First Amendment First Vote attends NYS Governor Inauguration


Feminism and gender parity in government are important issues that are being addressed in the Shaker community; a new club called First Amendment First Vote formed this year. Its name highlights the significance of the United States Constitution’s First Amendment, as well as suffragists’ success and long suffering in gaining women’s right to vote. Our members are girls who demonstrate leadership skills and determination. In early December, we attended a regional seminar at the Crossings of Colonie, where we met several women in New York State elected positions who discussed the challenges and joys of being female leaders in politics. These women offered their wisdom about their career and ideological journeys and truly showed us that we have a voice and can be successful leaders. The seminar gave us refreshed perspectives on the world and gratitude for the enormous effort of the women in suffrage movements who fought for America’s future female generations to be able to cast a ballot and be involved in politics. 

New York State is lucky enough to have many female representatives in government. The inauguration of our first female Governor took place on January 1, 2023, at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. Governor Kathy Hochul has served in office since August 24, 2021, but nevertheless this was still a special day. A handful of 1st Amendment 1st Vote members attended the event, and it was  a privilege to be present at such an occasion, and Hochul’s illuminating words underscored the pride I felt in knowing a woman was chosen to lead our strong state of New York. After her oath, she spoke of the systemic changes she will implement in office, such as making housing accessible, keeping communities safe, and protecting abortion rights; these all show her true dedication to the people of New York. The excitement of attending this event as a young woman was immense for me, especially because remarks of fellow members of First Amendment First Vote were featured in Governor Hochul’s official commencement video (which can be viewed on her Instagram page). Governor Hochul has New Yorkers’ needs in mind, and she embodies the potential for young women to achieve leadership and create change. The next four years are sure to be great ones filled with vital policy changes, for we have a strong woman supporting our state and our people.