DENVER | Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet co-introduced bipartisan legislation this week that puts a Women’s Suffrage National Monument one step closer to reality.
The legislation ensures that the monument would be located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Along with former Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, Bennet authored a bill in 2019 — 100 years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment — that created the memorial. A special act requires another authorization for the memorial to be located on the Mall.
“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,” Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation Executive Director Anna Laymon said of the two-mile stretch of land between the U.S. Capitol and Lincoln Memorial.
“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.”
Gardner and Bennet’s legislation two years ago successfully granted Colorado artist Jane DeDecker the ability to install her sculpture “Every Word We Utter,” which commemorates the women who were pivotal in the movement: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Lady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, and Ida B. Wells.
“‘Every word we utter, every act we perform, waft unto innumerable circles beyond.’ The work of which Stanton spoke is not yet done,” DeDecker said of her sculpture in 2019. “I believe that ‘Every Word We Utter’ will inspire young women to take action, make their voices heard and continue the movement.
For Bennet, the monument is another symbol in the fight for equality.
“American history has been a struggle between our highest ideals and our worst impulses, and between the promise of equality and the reality of inequality. This bipartisan legislation recognizes and commemorates our nation’s long journey toward securing equality for all,” he said in a statement. “The National Mall has been the site of historic calls for progress, and this monument deserves this most dignified location in both our nation’s capital and our nation’s history.”
Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., also co-sponsored the legislation.