As the youngest female to ever serve in the Ohio General Assembly, March is always a special month for me as it is Women’s History Month in the United States. This period offers us a meaningful time to reflect on women’s movements throughout our history and the contributions women have made and continue to make in our country today.  

Serving as your state representative for three terms now has afforded me a unique vantage point on this front. I have come to treasure my ability to run for public office, bring about change, and vote—both for legislation and to elect our government officials. Sadly, these rights were not always available to women. Especially this month, I am reminded of the women leaders who helped make civic and political involvement possible for half of the American people.

One of my biggest inspirations is Susan B. Anthony, a radical in her day who championed the causes of abolition and women’s suffrage. Born in Adams, Massachusetts in 1820, Anthony grew up with a Quaker background and became a teacher. In 1852, she jumped aboard the women’s voting rights movement, bolstered by her likeminded ally, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Following decades of commitment to the movement, Anthony served as president of the National American Women Suffrage Association from 1892 to 1900.

Although Anthony did not live to see the full fruits of her work, she nevertheless prepared America to adopt the Nineteenth Amendment years later in 1920. Her passion and drive truly paid off, as women finally received voting rights in the United States. Anthony’s words, to “forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place,” are clearly manifested in how she lived her life and what she invested her time in. These are also words that apply to us today, both women and men—to step up and speak up for what we believe in.

Susan B. Anthony is only one example of many women leaders who have sought and effected purposeful change in our country. This month, and every month, may we remember the essential role that women have played in the founding and development of our state and country. As always, I consider it an immense privilege to serve my constituents and community, and I invite you to join me in extending our heartfelt gratitude to the women history makers who have succeeded in empowering other women and making our nation an infinitely better place. 

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