WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the bipartisan Women's Suffrage National Monument Location Act to ensure that the Women’s Suffrage National Monument is located on the National Mall. In 2020, Senator Baldwin voted to create the Women’s Suffrage National Monument on federal lands in Washington, D.C., but the legislation did not authorize the establishment of the monument on the National Mall. Under current law, a specific act of Congress is required to place a new commemorative work or visitor center on the National Mall, therefore requiring passage of the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Location Act to secure a monument honoring women’s history in the sacred location.
“Over a hundred years ago, our country finally welcomed women to participate in our democracy and extended to them the fundamental right to vote. This milestone was only made possible through a decades-long fight led by women of all backgrounds – including those of color who were still denied the right to vote after the 19th Amendment was ratified – by joining together with the steadfast belief that our country must live up to its ideal of one person, one vote,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to introduce this legislation with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to honor the suffragists and all those who fought for women’s right to vote with a monument in its rightful place, the National Mall. The National Mall is home to memorials for those who fought for our freedom, Presidents who defined our country, and the seat of our government, and it is only fitting that it also houses the Women's Suffrage National Monument. Wisconsin has played a crucial role in the fight for women’s rights and I am proud to continue this long and proud tradition.”
“Tennessee has played a critical role in the women’s suffrage fight since we became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment – granting women the right to vote,” said Senator Blackburn. “As the Volunteer State’s first female United States Senator, I’m pleased to join Senator Baldwin in this bipartisan effort to honor the women, like Susan B. Anthony, who pioneered the way for future generations. It’s time these giants in American history receive recognition on the National Mall.”
The monument will commemorate the women’s suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment was first ratified in Wisconsin and last ratified in Tennessee.
This legislation is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
"I’m delighted to see this bipartisan bill come forward from the women of the Senate to bring a suffragist monument to our National Mall," Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton said. "Honoring the women who fought for our right to vote with a physical monument will mean that people from all over our country and the world can come and learn and honor that history for generations to come.”
“American history has always been a struggle between the promise of equality and the reality of inequality, and this bipartisan legislation commemorates our long and enduring journey toward securing equality for all,” said Senator Bennet. “For centuries, we have witnessed historic calls for progress on the National Mall, and this monument to women's suffrage deserves this most dignified location for its home."
“There is something wonderfully American about the way my former colleagues in the Senate are uniting across the aisle to bring women’s history to the National Mall for the first time," said Senator Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in congressional history and an official Ambassador of the Women's Suffrage National Monument Foundation. “Without a monument to the great women of American history who paved the way for us to fully participate in and shape our democracy, the telling of the American story on our National Mall is not yet complete. It will be a proud day for our country when every girl who visits the National Mall is able to see herself represented amongst the giants of our national story and understand the role her foremothers had in building, securing, and expanding our democracy.”
“We are grateful to Senator Baldwin, Senator Blackburn, and all our supporters in Congress for their commitment to bring a deeper and more complete American history to the National Mall. Women’s fight for the vote is the story of a great American movement for change that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment and moved our Nation ever closer to a more perfect union. It is a story–written by women–about democracy at work and the power and courage of the American spirit. This monument will highlight this critical chapter of American history, broadening and deepening our understanding of the ideals of equality, freedom, and justice so central to the founding of the republic. With the passage of this historic legislation, the great women leaders of American history will finally take their place in the monumental core of our nation's most important commemorative space, the National Mall,” said Anna Laymon, Executive Director of the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation.
Senator Baldwin led a bipartisan group of women Senators in introducing and passing the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission Act into law, creating a commission charged with planning and executing programs, projects and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment. Throughout 2020, this Commission told the story of women’s fight for the vote, culminating in Senator Baldwin’s resolution that designated August 2020 as National Women’s Suffrage Month.
A one-pager on the legislation is available here and the full text is available here.