SAN LUIS, Calif.-
A luncheon was held today at the San Luis Obispo Embassy Suites in celebration of The League of Women Voter's 100th anniversary.
The SLO chapter held the event in honor of visionary women.
Voter rights and the current climate of voting this election was discussed.
“For many years women did not have the right to vote,” said the SLO chapter League of Women Voters Co-President Cindy Absey.
Women first got the right to vote on August 18th in 1920 when the 19th amendment was passed. The League of Women Voters had a hand in that.
“But it continues to be a struggle today,” said Absey.
A struggle that many who attended are crusading against.
“As we look out at the landscape of what's happening now we still see a lot of oppression of women's voices,” said SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon.
The keynote speaker was the first and only African American president of the National League of Women Voters in the past 100 years, Dr. Carolyn Jefferson Jenkins.
“For the first 100 years, women of color have been marginalized in league history. So my title for today is to finish the fight. That is a phrase that came from Carrie Chapman Catt,” said Dr. Jenkins.
Carrie Chapman Cat was the founder of the league in the 1920s.
An actress read her words for the crowd.
“It's been exactly 100 years since the last time I gave this speech,” said the actress.
Dr. Jenkins focused her message on the footnotes of history, women of color who contributed but who didn't receive credit. She also spoke on our nation's current voter controversies.
“Right now the constitution and the entire democratic process are being challenged in ways they have never been challenged before,” said Jenkins.
Voter suppression has been an ongoing debate. Something many feel is a threat for this election.
“It is their right to vote but unless you exercise that right, whatever we end up with in terms of elected officials is what we get,” said Jenkins.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization.
With more than 700 chapters.
They offer election information on their website that can help voters.