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Arts & Entertainment  December 4, 2020

Bill creating monument to suffrage passes Senate, moves to president

WASHINGTON, D.C. and LOVELAND — One authorization step — the signature of the president of the United States — remains before a group attempting to place a monument to the suffrage movement can be installed in the nation’s capital.

A bill authorizing the placement of a sculpture by Loveland artist Jane DeDecker passed the Senate Thursday. The bill, authored by Colorado Second District Rep. Joe Neguse, passed the House in February of this year. The sculpture, called Every Word We Utter, depicts several of the women who pushed for the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. The amendment was ratified Aug. 19, 1920, 100 years ago this year.

President Donald Trump said in August that he would sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Jane DeDecker talks with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in August 2020 about the quarter-scale version of her current concept piece of Every Word We Utter commemorating the women’s suffrage movement while showing him around her Loveland studio. Courtesy Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald

“It’s exciting for Colorado to spearhead this memorial. I feel like it is so important to have it there; it really needs to happen,” said DeDecker Friday morning.

“Each of the women depicted … brought something unique and irreplaceable to the fight for women’s suffrage. From Sojourner Truth who threw off the shackles of slavery, fled to freedom in the North, and proclaimed to her sisters in suffrage the humanity of women of color, to Alice Paul who brought women out of the home and into the streets to protest for national change, and every woman in between, this statue epitomizes the very tenants of not just the suffrage movement, but our nation’s whole founding: freedom, peaceful protest, and millions of voices coming together as one to create change,” she said.

Neguse pushed the bill over the final congressional hurdle this week when he sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asking that the Senate pass the measure before the end of the year. 

“I’m thrilled to see the U.S. Senate pass our bipartisan legislation today to authorize installation of the first outdoor monument honoring the women’s suffrage movement,” Neguse said. “It is a prime example of what we can accomplish when Colorado’s ingenuity and passion are put to work.”

If the president signs the bill, the next step will be determining a site, which could influence the design. DeDecker has a model of the sculpture that she’s been tweaking for months.

The National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission controls placement of memorials. The commission includes representatives from the General Services Administration, District of Columbia, National Park Service, the Architect of the Capitol, Secretary of the Interior and others.

The local group working to complete the project will hire an architect and review sites allocated for memorials. Together with the federal commission it will select several sites, maybe 10, DeDecker said, then narrow it down to the final placement site.

Fundraising will be important because the memorial will be placed without taxpayer participation, she said. DeDecker said $7 million to $10 million will be needed. “We’ve been told to allocate for more than we think we’ll need.” Everything from the bronze to granite to sidewalks and trees are the responsibility of local fundraisers.

The local Every Word We Utter Monument Board is chaired by Jody Shadduck McNally, who also was appreciative of the Senate’s vote.

“At no cost to the taxpayer, today we made strides in commemorating the women who led our nation to greater equality. There is no better way to ring in the centennial of women’s suffrage than with this kind of public memorial, which will create ripples of inspiration for every generation to come,” Shadduck McNally said.

 © 2020 BizWest Media LLC

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. and LOVELAND — One authorization step — the signature of the president of the United States — remains before a group attempting to place a monument to the suffrage movement can be installed in the nation’s capital.

A bill authorizing the placement of a sculpture by Loveland artist Jane DeDecker passed the Senate Thursday. The bill, authored by Colorado Second District Rep. Joe Neguse, passed the House in February of this year. The sculpture, called Every Word We Utter, depicts several of the women who pushed for the 19th Amendment giving women the right to…

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