To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women in the United States the right to vote, Pima County joined with local communities in the Forward into the Light campaign across the country in a celebration of this milestone of American democracy.
The Pima County Historic Courthouse was lit in purple and gold – the official colors of the suffrage movement – at sunset on Aug. 26 along with buildings and landmarks nationwide.
The 19th Amendment states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
On Nov. 2, 1920, just months after the passage of the 19th amendment, more than 8 million women across the country voted in elections for the first time. In 2016, more than 73 million women cast a ballot.
Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Sharon Bronson, who spearheaded the local lighting effort for Pima County, said, “I hope that through our participation in the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we remind women that we cannot take our sacred right to vote for granted.”
“In the spring of 1919, it was a Republican Congressman from Illinois who chaired the Suffrage Committee and proposed the House Resolution to approve the 19th Amendment to the Constitution,” said Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller. “The party for which we vote may be different but we can all celebrate the fact that we have the right to vote.”
Supervisor Betty Villegas noted, “Passage of the 19th Amendment was a milestone and trailblazing effort that became stronger over the years to include women of color.”