FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES A VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE IN HONOR OF 85th ANNIVERSARY OF 19th AMENDMENT
City-wide voter registration drive to be held on Women’s Equality Day
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Voter Assistance Commission (VAC) Executive Director/City Coordinator of Voter Assistance, Onida Coward Mayers, and New York City Commission on Women’s Issues (CWI) Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs today announced a city-wide nonpartisan Voter Registration Drive to be held on Women’s Equality Day, Friday, August 26th. This year’s Women’s Equality Day marks the 85th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote. The observance of this day also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. In 1848 the world’s first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York and as a result New York is considered the birth place of the suffrage movement. On October 23, 1915, more than 33,000 women marched up Fifth Avenue in what at that time was considered the largest parade ever organized for women suffrage.
“Voting is the most fundamental of all our rights,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It empowers each citizen with the ability to change their government. New York has a long and proud history in the suffrage movement and we have an obligation to the brave pioneers of yesterday to expand voter participation today. Unfortunately, too many New Yorkers are not registered and do not vote and therefore miss out on the opportunity to participate in the governing of our City, State and Country. I encourage all New Yorkers to register and vote and to fully realize the American Dream by playing an active role in our political process.”
“Engaging New Yorkers civically and encouraging their active participation in our democratic process is critical to the vitality of our city,” said Executive Director of the Voter Assistance Commission Onida Coward Mayers. “As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of Women's Equality with a nonpartisan city-wide voter registration drive, we will attempt to reach out to as many New Yorkers who are eligible to vote as possible.”
“The Commission on Women’s Issues is thrilled to be working with the City’s Coordinator of Voter Assistance on this important initiative to celebrate Women’s Equality Day,” said CWI Chair, Anne Sutherland Fuchs. “This year has been an exceptionally important one for women, as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Commission on Women’s Issues earlier this year and today we recognize the 85th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day, which exists because of Bella Abzug, a former Chair of the Commission.”
In 1971, Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY) requested Congress declare August 26th “Women’s Equality Day” to honor and remember those women who fought for the right to vote.
Abzug fought for the declaration of Women’s Equality Day to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment as well as to direct attention to continued efforts across the country by those working for complete equality. Abzug later went on to serve as Chair of the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues from 1993 to 1995, working continuously for women’s equality in New York City.
For more information, log on to www.nyc.gov or call 311.
The NYC Voter Assistance Commission (VAC) is a non-partisan independent City agency, established by the City Charter. Its mandate is to encourage and facilitate voter registration and voting by all eligible United States citizens residing in New York City. VAC does not promote any candidate for elected office, political party, or political agenda. VAC's mission is to increase participation in the democratic process. To achieve this goal, VAC monitors voter registration and voting in New York City. VAC also works with Mayoral agencies, private groups and individuals, and community-based organizations to promote voter awareness and participation. VAC is comprised of 16 Commissioners and its day-to-day operations are managed by the Coordinator/Executive Director. The Coordinator is charged specifically by the Charter to encourage and facilitate voter registration and voting by all eligible residents of the City.
The New York City Commission on Women's Issues was established by Mayoral Executive Order in 1975 as an advisory body to the Mayor on matters impacting the lives of New York City women. The goal of the Commission is to advocate for women by promoting their economic and social well-being; educating the public about women’s issues; and making recommendations to the Mayor for legislation or executive action that will improve the lives of women. The Commission's membership is drawn from all sectors of the New York City population and is representative of individuals from a variety of fields and professions. The Commission consists of a Chair and no less than thirty Commissioners appointed by the Mayor.
Edward Skyler/ Silvia Alvarez (212) 788-2958
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