Revered for their strength and courage, the efforts of 300 women in Seneca Falls 170 years ago became the heartbeat of the women’s suffrage movement. I am honored to represent a district that carries such a rich history of women who were not afraid to stand up and fight for equal rights and refused to accept the unfair status quo.
Women’s rights have always been close to my heart and a constant presence in our Finger Lakes communities. My colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference and I are proud to have advocated for passage of the individual components of the Women’s Equality Act, which greatly expanded protections and equality in New York State, and I remain dedicated to supporting measures that will continue to strengthen workplace protections and anti-discrimination laws for women.
MARCH IS WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
March is Women’s History Month, a time to reflect on the numerous contributions women have made to New York and to celebrate their cultural, personal and professional accomplishments. This month, and especially yesterday, which was International Women’s Day, affords us an opportunity to increase awareness of the important issues facing women.
Now, more than ever, women’s voices are being heard. National movements have helped to empower women across the country. As legislators, we must listen to the issues being raised and encourage a dialogue to better understand how we can continue to promote greater equality and respect for women everywhere.
We can start right at home. Year after year, the budget is discussed in secret behind closed doors by the infamous ‘3 men in a room’ – or four in recent years. This unfair system leaves millions of New Yorkers without a voice at the table. Even more disheartening is the complete lack of representation for New York’s women.
Why, despite calls from Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and me, as well as members of the media and the public, has the budget process remained so exclusive? The crickets have been deafening over the years as we await an answer. Inviting us guarantees new, diverse, fresh perspectives sorely needed in the budget process.
‘SHOWCASING GREAT WOMEN … INSPIRING ALL’
Today, the achievements and accomplishments of 276 women are celebrated at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls— a great tribute to some of the most influential women our nation has ever witnessed. Many of these incredible women are celebrated for tireless, inspirational and unrelenting work helping to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S., which was ratified in 1920 and gave women the right to vote.
Now, those dedicated to the Hall’s legacy and mission are moving forward with a new vision; the museum is relocating to the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill, a place that is solidified in history as one of principle and progress. Soon, this historic structure will house the Hall, commemorating a critical part of our national identity. I couldn’t think of a more wonderful tribute to those who fought so hard for equality and justice.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at email@example.com, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.