COVID-19 LWV/Erie County Suffrage Centennial Cancellations, Delays, Changes

COVID-19 LWV/Erie County Suffrage Centennial Cancellations, Delays, Changes

Prevention

This page is to make our followers aware and those that have been attendind LWV/Erie County Suffrage Centennial events that there have been cancellations, delays and changes.  

 Upcoming LWVEC Activities: Debates, Races for State Senate Seat District 49 and the Congressional Seat District 16 will be held with WQLN  PBS Studio and Erie News Now, Dates TBA (September or October of 2020)/ Format: WQLN Studio with a moderator provided by Erie News Now; no audience due to COVID-19 precautions; telivised, multiple airs; public questions collected from NAACP, Environmental Representatives and Political Science Students from Gannon University. LWVEC will offer a question on Fair Voting Districts in PA. ANY QUESTIONS, EMAIL LWVERIE [at] GMAIL.COM

LWV Round Table Issue Discussions with Erie News will resume in mid July 2020.

LWVEC meetings have been scheduled on ZOOM by Andrew Blackburn.  ANNUAL MEETING, ZOOM, Election of Officers was June 17th at 1:30 PM.  All are welcome to partipate in all LWVEC membership meetings. The next meeting will be in July at the Sight Center of NW PA on Wednesday, July 15th, 1:30 PM in the upstairs Conference Room.  The August meeting will be preceded by a presentation by League member, Susan McNeish, on suffragist Helen Keller, at 12 noon is the Sight Center Community Room, lower level.  The League meeting will folllow at 1:30 PM in the upper level Conference Room.  The day, date and time for the LWVEC meeting are Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 at 1:30 PM.  Guests are welcome to the meeting.  The presentation on Helen Keller is free. 

In Person Voter Registrations, in School Voter Education, Voting Machine System Demonstration Town Halls at Blasco--All Suspended.  Find information on online voter registration, completing the census, no excuse absentee balloting from home and mail in balloting from home on this website and the LWVEC Facebook page or email lwverie [at] gmail.com.  

.                                                               Register to vote on line.  Vote411.org

VOTE BY MAIL NOW OR WITH ABSENTEE BALLOT.  EVERY VOTER NOW HAS THE OPTION TO VOTE BY MAIL AND EARLY! (ELECTION REFORMATION ACT #77). NO VOTER NEEDS TO GO TO THE POLLS UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO DO SO.  YOU CAN ALSO REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE UP TO FIFTEEN DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION.  WITH THESE CHANGES TO THE PA ELECTION LAW, VOTER REGISTRATION AND VOTING SHOULD BE INCREASED, EVEN IN THE TIME OF A COUNTY HEALTH SAFETY ADVISEMENT, YOU CAN REGISTER AND VOTE FROM HOME.  VOTE EARLY UP TO FIFTY DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION.  

Events and activities which may proceed:  The Erie Fiber Arts Guild Mobil Suffrage Quilt display (Erie Art Museum, Hagen History Center-June/July respectively), "Every Woman" state sponsored mannequin art--Artlore Studio, Millcreek--the last two weeks of July (a Q/A with the 21 artists and their pieces will be live streamed with information to be forthcoming), Justice Bell replica to arrive at the Hagen History Center July 1st-August 18th, "Helen Keller", an activist, Sight Center of NW PA in July if possible, and the unveiling of the mural "Her Voice, Her Vote" in August.  

The calendar as planned appears on this website and was distributed through library branches, Erie Bank locations and some host organizations.  Our thanks to GoHrs on Demand and Erie Insurance who made these printed calendars available.  

 

What is happening with the signature suffrage event on August 16th, 2020?  From Lorraine Dolan

After discussion with the County Executive, also a LWVEC member, it was decided to follow a different plan.  

In the Erie Times on Tuesday, April 28th, there was a local review on COVID-19 and its impact on the Erie Community.  The County Executive cautioned county residents that even as a possible reopening date nears, summer in Erie will likely look very different than usual.  Major summer events are unlikely to proceed as scheduled.
 
Groups that the League has been working with have already begun cancelling proposed plans.  
 
We have something different in mind.  The idea is to offer Erie County residents everything originally announced, but in a different way.  These new arrangements have already been explored and offer a truly appealing alternative.
 
Press Release on June 23rd, 2020
 

 

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Lorraine Dolan                                                        Lkdolan57 [at] gmail.com ()

Outgoing President and Officer, LWVEC                           

LWV/Erie County Coordinator for

LWV/Erie County 2020 Women’s Suffrage

Centennial Programming

 

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT CENTENNIAL PROGRAMMING CHANGES FOR ERIE COUNTY

                                                                                                  

Due to COVID -19 the LWV/Erie County community 2020 Suffrage Calendar was interrupted with most of 2020’s events being cancelled (2nd Edition).  Nearly 5000 copies of the trifold calendar were distributed through library branches and Erie Bank locations, with two editions being printed. There is still the possibility for a presentation of the Helen Keller presentation at the Sight Center of NW PA in August (Date/Time TBA).  There is also the mobile display of the Erie County Fiber Arts Guild suffrage quilt exhibit that is scheduled to be on view at the Erie Art Museum June and July and at the Hagen History Center in August. The Public can check the League of Women Voters Erie County Chapter website, www. lwverie.org for updates.

