February 26, 2020

Congressman Neguse Passes Colorado-Inspired Legislation Out of the U.S. House to Install the First Outdoor Monument Honoring the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Washington D.C.

H.R.473 was inspired by a constituent in Loveland, Colorado who hopes to install the “Every Word We Utter” statue  

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse passed major legislation out of the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize the installation of the first-ever outdoor monument honoring the women’s suffrage movement in Washington D.C. H.R.473, which Congressman Neguse first introduced in January 2019, was inspired by a constituent in Loveland who first envisioned such a monument to honor the 19th amendment and the women who led the women’s suffrage movement. 

View Congressman Neguse’s remarks on the House floor here.

The bill follows several other Colorado-inspired bills Congressman Neguse has passed out of the House since taking office. He passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act out of the U.S. House of Representatives in October which would preserve approximately 400,000 acres of public lands across Colorado and designate the first-ever National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale. Congressman Neguse had four other bills signed into law by the President last year, including measures to extend funding for the secure rural schools program which benefits Colorado’s mountain communities, protect Colorado wildlife in the Platte River Basin, ensure water access for the town of Minturn at the Bolts Ditch Headgate, and to make a boundary adjustment to Arapaho National Forest. 

“I’m delighted to see this historic bill pass the House with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Ratification of the 19th Amendment was a significant moment in our nation’s history, and the suffragists who fought to secure the right for women to vote are American heroes. This statue will serve to highlight our collective mission of accessible and inclusive democracy and inspire young women across the country. I hope my Colorado colleagues in the Senate will move swiftly to send this bill to the President’s desk and commemorate this important legacy.”

“Representation matters. We’ve made great strides in Colorado - the majority of our cabinet and senior staff are women and there’s a record number of women serving in our legislature. But we know there’s more work to do. Together we can build a future where we have true parity and true gender equality, and where little kids can grow up knowing they can truly be anything they want to be. Representative Joe Neguse has hit the ground running in Washington and is serving his constituents with distinction and our administration commends the Congressman for his efforts to get this bipartisan bill through the House," said Colorado's Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera

“Many of the rights and the privileges that we enjoy today were once the forbidden dreams of women who came before us,” said Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh. “I am eternally grateful to the brave women who came out of the shadows, to demand our right to vote and to have a voice in our democracy. Women are and have always been the foundation of our families and of our communities; for too long their voices were silenced. I am grateful to Jane DeDecker, Jody Shadduck McNally and Joe Neguse for their vision and their drive to honor the women who stood up, despite being beaten, ridiculed and jailed so that women like me could speak with the most powerful voice of all - my vote.”

“I’m incredibly grateful for Congressman Neguse’s leadership on this effort to commemorate the women’s suffrage movement, and to Jane DeDecker and Jody Shadduck-McNally who have placed Colorado at the center for this initiative,” said Broomfield Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta. “The brave suffragists who fought to secure women’s right to vote should be ingrained and remembered in our nation’s history. For women and young girls across the nation it will make a lasting impact to visit a monument dedicated to women suffragists in Washington D.C..”

“I am incredibly grateful for Congressman Neguse’s leadership and dedication to getting this bill passed out of the House of Representatives ahead of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification this August,” said local artist and Loveland resident Jane DeDecker. “A monument to the women’s suffragists, the legacy they forged and the rights they secured is a needed addition to Washington D.C. I believe that this sculpture will inspire young women to take action, make their voices heard and continue the movement for equal rights.”

“This bill is a timely testament to the diverse, multi-generational movement that ensured the right of women across our nation to vote”, said Jody Shadduck-McNally, President of the Every Word We Utter Board. “It is particularly meaningful for this bill to pass in the most diverse House of Representatives in our nation’s history and under the body’s first female Speaker. We are so grateful to Congressman Neguse and the bipartisan coalition in the House that helped secure passage of this bill.”

“The Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission is proud to support the passage of H.R. 473 to authorize the Every Word We Utter Monument,” said Julia Washburn, Acting Executive Director of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission. “Establishing this monument – the first outdoor statue in the nation's capital dedicated to the women's suffrage movement – would be a vital step in commemorating the history of the 19th Amendment, honoring the courageous efforts of the suffragists, and educating future generations about the power of civic engagement." 

The bill would authorize the Every Word We Utter Board, located in Loveland, Colorado to select and install the historic monument. The board aims to install a statue created by Jane DeDecker which depicts Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Stanton Blatch, Alice Paul and Ida B. Wells. It’s title comes from a letter Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote to Lucretia Mott in which she wrote about the power of words and deeds: “Every word we utter, every act we perform, waft unto innumerable circles, beyond.” View photos of the statue here. 

Since Neguse’s introduction of the bill, companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate, co-led by Senators Gardner and Bennet.