County Council Women’s History Month proclamation recognizes, celebrates the challenges and contributions of women
The Metropolitan King County Council today celebrated the historic contributions women of every race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background have made, and continue to make in the growth, and strength of King County, Washington State, our nation, and the global community. The Metropolitan King County Council recognized that history in proclaiming March Women’s History Month in King County.
At today’s recognition, the past joined the present as former County Councilmembers Louise Miller and Jan Drago joined Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Kathy Lambert and Claudia Balducci in reading the proclamation.
“I’m very pleased former Councilmembers Louise Miller and Jan Drago joined us today to celebrate women’s accomplishments,” said Kohl-Welles. “They are two of the 15 women who have served on the Council. While celebrating how far we’ve come, we must also acknowledge the work remaining to be done. We must work to ensure that all women, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, racial and ethnic background, sexual orientation, or ability, is treated equitably.”
“I am proud to honor the many roles women fill in our society,” said Lambert. “Our state continues to be a leader in the number of women serving in public office. In 2016, Washington State was among the top 5 states with women serving in the Legislature. I’m pleased to recognize the many achievements of women in King County and throughout the nation.”
“As one of the 15 women to have served as a King County Councilmember since the Council’s establishment in 1969, I am proud to join my colleagues in recognizing March as Women’s History Month in King County,” said Balducci. “Women have played a significant role in the history of this county, and have historically fought for people of all backgrounds to attain their full human potential. “In 2017, we must continue to recognize that King County, this nation and indeed the world, will not be fully successful until women of all races and backgrounds achieve equality.”
In 1969, Bernice Stern was a member of the first King County Council after voters approved the County’s Home Rule Charter in 1968. The women who have served residents of King County on the Council are Stern, Ruby Chow, Patricia Thorpe, Lois North, Audrey Gruger, Cynthia Sullivan, Louise Miller, Jane Hague, Maggie Fimia, Julia Patterson, Carolyn Edmonds, Jan Drago and current Councilmembers Kohl-Welles, Lambert and Balducci.
Today’s recognition was an opportunity for all Councilmembers to reflect on the contributions of the women who have served on the Council as well as the challenges facing all women as they continue their vital role in shaping history and policy throughout the world.
“In honoring the legacy of women in King County, we recognize the invaluable contributions that so many notable women have made to our community in both the public and private sectors,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “Our recognition of the past is an important piece in paving the way for the next generation of female leaders.”
“Prior to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ election to Congress, my mother, Jennifer Dunn, was the highest ranking female member of the House Republican leadership team,” said Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn. “I feel it’s important that we celebrate the many accomplishments women have made in order to encourage the younger generations of women in our region to continue to break barriers.”
“Sadly, women continue to face inequities and barriers in this modern age,” said Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski. “King County has made strides to address the policies and systems that contribute to these inequities, especially in the workforce. It is my hope that policies such as our nation-leading parental leave program, which I was proud to author, will serve as a beacon to others.”
Congress recognized “Women’s History Week” in 1981 to celebrate the significant role of women in American history and contemporary society. In 1987, Congress expanded “Women’s History Week” to “Women History Month.”
“Women’s history month celebrates the legacy of women who have made valuable contributions to our society,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “This commemoration is a reminder that by honoring and telling their stories, we can inspire our young people to follow their examples by stepping up and getting involved.”
“Earlier this year, we were reminded of the continuing impact women have in the building of Martin Luther King, Jr. County when close to 200,000 women marched in defiance of the current administration in Washington, D.C.,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “Those women—young and old, and a rainbow of color—told us very clearly that while we have made great strides as a country in moving towards gender equality, we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed, especially women, who continue to be disenfranchised.”
Editors: Cutline for attached photo is: Women who have served on the County Council in the past join current women Councilmembers and Amanda Frame, a member of the King County Women’s Advisory Board, as the Council declared March 2017 as “Women’s History Month” in King County.
(l-r) Councilmembers Kathy Lambert, and Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Amanda Frame, former Councilmembers Louise Miller and Jan Drago, Councilmember Claudia Balducci.
WHEREAS, in 1910, Washington became the fifth state to enact women’s suffrage, and this success helped inspire the campaign that culminated in the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, when women won the right to vote nationally; and
WHEREAS, since 1914, March 8th has been recognized as International Women’s Day; and
WHEREAS, since 1987, March has been designated Women’s History Month, and the President of the United States has proclaimed March to be National Women’s History Month; and
WHEREAS, beginning in 1998, King County has observed March as Women’s History Month in recognition of the role played by women in the growth and development of our economy, our government, our cultural and artistic achievements, and many other areas of accomplishment; and
WHEREAS, with the inception of the King County Council and the election of Councilmember Bernice Stern in 1969, women from all over our county have represented the people of King County on the Council for the past 46 years; and
WHEREAS, women constitute a majority of King County’s population and a significant portion of the labor force, making countless contributions to our community across every facet of life; and
WHEREAS, many women are committed to their dual roles as professional women and mothers; and
WHEREAS, women of every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, and socioeconomic background continue to make historic contributions to the growth and strength of King County, Washington State, our nation, and the global community; and
WHEREAS, women from all backgrounds have fought for equal treatment for all, recognizing that together, women have made great strides;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaim March 2017 as
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
in King County, to recognize and celebrate the contribution women have made to our nation’s history and will make to its future;
DATED this sixth day of March, 2017.