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Letter: Hazelton for judge

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Friday, March 4, 2016

According to the Seneca County Courier of July 14, 1848, “A Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women will be held in the Wesleyan Chapel, at Seneca Falls, N.Y. on Thursday, the 19th and 20th of July current…The public generally are invited to be present on the second day, when Lucretia Mott of Philadelphia, and other ladies and gentleman, will address the Convention.”

Thanks to the two-day Seneca Falls Convention held at Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, women suffragists, like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucretia Mott, and others were optimistic that women, who had been treated as second-class citizens for too long, finally would secure the right to vote. Further, abolitionist Frederick Douglass was among the distinguished list of men present on the second day.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment (the Women’s Suffrage Amendment) reflected an era where many women assumed judgeships both through election and appointment. Those women chose not to sit home and bake cookies. Yet, too many women today take voting for granted, despite the aforesaid struggles to promote universal suffrage. Moreover, we need more women on the bench around the country.

Interestingly, Gwyn Hilburn is the only female resident judge in Pitt County. It would be reassuring to see droves of women go to the polls in March and support Wendy Hazelton, a competent attorney who advocates for making a difference from the bench and equal protection and due process under the law for everyone.

Let’s learn from the past and realize that women also are capable of serving honorably on the bench also. Last but not least, women have the voting power to elect their own and not depend on men to represent them on the bench.

KEITH COOPER

Greenville

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