The city of San Diego, the San Diego Convention Center and the National Park Service will illuminate the California Tower in Balboa Park; the Convention
Center Sails Pavilion; and the Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument in purple and gold this week to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.
"This week, San Diego will be illuminated in colorful lights to celebrate the single largest expansion of voting rights in American history," Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said. "Millions of women can cast their ballots in November because our nation had the collective will to enshrine in our constitution this fundamental right. My daughter will soon be old enough to vote, and this is the time to remember it would not be possible if not for people just like us who 100 years ago spoke out for what was right."
The national Forward Into Light campaign called for the lighting to take place on Wednesday, the centennial anniversary, but Faulconer decided to illuminate San Diego's landmarks for the entire week. Residents can view the lit San Diego landmarks starting at sundown on Monday and continuing through Friday. For its sake, the Park Service started illuminating the lighthouse on Point Loma on Friday for the weekend nights and will also do so this coming Friday.
“The park’s history covers many centuries, from the Cabrillo expedition in 1542 to WWII coastal defense history. From the 1800s, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse represents a story of equal pay for women in the United States, so we are using it as a backdrop to illuminate other stories of women’s history, including the ratification of the 19th Amendment during the Forward Into Light event,” said Cabrillo National Monument Superintendent Andrea Compton.
The national campaign is led by the bipartisan Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission established by Congress.
Other organizations joining in the campaign include St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral and the Women's Museum of California.
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The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was officially certified Aug. 26, 1920, following approval by Congress and ratification by two-thirds of the states. California granted women the right to vote through the passage of Proposition 4 in 1911 and became the 18th state to ratify the 19th Amendment on Nov. 1, 1919.
"The time, strategy and passion that some of the greatest women in history took to shape our future at the risk of everything to them must be celebrated," said Aimee Faucett, Faulconer's chief of staff. "We as women must continue to advocate and fight for the rights that we deserve and for those of others. We have always had a voice and will empower young girls to use theirs just as the suffragists did for us."
The San Diego City Council currently has a female majority for the first time in its history. City Attorney Mara Elliott is the first woman to serve in that role. Other top positions held by women in the city include the city's chief operating officer, two deputy chief operating officers, the city clerk, independent budget analyst and 13 department directors.
Cabrillo National Monument, which has been shut down like many other landmarks and attractions during the coronavirus pandemic, is currently in a phased reopening. The newly renamed Museum of Us, which houses the California Tower, is currently shuttered due to coronavirus restrictions.