In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment the Moose Lake Star-Gazette will be reaching out to “Leading Ladies” in our community to find out what voting means to them. Each week until the October 29, 2020 edition of the Star-Gazette we will feature a submission. Writers are asked to keep their response to approximately 250 words, avoid party and candidate endorsements and focus instead on what the right to vote means to them. 

This week we asked United States Senator Amy Klobuchar.

What does the right to vote mean to you? 

As we mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, we can never forget that women were not given the right to vote -- women across our country fought for and won the right to vote. In Minnesota, it was women like Dr. Mary Jackman Colburn, Sarah Burger Stearns, Clara Ueland, and Sarah Tarleton Colvin who worked tirelessly to make it happen.

When I arrived in Washington, D.C., as the first woman ever elected to represent Minnesota in the Senate, there were only 16 women. There are now 26 women senators, an all-time high. And our numbers aren’t just rising, our influence is as well, as we see more and more women in leadership positions. 

And that is great news, because the women of the Senate are some of the most effective legislators I know. According to one study, women senators are not only more effective, but are also more likely to cross the aisle and support one another to pass legislation. In short, we get things done.

And not just in politics. Women have made incredible strides in all areas of leadership -- from the boardroom to courtroom and beyond. Women are circling the earth and anchoring the news. They make up more than half of the jobs deemed “essential” during this pandemic. And women now lead 37 Fortune 500 companies. 

As we celebrate this centennial of the 19th Amendment, we should be proud of how far women have come, and commit to moving women’s leadership forward. Because it falls to all of us to keep working to get democracy right. And that’s what women suffragists struggled and sacrificed for 100 years ago.

-U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

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