20 in 2020: People We’re Thankful For – Local Philanthropist and Activist Mary Herr Tally Celebrates Women’s Suffrage – Features


Mary Herr Tally (Photograph by John Anderson)

In a yr that featured each the centenary of the passage of the nineteenth Modification and essentially the most consequential presidential election in many years, voting was on the forefront of Mary Herr Tally’s thoughts. The longtime native philanthropist and activist (to not point out yellow-dog Democrat) felt so passionately concerning the ladies who fought for his or her proper to vote that she poured her personal time, vitality, and sources into recognizing them for the advantage of her fellow residents. Her web site ATX Celebrates Women’s Suffrage featured greater than three dozen entries protecting the historical past of the motion – within the nation, in Texas, within the actions of Black ladies and queer ladies, and extra – alongside present efforts commemorating the suffragists’ battle, with linked Fb and Instagram pages that provided day by day dollops of historical past, inspirational quotes, hyperlinks to articles concerning the motion, reflections on it, and exhortations to ladies to train their proper to vote this yr. Tally wasn’t solely trying to the previous; she felt simply as strongly concerning the current, wanting the ladies of Austin to see how onerous those that got here earlier than them had fought for his or her proper to vote and for them to not let it have been in useless. She beat the drum for voter registration and “get out the vote” drives. And with an eye fixed towards the longer term, she supported the subsequent era of girls leaders by donating all proceeds from the sale of merchandise on her web site to the Ann Richards Faculty for Younger Girls Leaders and Huston-Tillotson College. The flood of crises in 2020 has saved us so targeted on the now that it is powerful excited about yesterday, a lot much less 100 years in the past. However fortunately, Mary Herr Tally remembered the suffragists, and her private mission to remind us of them has been an inspiration.


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