December 23, 2015
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo,
We, the undersigned, write to thank you for signing into law last month the legislation creating the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission. New York’s accomplishment in 1917, of women winning the franchise three years before ratification of the 19th Amendment, deserves broad celebration, public education, and promotion.
This anniversary can – and must – be our moment to prominently place New York State in the national and international context that our history deserves, while also helping to shape the future of the struggle for full equality that women have still not achieved. We humbly suggest that it is an opportunity to create a legacy that brands New York State as a place where equality and opportunity for all people are truly valued and celebrated.
Therefore, as you prepare your executive budget for the upcoming fiscal year, we ask that this once-in- a-lifetime anniversary be recognized with resources commensurate to the occasion. Moreover, investments during this period can create tourism destinations that will continue to generate income for the state and local communities and create jobs for years to come.
As the Commission will begin its work in 2016, and the celebrations should build toward the national anniversary in 2020, it is essential that multi-year funding be appropriated. Specifically, we request that funding be included, beginning for:
staff support and related expenses for the Commission itself; Centennial events, tourism packages, conferences, and programs during 2016-2020; investment in “the product” – capital investment funds for the more than two dozen historical and cultural resources related to women’s history statewide; and marketing to promote the events and sites, including web development, social media, and other mechanisms, for example through I Love NY.
Females comprise more than 51 per cent of the state’s population. The acknowledged birthplace of the American women’s rights movement – and arguably the international women’s rights movement – is in New York State. This is a legacy opportunity that we are confident will benefit the entire state.
Thank you very much for your consideration
Martha Robertson and Susan Zimet, Friends of Women’s Rights National Historical Park and President, 2020: Project Women.
CC: Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul Mary Beth Labate, Director, Division of the Budget FY2016-2017.
Signers: New York State Cultural Heritage Network, Lynn Herzig, Coordinator, 63 members; Philip P. Arnold, Ph.D., Director, Skänoñh—Great Law of Peace Center Syracuse University Syracuse, NY; Heidi Bamford, Western New York Library Resources Council Buffalo, NY; Dr. Betty M. Bayer, Professor, Women’s Studies Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY; Louise Bernikow, Gotham Center for New York History, New York, NY; Tara Bloyd, “Spirit of 1776” Suffrage Wagon, Santa Fe, NM; Sandi Brewster-Walker, Chair and Executive Director, Long Island Indigenous People Museum; David Bruinix, Macedon, NY; Bonnie Callaghan, South Bristol, NY; Menzo Case, Generations Bank and Right to Run 19K, Seneca Falls, NY; Billye Chabot, Executive Director, Seward House Museum Auburn, NY; Dik Cool, Publisher, Syracuse Cultural Workers Syracuse, NY; Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr., National Women’s History Project Half Moon Bay, CA; Julia Corrice, Chair, New York Heritage Digital Collections’ Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee South Central Regional Library Council Ithaca, NY; Sarah Craig, Executive Director, Caffe Lena Saratoga Springs, NY; William G. Dolback, President, Ticonderoga Historical Society, Ticonderoga, NY; Patricia F. Dolton, Historian for Town of Greenwich Washington County, NY; Kevin S. Douglas, Advisor, World War One Centennial Commission New York, NY; Adriene Emmo, Treasurer, Friends of Women’s Rights National Historical Park Founding member, Women’s Institute for Leadership and Learning Seneca Falls, NY; Dr. Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education Purchase, NY; Susan Goodier, Ph.D., Editor, New York History Journal Public Scholar, New York Council for the Humanities SUNY Oneonta Department of History, Oneonta, NY and Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; Alice Graves, MLIS, Hospital Library Services Program Manager Southeastern NY Library Resources Council Highland, NY; Melinda E. Grube, Ph.D., Cayuga Community College, Phelps, NY; Kimberly Harvish, Educator, Chapman Historical Museum Glens Falls, NY; Robert Hest, Director, New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network Mountain View, NY; Linda Hoffmann, Ithaca, NY; Andrea Holroyd, Old Songs, Inc. Voorheesville, NY; Barbara Howard, Yonkers, NY Women on the 20s Campaign; Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House Rochester, NY; Lyle Jenks, President, Board of Trustees 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Museum Ontario County, NY; Marguerite Kearns, Co-Chair, Inez Milholland Centennial, National Women’s History Project; Susan Lesser, Ithaca, NY; Bruce Levy, Plainview, NY; Mary-Carol Lindbloom, Executive Director, South Central Regional Library Council Dryden, NY; Kerry Lippincott, Executive Director, Geneva Historical Society Geneva, NY; Judith A. Lonnquist, Esq., Friends of Women’s Rights National Historical Park Seneca Falls, NY; James G. Loperfido, Cayuga County Arts Council Auburn, NY; Jody Luce, Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark Peterboro NY; Katie MacIntyre, Generations Bank and Right to Run 19K, Seneca Falls, NY; Nancy Mion, Bayport, NY; Ilka Morse; Capital District Library Council Albany, NY; Ann Morton, Morton Archaeological Research Services Macedon, NY; Reginald Neale, 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Museum Executive Committee Ontario County, NY; Carmen Negron, Wesley Hills, NY; Brian C. O’Connor, MA, MSLS, North Country Community College Saranac Lake, NY; Diane O’Connor, Ticonderoga Historical Society Ticonderoga, NY; Laura Osterhout, M.L.S., Rochester Regional Library Council Fairport, NY; Valerie Paley, Ph.D., Vice President, Chief Historian and Dean of Scholarly Programs, Director, Center for the Study of Women’s History New-York Historical Society New York, NY; Jennifer Palmentiero, Southeastern NY Library Resources Council Highland, NY; Antonia Petrash, Long Island Woman Suffrage Association Glen Cove, NY; Jane Plitt, Campaign Coordinator Friends of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park Seneca Falls, NY; Kathy Rand, Friends of Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls, NY; Diane Robinson, former Farmington Town Historian Farmington, NY; Joan E. Seaman, Long Island Library Resources Council Long Island, New York; Andy Spence, Old Songs, Inc. Voorheesville, NY; Kay Spence, Old Songs, Inc. Voorheesville, NY; Martha Swan, Executive Director, John Brown Lives! Westport, NY; Olivia Twine, Historical Society of Woodstock, Woodstock, NY; Dr. Sara B. Varhus, Vice President for Academic Affairs Nazareth College Rochester, NY; Edward Varno, Executive Director Ontario County Historical Society Canandaigua, NY; Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D.; Founding Director, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Adjunct Faculty, The Renée Crown University Honors Program, Syracuse University Public Scholar, New York Council for the Humanities; Cassie Ward, Executive Director, New Castle Historical Society, Horace Greeley House Chappaqua, NY; Dr. Marie Watkins, Canandaigua, NY; Judith M. Wellman, Director, Historical New York Research Associates Professor Emerita, State University of New York at Oswego; Kerri Willette, Metropolitan NY Library Council New York, NY; Doris Wolf, Third great granddaughter of Susan B Anthony’s grandmother Waterloo, NY; Carol Ritter Wright, Fairport, NY.