Democratic National Convention

By: Jonathan Rothschild, Tucson mayor46azb2016

At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month, watching history being made as we nominated Hillary Clinton for president, I thought about my mother and my daughter.

I thought about the values we pass down, and the values we live by. We value equality, but, as a society, we’re still working on living by that value. The United States is the world’s oldest modern democracy, but we have yet to elect a woman as president.

Before she had children, my mother worked outside the home. I’ve never asked her what her work experience was like, or whether she would have preferred a career, but I’m certain she would have preferred to have options – more options than were readily available to women of her generation.

I wonder how many young women today realize that it wasn’t until federal legislation passed in 1974 that a woman could readily obtain a credit card or mortgage without having a man co-sign for her.

The oldest member of Arizona’s delegation to the convention, Geraldine “Jerry” Johnson Emmett, was six years old when women won the right to vote. I will never forget her big grin as she cast the roll call vote of 51 delegates for “the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.”

In an interview with USA Today, Jerry remembered going with her mother as she cast her first vote. “We all walked out in the middle of the street and cheered, like they’re cheering here – because my mother was going to get to have a say! That was something!”

My daughter lives in a very different world from the one her grandmother grew up in. It’s a more challenging world, in some respects. But it’s a world with many options – options available to her, as well as my sons. I look forward, this November, to seeing one more option open up, one more barrier fall, as we continue down the path set forth in our Constitution, toward a more perfect union.