The Rural Patriot

October 26, 2006

Reception for Mrs. Silda Spitzer

Filed under: 2006 Campaigns,Eliot Spitzer,New York State — ellicatt @ 5:47 pm

I had the opportunity to attend the reception for Mrs. Silda Spitzer, wife of Eliot Spitzer, this past Tuesday evening at Holiday Valley, Ellicottville, NY. Due to illness, Mrs. Beverly Massa, wife of Eric Massa, could not attend.

Mrs. Spitzer relayed that this was the 36th New York County that she has visited. She is inspired by going and seeing what people are doing in their communities to make things work, and what is different, unique and special in these areas.

She spoke of some of the problems that New York faces – jobs, the economy, and young people leaving to go to different states. For success, we need to create the kind of environment that Eliot Spitzer stands for and address infrastructure, energy and transportation policies to turn things around. See the promise and the hope. We have a tradition of being at the forefront, and it is time that all of us are ready for change. We have to put these efforts into voting, and get people to the polls.

She spoke of women and the GOTV efforts. “This state was at the front of the suffragette movement.” Single women need to be encouraged to vote. (Did you know that in 2004, 20 million unmarried women nationwide did not vote?)  Mrs. Spitzer spoke of the “New York Women Vote” effort.

By engaging women throughout the state, New York Women Vote will encourage more women to get to the polls and let our leaders know, it’s time for a change. If women turn out to vote, 2006 will be a paramount year for reform. This November, change something, VOTE.
New York Women Vote is a volunteer-driven effort. Women throughout the state will reach out to their friends and neighbors by phone, mail, and face-to-face contact, encouraging them to vote for change in November.

Their goal is for everyone to talk to and encourage six women to vote – get them to the polls – do whatever it takes to get them to go and participate in voting. Studies have shown that when women vote, not only do Democrats win, but also, women win.

She relayed their experience after the Buffalo debate two weeks ago when that area was hit with the paralyzing, heavy snowstorm. They had spent the night at the Buffalo/Niagara Airport, and it sounded as though it was not the most comfortable experience that one could have!

In the time I spent with Mrs. Spitzer, we talked about the volunteer-driven “New York Women Vote” effort. Ms. Judith Hope, President, Eleanor’s Legacy (Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee)and Mrs. Spitzer are the founders of this effort. Mrs. Spitzer relayed that even though women comprise more than 50% of New York State’s population, only 11% of the State Senate and 26.7% of the State Assembly are women. She also relayed the importance of getting young people to the polls this November.

Our mission was inspired by the dynamic legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated her life to expanding the role of women in politics and government. As she famously said, democracy is not about words, but action.

I was delighted to have been able to talk with Mrs. Spitzer and her assistant, (please forgive me for not getting your name), and I appreciate the time they spent here and in talking with me.

CREDIT: “Suffrage parade, New York City, May 6, 1912.” 1912 May 6. By Popular Demand: “Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920, Library of Congress.

Ladies – do not let down the women who came before us and fought so hard for our right to vote. It has been only 86 years that women have had the right to vote (August 26, 1920). We owe it to them – make sure you get out and vote, and please encourage others to do so!

You may also find this interesting: “One Hundred Years toward Suffrage: An Overview”.


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