September 2, 2020: Unveiling of 80 Foot Illuminated Fountain on Cayuga-Seneca Canal
Former Governor Cuomo and then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced the installation of an illuminated fountain on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Seneca Falls as part of the state's programming commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Placed just offshore from where the first Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848, the fountain is a joint initiative by the New York Power Authority, Canal Corporation and Seneca Falls Development Corporation offering New Yorkers a way to celebrate New York's role in the suffrage story and our state's history of bold women visionaries.
August 26, 2020: Sojourner Truth Monument Unveiled at Walkway Over the Hudson
Former Governor Cuomo and then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced that the seven-foot bronze statue of eminent abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth was unveiled at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park in Ulster County to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.
March 2, 2020: Multi-Media Campaign Launched
Then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced the kick-off of Women’s History Month celebrations by the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission. The Suffrage Commission is celebrating Women’s History Month as part of the centennial of women's suffrage, marking a century after the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. The New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission launched a multi-platform social media campaign consisting of a series of several unique digital ads to run through the spring on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram highlighting the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote being enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
The ads encourage audiences to commemorate the centennial by:
- Visiting New York women’s suffrage sites this year.
- A list of these sites can be found here.
- Joining existing events around the state.
- Registering (and exercising your right!) to vote.
January 2020: Sojourner Truth Monument
In March 2019, former Governor Cuomo and then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced that a Yonkers sculptor has been commissioned to create a monument commemorating famed abolitionist and suffragette Sojourner Truth.
The monument will be located at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park along the Empire State Trail in Ulster County. Sculptor and artist Vinnie Bagwell's proposed design for a 7-foot bronze statue of Sojourner Truth will help more fully include and represent women and people of all races and creeds who have contributed to the history of New York State.
September 2019: Watch a video of the statue in progress.
January 2020: View photos of the statue's unveiling.
December 12, 2019: Mount Discovery is Renamed Mount Inez
On December 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Interior, Board on Geographic Names (BGN) voted unanimously to rename Mount Discovery as Mount Inez in Lewis, NY. Mount Discovery was renamed in honor of women’s rights activist and suffragist Inez Milholland. The New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission submitted a letter in support of renaming Mount Discovery to Mount Inez.
October 3, 2019: The 2019 Women's Justice Agenda
In February, former Governor Cuomo launched the 2019 Women’s Agenda to improve reproductive, economic and social justice for all New York women. Among other accomplishments and as part of the agenda, the Governor signed the Reproductive Health Act and pay equity legislation, enacted sweeping new workplace harassment protections, extended the statute of limitations for rape in the second degree and third degree and advanced a series of policies to reduce maternal mortality and racial disparities.
January 26, 2018: Women's Suffrage Commission Annual Report
Read the 2017 Report from the New York State Women's Suffrage Commission.
Here's a portion of the opening letter from then-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the Commission.
The highlight of the year was our celebration of New York’s suffrage centennial on November 6th. We lit up 30 major landmarks throughout the state in purple and gold, gathered nearly 600 women leaders at an official centennial celebration in New York City, announced the building of two new statues (Sojourner Truth in Ulster County and Rosalie Jones on Long Island), and launched a challenge calling on New Yorkers to look for the lost Declaration of Sentiments in their archives and storage, as well as in their hearts and minds (#FindtheSentiments).
As we look toward the national suffrage centennial in 2020, we will continue to highlight the leading role of New Yorkers in our nation’s journey to build a more perfect union.
January 26, 2018: The Declaration of Sentiments
The Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the Declaration of Independence, calls for the moral, economic and political equality for women. It is the foundational document for women's rights but as far as we can tell, it is missing. Help us find this lost piece of New York State history.
November 6, 2017: 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage in New York
On November 6, 1917, women in New York State won the right to vote, three years before the 19th amendment granted the right to women across the country. In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, former Governor Cuomo and then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced that the State will dedicate and build two statues in commemoration of suffragists Sojourner Truth and Rosalie Gardiner Jones.
The statue of Sojourner Truth will be sited on the Empire State Trail in Ulster County, where she was born. Truth was born into slavery circa 1797, sold three times, and ultimately escaped to freedom in 1826. She went on to became a noted abolitionist and women's rights advocate until her death in 1883.
The statue of Rosalie Gardiner Jones will be built in Cold Spring Harbor State Park on Long Island. Known as "General Jones," she was born and lived in Cold Spring Harbor and was respected for leading suffrage "pilgrims" on marches from New York City to Albany and Washington, DC in support of women's suffrage.
The former Governor and then-Lieutenant Governor also officially proclaimed November 2017 Women's Suffrage Centennial Month. Text of the proclamation can be viewed here.
Buildings across New York State were lit up purple and gold, the colors of the suffrage movement, celebrating the anniversary as well.
September 21, 2017: Women's Vote Centennial Project Launched
The New York Women's Vote Centennial Project is a partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and First Book celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in New York on November 6, 2017. The competition invites teachers to develop classroom projects and activities to mark the suffrage centennial. The New York State Women's Suffrage Commission will select 15 winners from across the State. Projects may focus on women's history, civic engagement, the democratic process, equal rights, or a related topic. Educators and students are encouraged to explore the question: 100 years from now, when future generations look back, what will our equal rights legacy be? Projects for any grade, K-12, will be considered.
September 3, 2017: Hana Horiuchi for Teen Voices
Teen Voices at Women’s eNews is partnering with the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission celebration of the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote in New York. The article by Hana Horiuchi is the first in a regular series featuring teen girls writing about what the right to vote means to them.
August 9, 2017: Teen Voices to Partner with NYS Women’s Suffrage Commission
Teen Voices, the global girl news initiative of Women’s eNews, is partnering with the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote in New York. This editorial project will feature articles from teen girls writing about what the right to vote means (or will mean, for those under 18) to them, whether and why they aspire to be civically engaged, and how their generation should build on the suffragist legacy of advancing equal rights.
April 22, 2017: Commission Co-Sponsors Women in Politics: Past, Present, and Future
On April 22, the Commission was pleased to co-sponsor the Women in Politics: Past, Present, and Future conference at SUNY New Paltz. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul addressed attendees, who also participated in engaging panel discussions with renowned scholars from across the country.
March 27, 2017: Commission Launches Partnership with Girl Scouts
On March 27, at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, then-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new Girl Scouts patch celebrating the centennial of women's suffrage in New York. All seven Girl Scouts councils in New York will participate in the patch program, giving girls across the state an engaging way to learn about the history of the women’s movement in New York and envision how they can lead for justice. You can learn more about the patch program here, or by contacting your local Girl Scouts council.
March 1, 2017: Commission Kicks Off Centennial Celebration
The Commission held its first meeting of 2017 on March 1, celebrating the beginning of Women’s History Month with the launch of the Women’s Suffrage Commission’s website, public exhibits at the Empire State Plaza and the Capitol Building, and special Capitol tours focused on the suffrage movement.