100th Anniversary at the State Capitol
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF NEW MEXICO CELEBRATES ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY
Celebrating the Past; Looking to the Future
On February 6, 2020 LWVNM will be hosting an exciting event at the State Capitol celebrating both the 100th birthday of the League of Women Voters and the centennial of New Mexico’s ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
Featured Women Leaders
- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver,
- Legislators including Senator Nancy Rodriguez, Senator Liz Stefanics, Representative Gail Chasey and Representative Joanne Ferrary
- LWVUS Director Virginia Kase and LWVNM President Hannah Burling
8:00 am - 2:00 pm: Displays in the West Hall
8:00 - 10:30 am: Legislative Committee Hearings, with special legislative memorials in both House and Senate late morning celebrating the League's 100th Anniversary and the Suffrage Centennial
12:30 - 2 pm: Program, Entertainment, and Refreshments:
- Governor Lujan Grisham-Delivering Proclamations for the dual occasion
- Virginia Kase, LWVUS CEO, Keynote Address
- Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Secretary of State
- Daniel Ivey-Soto, Senator, Elections Expert
- Renee Villarreal, Santa Fe City Councilor
- Amber Carrillo, Native American Voting Rights Organizer
- Comments from legislators and other leaders
- Brief Remarks from Partner Organizations
- Felicia Lujan, State Records and Archives Director and Poet
Memorials, Costumes, Creativity and Refreshments
Working with allied non-partisan partners, we will have displays appropriate to the occasion, and everyone is encouraged to wear suffrage garb.
Senator Nancy Rodriguez and Rep. Joanne Ferrary, League members from Santa Fe and Las Cruces respectively, are sponsoring legislative memorials recognizing the League’s history and accomplishments that will be read in their respective chambers that day.
We will have 12 display tables in the West Hall starting at 8 am and then break around 12:30 pm for some fun. We expect to have speakers and refreshments from 1-2 pm. We are inviting the governor to speak and deliver proclamations about the dual occasion, and we will celebrate with other speakers, music, and refreshments.
Use your creativity to help us recognize this important democratic milestone with flair. Here’s to the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial!
Synopsis of the League’s First 100 Years:
- Registered thousands of voters during high school, college, and community registration outreach events and other voter engagement activities.
- Educated millions of voters through printed and digital voter guides, candidate forums, social media outreach and responded to voter inquiries
- Trained thousands of residents to advocate effectively
- Taught civics and civic participation to thousands of students
- Researched thousands of public policies and analyzed millions of legislative proposals related to local, state, and national government
- Proposed thousands of improvements to governmental operations
- Monitored thousands of hours of governmental and education meetings
- Conducted thousands of panel discussions on issues and election-related events
- Met with thousands of government officials and their constituents
- Volunteered millions of hours to improve New Mexico
- Engaged thousands of residents in civic events throughout the state.
Our mission past and future: Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy
The League of Women Voters is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government.
THE LARGER STORY
The right to vote didn’t come easy for the majority of people who now make up the citizenry of the United States. That’s to say, in our history – the histories of people of color, women, and young people – there has been a struggle, a fight for the right to vote.
The League of Women Voters was born from such a struggle. In 1920, the League was formed on the premise that a nonpartisan civic organization could provide the education and experience the public needed to assure the success of democracy by “finishing the fight” to win national woman suffrage. Yet within the struggle for the right to vote, we left some of our sisters behind when the 75-year fight for votes for women didn’t include securing these rights for women of color. And that struggle continued for decades until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
To this day, barriers to voting are being erected nationwide to disenfranchise people based on their socioeconomic status - notably people of color, students, and people with disabilities.
All eligible voters should be able to cast a ballot confidently, proudly, and without additional requirements that prevent them from voting. It is clear that the “fight” remains unfinished. And that the work of the League is needed as much now as it was at its founding.
You can read the original suffrage documents at this Google Drive archive: National Archives Suffrage Documents.
THE LEAGUE’s FOUNDING
In March 1919, Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association, called for the formation of a new organization, a League of Women Voters, to “finish the fight” for women’s suffrage. The New Mexico Women’s Suffrage Association changed its name to the League of Women Voters of New Mexico as soon as Governor Larrazolo and the NM Legislature approved the ratification of the 19th Amendment, February 21, 1920. Catt appointed long-time suffrage leader--Ina Sizer Cassidy—President of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico.
Since 1920, LWVNM has been a voice for good government. Working together in communities across the state for the past 100 years, the League endures as a nonpartisan, grassroots organization committed to Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy.