In school, you were probably taught that womxn achieved suffrage with the ratification of the 19th amendment on August 18th, 1920. But not all womxn did. The 19th amendment granted suffrage only to white womxn; it made discrimination on the basis of sex illegal at the polls. However, discrimination on the basis of race was still legal. Female BIPOC were forced to continually fight for their right to vote over the course of the 20th century.
Here, the intersectional identities of American womxn become particularly salient; womxn gained the right to vote at different times depending upon their race. Indigenous womxn gained suffrage in 1924, while Asian American womxn fought through the 1940s and 50s. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed by President Johnson, granted suffrage to African American womxn.
2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. We take these milestones as an opportunity to celebrate the suffrage, leadership, and achievements of all womxn.
Lexington's Female Politicians:
Then and Now
Beginning in 1929, Lexington's Town Meeting transitioned from a town hall with mandatory participation from property owners, to an elected body of representatives. From the outset, 25 women were elected to serve as Town Meeting Members. Over the following century, women continued to serve at increasing rates, and began serving in positions of local government leadership.
To learn more about our female politicians, visit the Timeline page
Lexington's Community Leaders
Holding political office was not the only way that women led our town and enhanced our community. Beginning in the 18th century with resistance to the British Empire, Lexington's women have been at the forefront of community involvement and local change.
To learn more about women's community leadership in the last century, visit the Profiles page
Our current female leaders
Lexington's current female leaders deserve equal attention as the women who paved the way. To read about the women bringing change to Lexington and beyond, check out our profiles page. If you want to nominate a female Lexingtonian leader of today, click the button below to fill out a short form.
Lex - Celebrate - Suffrage?
LexCelebrate is project that seeks to celebrate the female leaders of Lexington. It is managed by Shira Garbis, under the direction and guidance of Representative Ciccolo.
Representative Michelle Ciccolo
Michelle Ciccolo is the State Representative for the 15th Middlesex District, which includes all of the Town of Lexington and part of the City of Woburn. She is a lifelong Lexington resident who has devoted her career to public service in our town and state.
Shira is a rising Junior at McGill University, where she studies Political Science and International Development. She was born and raised in Lexington, and feels strongly connected to her community. By managing this project, she hopes to celebrate suffrage and highlight the achievements of Lexington's womxn in an inclusive and intersectional space.
* Please note that this project was created with the intention of celebrating all womxn. On this site, the term womxn is used as a noun to refer to all individuals who identify as 'women.' Likewise, the term 'female' is used as an adjective to describe the aforementioned womxn. If this project can be made more inclusive in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out to with suggestions and feedback.