Being Feisty Pays Off

Pictured: Janet Buening, Denisha Porter, Melissa Currence

In December 2022, I was honored to be named a Fiesty Woman by the Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati along with my fellow honorees, Janet Buening and Denisha Porter. 

It was an amazing day and such an honor to be introduced by Cathy Bailey, my friend from Leadership Ohio, and to be nominated by Susan Noonan, who I’ve worked closely with through the Cincinnatus Association. They are both feisty women I admire. 

My biggest thank you is to the Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati for this award. 

With this honor, I was reminded of my 2017 visit to Cincinnati History Library and Archives while researching the women’s suffrage centennial for our region (See more in Let Ohio Women Vote, an Emmy award-winning documentary from Think TV/CET). The librarian brought the two old versions of the city’s registered voter rosters–one from 1919 and one from 1920. The 1919 version had a women’s roll and a men’s roll for each city ward because women since 1894 could vote for school board candidates in the state of Ohio. The thinking at the time was women should be able to weigh in on the direction of their children’s education. There were a few pages of women for each ward. 

Then there was the 1920 one. 

It was double the size.  All there was listed were voters—men and many feisty women who were now allowed to vote on all the issues of their day.

I think about how many women were members of the Woman’s City Club, which was founded in 1915, and how many of them now felt empowered because they had a place in this organization to create a political life. I’m grateful the Woman City Club was a home for suffragists during their fight for the right to vote.

Those voter roll books are a great symbol of the power of the enfranchisement, but they also show the fight for voting rights is never done. As we know, many then were left out of voting system in 1920 and work had to continue into the 1950s and ’60s to keep expanding the electorate. And the fight for voting rights continues today. 

Today, I’m so thankful for civic organizations like Woman’s City Club that give those who are the feisty ones —a home to continue this work of educating, empowering and engaging the residents of Greater Cincinnati.

Learn more about 2022 Feist Tea by the Woman’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati below.

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