Working Women Helped Achieve 19th Amendment

The Texas AFL-CIO today celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in the U.S., and took stock of the path ahead to secure equal voting rights for all Americans.

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay saluted the women who agitated for decades to secure the fundamental right to help decide who governs:

“The women’s suffrage movement and the working women of the labor movement went hand in hand. The labor movement drew strength from the suffragists’ campaign to raise the status of women and the suffragists drew strength from union protest tactics that served them well.”

“We are proud Texas was an early adopter of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago, but by the same token, we are dismayed that in 2020, Texas is at the forefront of efforts to make it difficult for some communities to vote. From Voter ID requirements to complicity in the Trump White House’s attacks on immigrants, from a seeming inability to avoid voting machine mishaps and hours-long lines in the largest cities to our state’s refusal to expand mail-in voting during a pandemic, our state has not lived up to the promise of the 19th Amendment to expand voting rights.”

“We must acknowledge in 2020 that the 19th Amendment, while a giant step forward, was an imperfect solution that left many Americans behind in the quest for a say at the ballot box. The next steps in the legacy we celebrate today are to vote in record numbers on Nov. 3, then enact the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. That would be the most meaningful salute we can deliver to a women’s suffrage movement that changed our nation dramatically for the better.”