Local committee celebrating 100th anniversary of suffrage launches

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Group calls on public to help the yearlong celebration

(BINGHAMTON, NY) – As the state approaches a historic anniversary, a local committee launched Thursday to organize a series of events and activities to commemorate it. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State and the Broome-Tioga Suffrage Anniversary Committee (BTSAC) has been formed to create a yearlong celebration. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Tioga County Legislative Chair Martha Sauerbrey are co-chairs of the committee.

“Women’s history is a central part of American history and our region is home to some of the most important events and people that are part of the story,” said Lupardo, who is also a member of the state’s Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commission in her role as Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “This is an opportunity to boost tourism while educating the public about our rich history. By bringing attention to the things that happened locally, we plan to attract visitors from around the state to learn more.”

“New York is the home of women’s suffrage with the first women’s rights convention being held in Seneca Falls in 1848,” said Sauerbrey. “For the next 69 years, women and men across the state worked to help solidify this important right for women. Broome and Tioga Counties have countless stories of the people who played roles in this effort and we plan to share with the community throughout 2017.”

Joining Lupardo and Sauerbrey at Thursday’s announcement were Broome County Historian Gerald Smith and Tioga County Historian Emma Sedore, both of whom gave a glimpse into the area’s role in the fight for suffrage. Tioga County is home to Esther Morris, considered by many as the ‘Mother of Woman Suffrage,’ for her role as a primary lobbyist and author of the legislation which gave women in the Wyoming Territory the right to vote in 1869; the first territory or state to enact suffrage in the United States. In Broome County, the Ladies of Lisle, a group of women from northern Broome, were the first women to vote in the state after suffrage passed in 1917.

The BTSAC also called on the public for assistance in gathering materials to share in various exhibits and celebrations, as well as providing ideas for events to commemorate the anniversary. Anyone who would like to provide such help should email the committee at BTSuffrage@gmail.com.

Also participating in the BTSAC are representatives from the American Association of University Women, Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, the Greater Binghamton Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Broome-Tioga NAACP, the Broome-Tioga League of Women Voters, Roberson Museum and the YWCA. All groups involved will help coordinate and plan events throughout the year.