Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner today introduced legislation to authorize Colorado artist Jane DeDecker to install her Every Word We Utter sculpture in Washington, D.C. The sculpture would be the first outdoor monument to commemorate the women’s suffrage movement and would feature Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, and Ida B. Wells.
“I see the suffragists as founders in exactly the same way as any of the people who wrote the Constitution – they challenged Americans to make our country what it ought to be. Monuments across our nation’s capital commemorate the founders of our country – and it’s time we pay tribute to the suffragists accordingly,” Bennet said. “100 years after Congress passed the 19thamendment, I can’t think of a more fitting way to commemorate the powerful work of the brave pioneers who made women’s suffrage a reality than with the first outdoor monument in their honor.”
“On the 100th anniversary of the Senate passing the 19th Amendment, I am honored to join Senator Bennet in commemorating the women’s suffrage movement with its first outdoor monument,” Gardner said. “This sculpture will pay homage to the generations of women whose determination granted women the right to vote.”
“‘Every word we utter, every act we perform, waft unto innumerable circles beyond.’ The work of which Stanton spoke is not yet done,” Jane DeDecker, sculptor of Every Word We Utter said. “I believe that Every Word We Utter will inspire young women to take action, make their voices heard and continue the movement. This bill will allow for a monument to be placed in Washington, D.C. that celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment and pays tribute to generations of women who fought to make it happen. Every Word We Utter will be the only outdoor monument in D.C. that celebrates this victory for women and will inspire future leaders that they can make a difference. We are grateful to Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Cory Gardner for their support of Every Word We Utter with this bill.”
“The Every Word We Utter Board and co-founders have been working diligently to advance the effort to place this statue in Washington, D.C. through fundraising and raising awareness,” Jody Shadduck-McNally, President of the Every Word We Utter Monument Board said. “We are proud to see our grassroots efforts have created progress. We are deeply grateful for the support of Senator Bennet and Senator Gardner with the introduction of their bipartisan bill in the Senate on this historic day. I cannot think of a better way to honor the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Senate passing the 19th amendment.”
Companion legislation sponsored by Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2019. Testimony on the bill was heard in the House Committee on Natural Resources in May 2019.
The bill text is available HERE.