Perinton Honors Women’s Equality Day

Perinton Honors Women’s Equality Day

August 26, 2020

Perinton Honors Women’s Equality Day

Today, August 26, we honor Women’s Equality Day. First established in 1971, this day commemorates the certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our region’s close ties to the women’s suffrage movement inspired many local leaders, including our officials in the Town of Perinton. Today, Perinton is one of only two towns in Monroe County with a female majority Town Board. 

Learn more about how Perinton’s female leaders have been inspired as they share their words of wisdom with the next generation: 

Jennifer A. West 

Town Clerk

“I grew up knowing that voting is a privilege and expectation. I fondly remember going with my parents as they voted, and the big thrill was getting a sticker! Given this was hardly a reality for women generations ago, I am proud to have carried on the tradition of voting with our daughter, as she now considers it an expectation as well.”

“I think that the most important thing about being an elected official is to remember that you are a public servant and were elected by the voters to represent their ideas and goals for your office and be open minded to input.  You have to think that way every day when you come to work (or are out in the community) and present your best self each day!”

Peg Havens

Town Board, Deputy Supervisor

“I didn’t have a full realization of how precious my right to vote is until I visited the Susan B. Anthony house with my daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and nieces many years ago. We learned of Anthony’s courage and the story of how hard she and her colleagues worked to attain women’s suffrage.  I had previously taken my right to vote for granted.  Understanding the challenges that Anthony and these brave women overcame and their dedication to giving women in future generations the right to vote, fostered a genuine appreciation for the privilege of voting in this great country of ours.”

“I would like the next generation of female leaders to know that, through hard work and perseverance regardless of what career path you take, you can make a difference. Be kind, and always listen to others to broaden your perspective and to learn all you can about the world we live in. Hold true to your beliefs and core values, and do all you can to make this world a better place.”

Seana Sartori

Town Board

“I vividly recall the excitement I felt in casting my fist vote. I approached it as I approach just about everything, with hours of research. I researched the candidates’ backgrounds and viewpoints. I spoke to my parents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors. I watched debates on television and read articles in newspapers and magazines until I felt that I had made an informed decision. I properly registered, double checked my polling location and memorized my district. When I arrived, however, my nerves got the best of me. The thought of my name not being on the list overcame me. What then? I wasn’t prepared for this scenario. Thankfully, this was a non-issue as my eyes darted upon the page until I spotted my name clearly printed upside down. I listened intently to the instructions, walked to the booth, pulled the lever and felt the curtain close behind me. It was at that moment when I suddenly felt grown-up and mildly important for fulfilling my civic duty. That evening, I eagerly watched the televised results with my family, reflecting on the national impact of such a significant event.”

“As both an attorney and the mother of two daughters, the historical significance of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, undeniably warrants commemoration. The amendment helped create opportunities for women like me, who are inspired by public service. I encourage the next generation of female leaders to draw upon their life experiences as mothers, daughters, wives, students, athletes, employees and volunteers, and take stock in the traits that make them uniquely qualified to serve as public officials. My advice to them is to recognize those traits, set a goal, remain focused on achieving that goal and never let fear derail you. To that end, soaking up the wealth of knowledge of those who have walked the path before you can make all the difference. Don’t underestimate the value in identifying a mentor who can guide you, encourage you and provide honest feedback to help you better reach your goal.”

Meredith Stockman-Broadbent

Town Board

“Voting has always been a personal matter in my family.  Growing up, my parents reminded each other to vote, and came home proud with the “I voted” sticker.  I remember the year my mom first ran for Fairport Library Board Trustee and our garage was filled with yellow lawn signs.  They were pretty basic and plain, but got the job done – “Vote for Suzanne Stockman”.  I couldn’t believe that my own mother was running for office.  Of course she was an amazing person, but she was also my mom – a normal person – not famous or living in Washington, D.C.!  It was up to the people in town to turn out and vote to elect her.  She won and it’s been inspiring to watch this “normal woman” do extraordinary things in our town on behalf of the Fairport Public Library and our community.”

“I have two main pieces of advice for the next generation of female leaders:  1.  You don’t need to fit into any “box” to be a leader.  Take your life experiences, skills, talents and interests and use them to serve your community.  Diversity is a great thing. 2.  Learn to talk with people – especially people who are different from you.  The more you get to know your community members, the better you’ll be able to represent them.  It can be intimidating to talk with people you don’t know – but once you start a conversation, you’ll probably find that you have so much in common and most people appreciate someone taking the time to learn about them.  So practice talking with people – older people, young people, people from different friend groups, different cultures – and then be ready to listen.”