December 17, 2020

Legislation Introduced by Congressman Neguse to Install Women's Suffrage Monument Is Signed into Law

Washington D.C.—Today, bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Neguse to install the first-ever outdoor monument honoring the women’s suffrage movement was signed into law by President Trump. H.R. 437 was first introduced in the House by Congressman Neguse in January of 2019, and was inspired by artist Jane DeDecker, 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.

“I am honored and delighted that this historic bill has been signed into law and that the Every Word We Utter effort can now begin in earnest to install a national women’s suffrage monument in our nation’s capital,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a historic 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 honor their perseverance, commitment and the long-fought victories gained by all women. The monument will be a special site for future generations of Coloradans and those from throughout the country to visit.”

“The Every Word We Utter Board and our supporters are beyond thrilled that Congressman Neguse’s legislation empowering us to construct a monument to women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment has now become law,” said Every Word We Utter President Jody Shadduck-McNally. “That Congress and the president were able to come together across party lines to quickly and decisively deliver this victory for history speaks to the power of this project and the great desire to see American suffragists commemorated. We look forward now to continuing the work of this project and seeing a statue created and placed in our nation’s capital.”

“I applaud Congressman Neguse, and the entire Colorado delegation for seeing this legislation through to the end,” said Loveland Sculptor Jane DeDecker. “It is fitting to close this year – the centennial of women’s suffrage – with this strong declaration for the history and legacy of the women’s suffrage movement. Women deserve this commemoration, and the battles for equality that continue today deserve it too.”

“Over multiple generations, women across our nation fought tirelessly for the right to vote. They lobbied, they picketed, they marched. Some were even jailed, but still they came together day after day, and year after year, to secure their rights and the rights of women yet to come,” said Anna Laymon, Executive Director of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. “Today, our government came together to ensure the sacrifices and triumphs of the women’s suffrage movement are never forgotten, nor taken for granted. We share our gratitude with the President and each of our congressional partners for this accomplishment.”

H.R. 437 is the 6th bill authored by Congressman Neguse that has been signed by the President in his first two years in the House of Representatives. Previous laws enacted include legislation to support rural communities through funds for education and road maintenance, a measure to protect wildlife in the Platte River Basin, legislation to adjust the boundary of Arapaho National Forest, a bill to ensure water access for the town of Minturn, Colorado and a bill to reauthorize a critical antitrust enforcement program. 

Background

Congressman Joe Neguse introduced H.R. 473 in January 2019 after constituents in Loveland, Colorado proposed the idea of installing the first outdoor women’s suffrage monument in Washington D.C. The bill would authorize the Every Word We Utter Board, located in Loveland, Colorado, to select the design of and install the historic monument. The board aims to install a statue created by local sculptor Jane DeDecker called “Every Word We Utter,” 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 said of the power of words and deeds: “Every word we utter, every act we perform, waft unto innumerable circles beyond.” 

This legislation gained swift momentum in the House. The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the bill on May 22nd, 2019 and sent the measure to the House floor on September 19th, 2019. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with unanimous support on February 22, 2020. Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Cory Gardner sponsored the companion measure in the Senate. 

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