HJR 21: Commemorating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 21 01 Commemorating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS, at the time of ratification, the Constitution of the United States did not 04 define the limits of suffrage, deferring the establishment of voter qualifications to the states; 05 and 06 WHEREAS, in 1878, United States Senator Aaron Sargent introduced an amendment 07 to the Constitution of the United States, known colloquially as the "Anthony Amendment" 08 after women's suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony, that would have prohibited states and the 09 federal government from denying suffrage to citizens of the United States based on sex, but 10 that was ultimately defeated in the United States Senate; and 11 WHEREAS, after the United States Congress established the Territory of Alaska 12 through the Second Organic Act of 1912, the first legislative action by the First Alaska 13 Territorial Legislature was to recognize the right of women to vote. House Bill No. 2, An Act 14 to Extend the Elective Franchise to Women in the Territory of Alaska, was signed into law 15 March 21, 1913--seven years before a similar law would be enacted at the federal level; and 16 WHEREAS, 41 years after United States Senator Aaron Sargent introduced the
01 "Anthony Amendment," following significant political gains made by women's suffrage 02 advocates such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucy Stone, among others, 03 a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote was again introduced by 04 President Woodrow Wilson in a special session of the United States Congress and ratified a 05 year later in 1920 after narrowly achieving the necessary support of three-fourths of the states, 06 with Tennessee being the last state to vote in the affirmative; and 07 WHEREAS, with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of 08 the United States, women's suffrage was achieved in the United States, allowing countless 09 women across the nation and in the state to contribute to the body of legislation in the interest 10 of improving their respective states, the nation, and the world; and 11 WHEREAS, in 1936, Representative Nell Scott was the first female legislator elected 12 to the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives, becoming the first female legislator in 13 Alaska's history; and 14 WHEREAS, in 1949, Senator Anita Garnick was the first woman elected to the 15 Alaska Territorial Senate; and 16 WHEREAS, in 1959, Representative Blanche McSmith was appointed to the House 17 of Representatives by Governor Bill Egan, serving in that body as the first female African 18 American legislator; and 19 WHEREAS, in 1959, Representative Helen Fisher, Representative Blanche McSmith, 20 Representative Doris Sweeny, and Senator Irene Ryan became the first women elected to 21 serve in the First Alaska State Legislature following the proclamation of Alaska as a state in 22 1959; and 23 WHEREAS, in 1987, Senator Jan Faiks became the first woman to serve as President 24 of the Senate; and 25 WHEREAS, in 1993, Senator Georgianna Lincoln became the first Alaska Native 26 woman elected to the Senate and Representative Ramona Barnes was elected as the first 27 female Speaker of the House of Representatives; and 28 WHEREAS, in 1994, Fran Ulmer was elected as the first female lieutenant governor 29 of the state; and 30 WHEREAS, in 2000, Senator Bettye Davis became the first African American 31 woman elected to the Senate; and
01 WHEREAS, in 2002, United States Senator Lisa Murkowski became the first woman 02 from the state to be appointed and later elected to the United States Senate; and 03 WHEREAS, in 2006, Sarah Palin was elected as the state's first female governor and 04 in 2008 was chosen to be republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate, 05 making history again as the first person from the state to run on a presidential ticket; and 06 WHEREAS, in 2019, 23 female legislators serve in the Thirty-First Alaska State 07 Legislature, the largest proportion of women lawmakers in the state's history; and 08 WHEREAS, in 2019, the Dunleavy administration has appointed an unprecedented 09 number of women to historically male-held roles in the executive branch; 10 BE IT RESOLVED that on this 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the United 11 States, the Thirty-First Alaska State Legislature requests that the Lieutenant Governor 12 coordinate recognition and commemorative events throughout the period leading up to and 13 during the 100th anniversary year of 2020 to celebrate the great strides made by women since 14 the establishment of women's suffrage, and specifically celebrate the state's rich history in 15 empowering women as equal members of society.