As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, I am reflecting on what it means for me personally, and to the women I care about. I am proud to have the support of these amazing women.
Growing up, every Election Day my mom would take me to the church around the corner before the sun was up, (usually in the snow, because we lived in New York), so I could see her vote. I remember inside the church it was warm and smelled like coffee, and the poll workers often had cookies and stickers. The message was clear: we make time for what's important, and voting is important. My parents and grandparents would remind us that voting is a responsibility.
My Great-Grandmother was born before women had the right to vote, and she never let me forget it. Even today as we celebrate the centennial of women's suffrage, we understand that many women waited much longer to cast a ballot, and voter disenfranchisement, particularly among communities of color, exists today. Step by step we make progress.
Sometimes people will ask me why I bring my girls to government meetings, or ask why I “waste time” going to meetings at all. I think back to that little girl in the snow, watching mom wait in line to cast a ballot. Today, my daughters have seen me stand up for them and our community, and more importantly, they have also seen me fail and try again. I am teaching them that we make time for what's important. I am teaching them that we can do hard things if we do them together.
I was definitely reluctant to throw my hat into the ring when I was asked to run for office. I am inspired by my friends who have run and won, who are now working to help other women run and win. When I am elected, I will do the same for the women who come after me. Together we can do hard things.