By Gabriela Knutson SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – 100 years ago in the November of 1917, the state of New York adopted a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote in state elections.
Today, the League of Women Voters celebrated the centennial anniversary with a reception at the ArtRage Gallery. The gallery is hosting an exhibit featuring the work of Central New York women artists that use their art to speak about issues facing women today.
The non-partisan League of Women Voters in Syracuse focus on informing the public, registering new voters and attracting future members, and celebrate coming together as a community.
“We’ve been around since 1919 and we grew out of the suffrage rights movement, the same suffragists that were out there fighting for the original right to vote. You can draw a straight line to them: which is meaningful to me,” said Membership Director Heather Walters.
Last year, with support from the NAACP, the League’s volunteers registered 825 new voters at 19 events.
Within the League of Women Voters, there are worries about the future of women’s rights under Donald Trump’s presidency, and many believe now is one of the most important times for women to speak up.
“On behalf of the league I would say there is some concern that women’s voices aren’t being heard. We need to make sure that the forum’s for voices could stay open, regardless of what people’s opinions are. So I do worry about actions that would shut down women’s voices,” Walters says.
According to League Board Member Michele Jones-Galvin, women are becoming more and more active in ways they haven’t seen in the past, but there needs to be even more of that in order to make a difference. Primarily through voting and getting their voices heard.
“I think women need to think how his policies affect them personally, how it affects their purse, how it affects their bodies, how it affects every part of their life. It’s not really about democrat and republican, it’s about women have to take this seriously,” Jones-Galvin says.
Visit the League’s website vote411.org for extensive and comprehensive election information.