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Simon celebrates role of women in politics at League of Women Voters of Illinois State of the State event
CHICAGO – September 17, 2013. Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon on Tuesday joined a panel of elected officials including Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and State Representative Patricia Bellock in a spirited panel discussion celebrating the role of women in politics. The dialogue was part of the League of Women Voters of Illinois’ (LWVIL) State of the State event at the Union League Club of Chicago.
“I am honored to participate in this panel,” said Simon. “Over the last 100 years, women have gone from not being able to vote to holding some of the most important positions in the state. We have made tremendous progress and yet we still have more to do to build a better state for our daughters.”
In an effort to commemorate the dedicated work of the courageous Illinoisans who worked to grant women the right to vote in Presidential elections over 100 years ago, the LWVIL hosted a luncheon featuring a prominent panel of four female elected officials, including Simon, moderated by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. Proceeds from the State of the State benefit the organization’s education fund and its mission of promoting civic education and voter service.
Due to the hard work and efforts of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association and many others, Illinois became the first state east of the Mississippi River to grant women the right to vote in Presidential elections with the signing of the Presidential and Municipal Suffrage Act on June 26, 1913. Seven years later the women’s suffrage movement culminated with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to prohibit any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex.
“From Lottie Holman O’Neill being elected to the statehouse two years after the ratification of the 19th amendment to Dawn Clark Netsch being the first woman to win statewide office, Illinois has a history to be proud of,” said Simon. “Now it’s up to us to keep improving that record.”
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