A panel established to develop programs for commemorating the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote has been invited by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to meet in Seneca Falls.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., wrote a letter to Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission Chair Kay Cole James inviting the delegation to gather at the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls.
The town hosted the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. It was the first women's rights convention. It's why Seneca Falls is often referred to as the birthplace of women's rights.
Gillibrand not only encouraged the commission to meet in Seneca Falls, she urged them to visit nearby sites relevant to the women's rights movement, such as the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn.
One of the members of the commission is Karen Hill, president and CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn. The Tubman home is part of the national park.
"The state of New York is the birthplace of women's rights, and Seneca Falls is among the most legendary landmarks of the suffrage movement," Gillibrand wrote. "As we approach this monumental anniversary in United States history, meeting in Seneca Falls would be an important way for the commission to honor these historical achievements and the heroic efforts of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and other champions of New York who played a pivotal role in the fight for women's rights."
Gillibrand cosponsored the legislation that created the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission. The panel will be tasked with developing events to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which prevents U.S. citizens from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex.
The commission will encourage state and local governments to commemorate the 19th Amendment's ratification and coordinate activities throughout the country. It will also recommend ways the president and Congress can commemorate the anniversary.
The commission met in 2018 and will continue to meet this year. A telephone meeting is planned for later this month. The commission will hold an in-person meeting in June at the Department of the Interior in Washington.