County of Marin - News Releases - Celebrating Voting Rights

For Immediate Release
February 18, 2020

Speaker Series Commemorates Voting Rights

Marin County Free Library to host monthly talks starting February 25

San Rafael, CA – It’s not only election season, but it’s the season to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The milestone gave American women the right to vote, although many remained disenfranchised. To commemorate the occasion, the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) and its partners have created a series of free speaking engagements in San Rafael, starting February 25.

From left, Sara Jones, Chantel Walker, Laurie Thompson, Carol Acquaviva with the voting rights display at the library. Marin County Free Library staff stand in front of a display titled “Celebrating Voting Rights & Women’s Suffrage” inside the Anne T. Kent California Room at the Civic Center Library. From left are: Sara Jones, Director of County Library Services; Chantel Walker, Assistant Director; Laurie Thompson, Head Librarian, Anne T. Kent California Room; and Carol Acquaviva, Librarian & Digital Archivist, Anne T. Kent California Room.
MCFL Director Sara Jones and members of her staff will serve as hosts for each public talk from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Anne T. Kent California Room’s Map and Special Collections Annex. The venue is in Suite 182 in the County’s building at 1600 Los Gamos Drive in northern San Rafael.

Despite passage of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, and a century of civil rights advancements in America, the struggle for universal voting rights is an ongoing effort.

“As a library system, we are thrilled to be a leading partner in the Marin celebration of the 19th Amendment as an important milestone in our nation’s democracy as well as modern voter rights and engagement today,” Jones said.

“I’m honored to be part of this series,” said Marin County Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts. “Marin has a long tradition of being No. 1 or among the leaders on the list of California counties with the highest voter turnouts in major elections. That’s a strong signal that our residents are active participants in the democratic process and that they value these historical milestones in voting rights.”

Here is the lineup of guest speakers:

  • Tuesday, February 25 – Former Dominican University of California professor Dr. Patricia Dougherty will present a historical review titled “Votes for U.S. Women: The 72-Year Struggle.”
  • Monday, March 23 – Sue Ream from the League of Women Voters of Marin County presents on “100 Years Strong: Votes for Women & League of Women Voters.”
  • Wednesday, April 29 – Dr. Khal Schneider, history professor at Sonoma State University and a tribal citizen of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, presents on “Native American Voting Rights and the Citizenship Question.”
  • Monday, May 11 – Marin County Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts presents on “Voter Engagement and the Path Ahead in Marin.”

MCFL has made the series possible through partnerships with the League of Women Voters of Marin County, and the Marin County Elections Department/Registrar of Voters, the Marin County Library Foundation and the Friends of the Marin County Free Library.

On February 25, the Marin County Board of Supervisors plans to consider a resolution honoring Marin’s original suffragettes and all those who have worked to further voter freedoms.

Each speaker series event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. More details about the series as well as series of modern and archival materials about voting rights in the U.S. are available on the MCFL website. Watch for other special voting rights events and displays at MCFL branches.

MCFL recently earned designation as a 2019 three-star library from Library Journal, a trade periodical founded in 1876. It was a first for MCFL. Only 261 libraries across the country earned star status last year for reaching selected per capita output measures.


Sara Jones
Marin County Free Library

3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6051
Email: Sara Jones
Library website