The Signature event for Erie County hosted by LWVEC to be held at the Hagen History Center on August 17th has been canceled.  There is a new plan to deliver an inclusive suffrage history, many, archived photos and the story of the Justice Bell, a Pennsylvania political icon commissioned for women’s suffrage.  LWVEC is contracting with WQLN PBS television to offer a special one hour, The Justice Bell and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, special to air multiple times (Thursday, August 13th, 2020/Sunday, August 16th, 2020, during women’s history month 2021) and then be archived in the WQLN Passport library. The focus of the program will be information to have been presented by the keynote speaker, Ms. Amanda Owen, Director of the Justice Bell Foundation, Ardmore, PA.  Ms. Owen is an independent scholar of women’s history specializing in the American women’s suffrage movement. Owen is a co-founder of the Justice Bell Foundation, with a background in social work and a twenty-five-year practice as a counselor. Amanda has been presenting lectures and workshops since the mid-nineties.

She is currently writing a book about the Justice Bell and is working with filmmaker Martha Wheelock on a documentary about the Justice Bell and the women's suffrage movement.

The Justice Bell Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to educate, inspire and mobilize current and future voters. With programs for schools, a film about the women’s suffrage movement, and a replica Justice Bell that will tour Pennsylvania in 2020, the Justice Bell Foundation is committed to reclaiming women’s history and highlighting women’s contributions. Learn more at www.justicebell.org

The Justice Bell, an icon of the women’s suffrage movement, was one of Pennsylvania’s greatest contributions to the cause. The Justice Bell Foundation commissioned a public art replica of the Justice Bell. Artists Erin Addie and Gary Pergolini, overseen by world renowned artist Robert Roesch, Chair of the Sculpture Department of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, created the replica Justice Bell. The replica Justice Bell will be featured at the Hagan History Center from July 1 to August 18, 2020, made possible by the generosity of our regional Highmark network.

Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger of Strafford, Pennsylvania came up with the idea to cast a replica of the Liberty Bell and call it the Justice Bell. Ruschenberger, who paid for the bell, added the phrase “Establish Justice” to the replica. The bell's clapper was chained, to symbolize the silencing of women’s political voices. Ruschenberger and other women took the bell to every county in Pennsylvania during the 1915 campaign to advocate for a Pennsylvania referendum to give women the right to vote.

The state referendum failed in the face of entrenched opposition. But over the next few years, as suffragists continued their fight for the vote, the Justice Bell became a galvanizing symbol not just in Pennsylvania but around the country.

In 1920, after passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave the nation’s women the right to vote, the Justice Bell was finally rung in a huge celebration at Independence Square in Philadelphia.

2020 Suffrage Centennial special programming with WQLN PBS will include American, Pennsylvanian and some local history on women’s suffrage, as well as, provide an overview of other projects underway in Erie County. We will also recognize our sponsors.  Other projects include “Every Woman” a mannequin art project involving 21 local female artists managed by Lena Logvina of Artlore Studio and the public art mural, “Her Voice, Her Vote” being managed for the League by Emily Fetcko of the Erie Downtown Partnership.  Both projects will be presented to the public upon completion.

In addition, a new women’s suffrage experience will be offered to the Erie County Public later this year made possible by a collaboration between the Erie Maritime Museum, the Erie League and the Erie Cemetery.  This event is not ready to be announced, but information will be announced to the public as soon as final preparations are completed.

From the beginning of 2020 women’s suffrage centennial program planning, it has been understood that although the 19th Amendment granted the vote to all American women in 1920, states created roadblocks for certain groups of women, and it was not until the Voters’ Rights Act of 1965 that women of color could feel some of the triumph of the 19th Amendment. Voter suppression continues today.  We are all equally important and the same in so many more ways than we are different.  It should be made clear to the general public that a priority of the League of Women Voters is Diversity, Inclusiveness and Equality.  This priority, alongside the organization’s nonpartisanship, has been strongly messaged to all community partners we have worked with over the past two years,

General Information from LWVEC: After two years serving as President, sitting on the State League Board, coordinating Fair Districts PA (a project of LWVPA) and holding previous officers’ positions locally, Lorraine Morse-Dolan is stepping down as President of LWVEC.  The new Leadership Council can be found on the Erie League website, www.lwverie.org.  Lorraine will continue as a member of Erie’s local chapter, and will also continue as the 2020 LWV/Erie County Suffrage Centennial Project manager. 

The League of Women Voters Erie County Chapter is extremely grateful to our Erie Community for their generosity of time and resources.  Plans have been made for all sponsors to be publicly recognized.  Erie County Government, ECGRA and The Erie Community Foundation, along with Highmark, are the major sponsors. 

Respectfully submitted by Lorraine Dolan, LWVEC, June 23rd, 2020

 
As the County Coordinator and League Officer managing our community's recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, my first thought was to offer funds back to our community where the need was the greatest due to the COVID-19.  The League was advised that an alternate plan to a large public event should be considered.  This is what we have done.