This year is the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the constitutional right to vote in the United States. However, it would be decades later before Native American women, Black women, Asian American women and Latina women would have the same rights. Nonetheless, it is a monumental moment that started the fight for the right to vote – and it’s worth a celebration of 100 years of women voting.
In San Antonio, a committee of 45 women has been established to honor this anniversary. The San Antonio 19th Amendment Centennial Committee includes leaders such as Senator Judith Zaffirini, TX District 21; Representative Ina Minjarez, TX District 124; First Lady Erika Prosper; each of the six San Antonio City Councilwomen; and many other local leaders like my amiga Jenee Margo Gonzales. This committee has several community events lined up from August 18 – August 26 to honor this anniversary. Find all the details on the website http://www.100yearsofwomenvotingsa.com/
FB LIVE about Civic Engagement
Tune in to a FB LIVE conversation with Jenee Margo Gonzales, a member of the San Antonio 19th Amendment Centennial Committee. Jenee is the Philanthropy Coordinator for the Marianists Province of the United States and one of the most civically engaged Latinas that I know. And that’s why I want you to join us for our conversation. We can learn a lot from Jenee and hear first-hand about the upcoming events.
Learn from Our History
As women and particularly as Latinas, we have so much more to do and to learn. Let’s start with our own history. I was excited to watch shows like Hulu’s Mrs. America. It gave us an insider’s look on the work behind what goes in to supporting and opposing an effort like the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). But it left me asking: where were the Latinas?
We stand a many identity intersections. Personally, I am a Texan, a woman, a Latina. Like many of you, I am always looking for my reflection in history. Texas was the 9th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. However, a woman’s race and skin color still was a barrier. So, while I am proud of Texas for being an early ratifier, I understand the struggle of the fight to secure the same voting rights for women who look like me. To learn more about Tejanas who were taking up that fight, read about Jovita Idár, a Mexican-American journalist, activist, and suffragist. Her story inspires me to learn from the past – not dwell on it. And, move forward to make sure our stories are a part of the history that we are creating.
Get More Women Voting
This year’s election is important. Honestly, every election is important. I say this often – because it’s true. On Que Means What (social media and website), I will continue to share resources about voting. Stay tuned for more. Until then, do a few things now:
- Make sure you are registered to vote. There are many websites to help you find out if you’re registered. I suggest votolatino.org.
- Make a plan to go vote. Will you mail in your ballot? Will you go vote early? Are you waiting until November 3rd? Whatever it is – make a plan for it.
- Ask your friends and family if they are voting. Yep! Have those awkward conversations.