represented the AAUW of Virginia at the League of Women Voters annual Pre-Session Legislative Roundtable in Richmond on December 5, 2018. Susan outlined the lobby day activities planned for the new Session. On January 16th bound copies of our booklet “Unfinished Business” will be hand-delivered to Gov. Northam, Lt. Gov. Fairfax and all delegates and senators in the General Assembly. On February 6th AAUW will host a reception for all female members of the Assembly. This will be followed by a 2nd round of lobbying on February 7th.
Sylvia reported that the two public policies we are focusing on this year are pay equity and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. She noted that we are working on the ERA with other organizations statewide under the umbrella of the VAratifyERA campaign.
There are 3 very strong ERA resolutions this year: HJR 577 (Chief Patron Del. Sam Rasoul and Co-Chief Patron Del. Kaye Kory), HJR 579 (Chief Patron Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Co-Chief Patron Sen. Glen Sturdevant). And HJR 583 (Chief Patron Del. Jeion Ward). There appears to be majority support for the ERA, which is perceived as a nonpartisan issue. The single pay equity resolution was pre-filed in January 2018 by then Sen. Jennifer Wexton. It would prohibit unequal privileges and benefits on the basis of sex; and it would prohibit employers from punishing employees for discussing salary info with co-workers.
Presenters from 19 other groups, such as OneVA2021, NARAL, Progress Virginia, the ACLU, and the Sierra Club, outlined proposed bills and actions expected in the General Assembly. These included the state’s financial position, redistricting, fracking, transportation, conservation, education, Medicaid expansion, and many other topics.
We were joined by over 800 women at the Virginia Women’s Conference held at Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center, November 17, 2018. It was wonderful to have many of these women stop by the table that was sponsored by AAUW of Virginia so that we could share information on AAUW.
It was very exciting that during the conference, two StartSmart workshops were led by AAUW National’s Dorrie Sieburg, AAUW Start Smart Program Manager, and Sarah Spencer, AAUW Program Associate. Many thanks for the support of AAUW National’s Anne Hedgepeth, AAUW Director of Federal Policy, for joining Carol Stephens (AAUW VA Co-President), Sylvia Rogers (AAUW VA Co- VP for Public Policy), Cyndi Shanahan (AAUW VA VP for Membership) and members of the Roanoke branch at the AAUW table. We were then thrilled when the Virginia Ratify ERA bus showed up at about 2 PM so that it could be shared with all the attendees of the conference.
Anne Hedgepeth with conference attendee
Sylvia Rogers, Anne Hedgepeth and Carol Stephens at the AAUW Table at the conference
Dorrie Sieburg and Sarah Spencer at the workshop.
The Virginia ERA Bus