This week I re-introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to award the Congressional Gold Medal to suffragist Alice Paul. The Alice Paul Women's Suffrage Congressional Gold Medal Act officially recognizes Paul's role in the women's suffrage movement and in advancing equal rights for women.
Alice Paul was a person of unimaginable courage who made America more democratic by fighting for equal rights and creating opportunities for women to participate in politics. Even after her death, her influence continues to be significant on our society and culture. I believe that the actions of Alice Paul helped to break the glass ceiling and pave the way for minorities and women in public office.
Alice Paul spearheaded the effort to pass the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting all American women the right to vote. Her courage inspired thousands of women to join the women's suffrage movement. She was among the first group to ever picket the White House and later embarked on a three-week hunger strike with her fellow suffragists when they were arrested for their cause. In addition Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, and fought tirelessly for its passage until her death in 1977.
As a husband, father, and grandfather, I am committed to be a strong advocate for the women in my family and all the women across the nation. Alice Paul dedicated her life to grant women the right to vote and have a voice in our society. She is a true hero, and it is a fitting and overdue honor to bestow her with the Congressional Gold Medal. As we move forward through such difficult economic times, may we all look to Alice Paul and emulate the same courage, dedication, and sacrifice to advance our nation as she once did.
JOE BACA, Congressman
43rd Congressional District