by Melba Provost
Did you know that 2010 marks the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote? This election month, let’s take a moment to honor the women’s suffrage movement and the legacy of those who reached for and accomplished their right.
Winning the vote did not come easily. Organizers worked tirelessly and allies fought for the cause in the halls of power. Of the then-48 states, 36 needed to ratify the proposed amendment for it to pass. And on August 18, 1920, when the Tennessee legislature – state number 36 – voted to ratify the 19th Amendment and affirm its place in the Constitution, it passed by a single vote, that of Harry Burn. His mother had urged him via telegram to do the right thing, and finally, on the third roll call, he did so.
Today in the United States, more women than men are registered to vote. Women now hold office at every level of government and many powerful women have and will run for office. Still, let us be reminded that the fight for full equality is not finished and must continue. For example, currently only 17% of members serving in the U.S. House of Representatives are female. We must stay informed about important issues so that we can choose our leaders wisely, all to our prosperity!
Our own Ebell legacy group should be extolled as well. We have a list of members with 60 years or more of dedicated service and an Honorary Members (Women of Achievement) list featuring such notable women as former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite Burke and award-winning actress and humanitarian Rhonda Fleming Mann, to name a few.
As an Ebell member nearing my eligibility to become a life member, I am elated to say I enjoy my membership at The Ebell, a place “where women can be,” a historic clubhouse, a city, state and national landmark and an American treasure.
Melba Provost is owner of PAMCo, a complete direct mail advertising service company based in Los Angeles.