Santa Clara County celebrates Women's Suffrage Movement

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- With many dressed in Suffragette white, hundreds gathered in front of San Jose's Martin Luther King, Jr. Library Monday morning to kick off a year-long celebration leading up to the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote.

"This isn't about being cutting edge," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. "This is about having a community that really reflects our values of equity, and what does that look like?"

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The goal of the event was to encourage voter registration. This comes as the US Census Bureau announced that its staff would be canvassing Santa Clara County neighborhoods until mid-October to confirm addresses. County officials are urging residents to participate and say this routine process will help ensure the accuracy of the Census 2020 count.

"Women's rights are human rights," said San Jose resident Randi Kinman. "If we don't have equality, nobody will."

In 1911, Santa Clara County was pivotal in giving women the right to vote in California, when 60 percent of voters voted in favor of the measure, which was soundly defeated in San Francisco and barely passed in Los Angeles.

"The more that we have these types of events, the more inclusive they become, and the more that we can reach other under-served populations," said Santa Clara resident Dontae Lartigue, who attended the rally and march with his wife.

Community members say it's important to draw inspiration from the past.

"There has to be a change. We know something's going on," said San Jose resident Cristal Rodriguez. "A lot of women don't get equal pay as men, and I feel that with this movement, a lot can be different."
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