In January of 1919, Frances Rosemary Browning was born in Baltimore. For me, that year was significant for many reasons. Frances Browning was my grandmother, and in May of 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment. My grandmother was schooled through the eighth grade; she left school to help take care of her family. Though she was not able to attend school long, education was extremely important to my grandmother. I have fond memories of sitting in her kitchen completing my homework or reading a book.
My grandmother also took her right to vote seriously. I remember driving to the polls with my mother and my grandmother. Three generations of women, all born in an era where women could vote. I continue that voting tradition. I remember taking my two children with me to the polls and telling them how important it was to vote.
And now my granddaughter is eight years old. She has many positive female role models who are engaged in our election process and who serve as elected officials. Chloe has helped write post cards and put out signs during a few election seasons. She has even written letters to elected officials. Chloe knows that her voice will be heard.
It is my hope that all women will exercise their right to vote in this upcoming election. Many women have paved the way to enable us to do so and we honor them by casting our votes. Our past, present, and future democracy depends on our votes.
Lois A. Jarman is a member of the Frederick County Board of Education.