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Sean D. Reyes
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Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote in Utah

February 12, 2020

Today marks the 150th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Utah! The Utah Territorial legislature granted women voting rights and the bill was signed into law on February 12, 1870. Two days later, on February 14, 1870, Seraph Young was the first woman in the country to cast a vote under equal suffrage law.

This afternoon, Better Days 2020 Co-Chair Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes commemorated the occasion in a ceremony alongside Governor Gary R. Herbert, Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert, Utah female legislators, and Better Days 2020.   Governor Herbert signed HJR 12, a resolution honoring the Utah women who contributed to the women’s suffrage movement.

Listen to the ceremony below.

Utah’s history is filled with incredible women leaders who advocated for women’s rights and helped shape Utah into what it is today. Women like Seraph Young, Martha Hughes Cannon, Lavina Murdock, and Mae Timbimboo Parry blazed a trail that spanned decades and generations and is still ongoing today.

We are proud to partner with organizations like Better Days 2020 who raises awareness about the value of women leaders in civil and corporate communities. We encourage Utahns to join with us as we celebrate women’s right to vote in Utah. Read more about the prominent women in Utah’s history here.

Utah AG Conference Room Dedicated to Utah’s First Female Attorney

October 2, 2019

Today, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, in partnership with Better Days 2020 and Women Lawyers in Utah, dedicated the meeting room in the AG’s office as the “Snow Carleton Conference Room” after Cora Georgiana Snow Carleton, Utah’s first female attorney.

Listen to the dedication audio here:

Cora Georgiana Snow Carleton (1844–1915) and Phoebe Wilson Couzins (1839–1913) were the first two women admitted to the Utah Bar in 1872; and they were admitted on the same day.

Carleton studied law for three years with her father, Zerubbabel Snow, who was then the Attorney General of the Utah Territory and later a territorial Utah Supreme Court Judge. A committee appointed by Chief Justice McKean of the territorial Utah Supreme Court examined and approved Carleton’s application for admission. Carleton served as territorial librarian and later moved to Wyoming and entered politics. She served as an alternative delegate to the 1892 presidential convention. Carleton later moved to San Diego, where she was a member of the Board of Education. She died in 1915.

Utah was one of the first states or territories to welcome a woman into legal practice. However, it would be another two decades before another woman was admitted to the Utah bar.

Cora Georgiana Snow Carleton showed immense determination as she made inroads for women to enter the professional workforce. Without a doubt, Cora knew that standing side by side with her male counterparts would pave the way for women to enter the law. She would be proud to know that we are honoring her memory in this way. Her legacy will continue to champion women of all ages to become attorneys at law.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is proud to honor Carleton by dedicating the Snow Carleton Conference to forever remember the sacrifices she made on behalf of the State of Utah. We as men and women are better 147 years later, because of her courageous and steadfast actions.

“These pioneering women may not have had long resumes of accomplishments, but what they were able to do and the impact and influence that they have resonates for generations and we can still feel it now,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “That’s why we do this, is to continue that legacy going forward and learn from the strength of women in our history to perpetuate that power forward into future generations.”

Watch the live stream of the dedication below.

Celebrating Susan B. Anthony

February 15, 2019

Today we celebrate Susan B. Anthony and her legacy of social reform and her role within the women’s suffrage movement. Even today, Anthony’s well-known voice rings out on behalf of women’s rights and social equality across the nation.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is proud to partner with organizations like Better Days 2020, who are raising awareness about the value of female leaders in civil and corporate communities, and to work alongside the many women in this office dedicated to public service who follow in the footsteps of Susan B. Anthony and all those who dedicated their lives to this end.

“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” – Susan B. Anthony

Better Days 2020 unveils new license plate, AG Reyes applauds their efforts

Did you know?

Utah was the first place where women could vote in the modern nation and helped lead the nation in advocating for women’s right. 

Better Days 2020, a Utahn non-profit, is dedicated to making sure that message is known state-wide. Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, a member of their Advisory Board, took time to celebrate all that they’ve done and will continue to do for Utah. 

“What I love about Better Days…is they are about just reminding us of our history and letting young women today and senior women just have their chance to show what they can do.”
– Attorney General Reyes

Better Days 2020 has a comprehensive plan to raise awareness and advocate for women in civic leadership roles within the state of Utah. This last legislative session, they helped pass a bill to move the statue of Martha Hughes Cannon to the U.S. Capitol building as one of two representative statues for the state. This fall they introduced a curriculum for 4th-7th graders to introduce them to Utah’s role in woman’s suffrage. 

Today they unveiled a new Women’s Suffrage Recognition plate now available from the Utah DMV.

“What better way to get the message out than on the back of a car…and take that message across state lines?”  – Neylan McBaine, Better Days 2020 CEO

Watch the whole press conference below: