2019 Senate Joint Resolution 37
Relating to: celebrating June 10, 2019, as the 100th Anniversary of ratifying the 19th Amendment.
Whereas, June 10, 2019, marks the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin leading the nation as the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote; and
Whereas, Wisconsin women fought for the right to vote for more than a century before it was granted and persevered in the face of resistance; and
Whereas, the national constitutional amendment for women's suffrage passed overwhelmingly in the Wisconsin Assembly 54 to 2 and in the Wisconsin Senate 25 to 1; and
Whereas, to be the first state, Wisconsin raced with Illinois and Michigan, appointing former State Senator David James as special messenger to transfer the certification to Washington, D.C., with James hand-delivering the certification moments before the Illinois messenger arrived; and
Whereas, Wisconsin became the first state to file the certification, other states soon followed; and
Whereas, the necessary 36 states soon ratified the 19th Amendment; half of the U.S. population was enfranchised on August 26, 1920; and
Whereas, the fight for women's suffrage, from the first women's rights convention to enfranchisement, lasted 72 years, with women from all walks of life, political views, and demographic backgrounds asking for the right to voice their opinions at the polls; and
Whereas, Wisconsin women by the thousands advocated for the right to vote on the streets, in newspapers, and in the state and federal capitols; and
Whereas, Wisconsin-born Carrie Chapman Catt led the national movement, meeting with President Woodrow Wilson to secure his support for suffrage in light of women's contributions during World War I; and
Whereas, Wisconsin women, like former First Lady Belle Case LaFollette and Reverend Olympia Brown, garnered national attention for their suffrage efforts; and
Whereas, Ada James took women's right to vote to the streets and re-energized suffrage efforts in 1912; and
Whereas, Theodora Winton Youmans helped heal the state's suffragists after the failure of the 1912 referendum and continued the movement to educate Wisconsin residents on the benefits of women voters; and
Whereas, women had been organized under the statewide structure of the Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association since 1869; and
Whereas, it took male allies to support women in their endeavor to vote, for it was sons, husbands, and fathers who ultimately heard the calls of women and took this historic vote on June 10, 1919; and
Whereas, daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters of the women who fought so hard to vote have been making their voices heard at the polls for nearly 100 years; and
Whereas, most of the women who began asking for the right to vote never lived to see the enfranchisement of women; and
Whereas, women are running for office in unprecedented numbers, may current politicians, both male and female, remember that they follow in the footsteps of these great suffragists; and
Whereas, the Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Association was empowered by the slogan “Women's Suffrage Yesterday, Today and Forever,” and Wisconsin still embodies this principle today; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the Wisconsin State Legislature celebrates June 10, 2019, as the 100th Anniversary of ratifying the 19th Amendment and reaffirms Wisconsin's commitment to empowering and uplifting the voices of women across our great state.