Legislation Builds On Bennet’s Law to Authorize the Monument
Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to introduce the Women's Suffrage National Monument Location Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure that the Women’s Suffrage National Monument is located on the National Mall. This bill builds on Bennet’s 2019 bill authorizing the Women’s Suffrage National Monument, which became law in 2020. In 1893, Colorado became the first state to extend the right to vote to women by popular referendum.
“American history has always been a struggle between the promise of equality and the reality of inequality, and this bipartisan legislation commemorates our long and enduring journey toward securing equality for all,” said Bennet. “For centuries, we have witnessed historic calls for progress on the National Mall, and this monument to women's suffrage deserves this most dignified location for its home."
“Over a hundred years ago, our country finally welcomed women to participate in our democracy and extended to them the fundamental right to vote. This milestone was only made possible through a decades-long fight led by women of all backgrounds – including those of color who were still denied the right to vote after the 19th Amendment was ratified – by joining together with the steadfast belief that our country must live up to its ideal of one person, one vote,” said Baldwin. “I am proud to introduce this legislation with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to honor the suffragists and all those who fought for women’s right to vote with a monument in its rightful place, the National Mall. The National Mall is home to memorials for those who fought for our freedom, Presidents who defined our country, and the seat of our government, and it is only fitting that it also houses the Women's Suffrage National Monument. Wisconsin has played a crucial role in the fight for women’s rights and I am proud to continue this long and proud tradition.”
“Tennessee has played a critical role in the women’s suffrage fight since we became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment – granting women the right to vote,” said Blackburn. “As the Volunteer State’s first female United States Senator, I’m pleased to join Senator Baldwin in this bipartisan effort to honor the women, like Susan B. Anthony, who pioneered the way for future generations. It’s time these giants in American history receive recognition on the National Mall.”
In 2020, Bennet passed his legislation to create the Women’s Suffrage National Monument on federal lands in Washington, D.C. Under current law, a specific act of Congress is required to place a new commemorative work or visitor center on the National Mall. Once completed, the monument will commemorate the women’s suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
“The two-mile stretch of land that reaches from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial is known as the National Mall,” said Anna Laymon, Executive Director of the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation. “Flanked by the White House, our national cultural institutions, and the halls of government, the National Mall is where ‘we the people’ showcase our history. It is the land that holds our national memory. And yet, walking the grounds of the National Mall today, you will encounter war memorials and monuments honoring civil rights heroes and past presidents. You will stand in awe of the giants who have earned their place in our national story. But you won't see women. With the support of Congress, that is all about to change.”
The push for this monument originated in Loveland, Colorado, through a community-led effort. On the 100th anniversary of the Senate’s passage of the 19th Amendment, Bennet introduced bipartisan legislation to install a Colorado artist’s sculpture commemorating pioneers for women’s suffrage in the nation’s capital. In December 2020, this legislation passed the Senate after passing the House.
In addition to Bennet, Baldwin, and Blackburn, this legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).
The text of the bill is available HERE.