U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., wants to acknowledge the role New York and Long Island played in the women’s suffrage movement. She has introduced a bill in the Senate to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Senator Gillibrand’s bill would establish the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, which would provide grants to develop educational programs that celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment.
“We need to make sure we are prepared to educate all of our young people about the unparalleled importance of the women’s suffrage movement in our history,” Gillibrand said.
Ellen Okvist, president of the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association, said her great-grandmother was a member of the local suffragette club. Earlier this week her 25-year-old daughter finally registered to vote.
“I said, ‘Why did you do this?’ And she said, ‘I did it for the suffragettes,’” Okvist said.
While women in New York achieved the right to vote in 1917, the 19th Amendment, which gave women across the country the right to vote, was ratified in 1920.