A New Yorker has taken center stage as New York State hits the ground running in 2017 for its year-long suffrage centennial. Canada had its national suffrage centennial in 2016. Another year-long campaign is still ongoing to support President Obama in awarding a presidential citizens medal to Inez Milholland (1886-1916) before he leaves office.
New York State residents have been speaking up. Recent media of note includes:
(1.) WAMC coverage by reporter Allison Dunne about the citizens medal nomination and the New York State angle. Link to “Petition Supports NY Suffragist for Presidential Citizens Medal.”
(2.) An opinion piece by John Tepper Marlin, family relative of Milholland. Link to “A Suffrage Warrior.”
(3.) Point of view by author Sandra Weber stressing Milholland’s inspiration for us today. Link to Inez Milholland. There’s “There’s inspiration in Inez Milholland.”
There is increased support for the Inez citizens medal as 2017 opens the door for New York State to celebrate its suffrage centennial. New York State women won the right to vote in 1917. When they did, the large numbers of new voters from New York tipped the balance in the direction of women voting nationwide. However, it took considerable focus and determination to achieve the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It took several generations of women numbering in the tens of thousands.
A medal for Inez goes beyond honoring honoring her as an individual. She was a catalyst and one of many who devoted their lives to win this essential human and civil right. A citizens medal for Inez will bring awareness to the long hard struggle. Support President Obama in awarding a presidential medal before he leaves office. A medal will be exhibited and travel around the nation for exhibition. A medal will symbolize the connection between the past, present, and future. A medal is long overdue.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association supports the citizens medal as well as the importance of shedding light on the broad coalition of American women it took to win voting rights at the turn of the 20th century. It is an inspiring story. The Inez Milholland Centennial work is a special campaign of the National Women’s History Project. Martha Wheelock, filmmaker, has made tremendous leaps spreading Inez Milholland’s story by way of a 15-minute documentary on Inez, her life and times. A free DVD is available through InezMilholland.org
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