Opening Event at Downtown Library Spotlights Month-Long Calendar of Women’s Activities
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Executive Director of the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women Sawrie Becker, elected officials, representatives of the Buffalo & Erie County Public library, and numerous partner organizations to kick off March as Women’s History Month in Erie County with a noontime event at the downtown library. The local commemoration of March as Women’s History Month matches the national commemoration, declared by Congress in 1987 as advocated by the National Women’s History Project and many other national organizations. This year’s national theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.”
“March gives us a month-long opportunity to celebrate the many contributions women have made to our society, both nationally and here in Erie County. They are our co-workers and colleagues, our mothers, daughters, wives, and friends, and while we recognize their achievements we must also work to ensure a level playing field for them,” said Poloncarz. “New York has a proud history as being the birthplace of the women’s history movement and it’s time to lead again. As I said in my State of the County address, we must end income inequality between genders. Women should be paid on the same scale as men for similar work, and I call on the Erie County IDA to institute such a policy and end discrimination against female employees by companies that seek tax breaks.”
Commissioner Sawrie Becker added, “The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women is proud to collaborate for the fifth straight year to highlight and celebrate women with a vibrant calendar of events and networking opportunity for organizations that serve women. Today, while we remember the extraordinary women of our past, we also recognize that women and young girls in Buffalo and Erie County are making their own exciting history every single day!”
The keynote speaker for the event was Deputy Elizabeth Fildes of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, a 32-year veteran of the force who spoke on the issue of human trafficking in Buffalo and Erie County. Along with the recently-closed Everywoman Opportunity Center’s Director Myrna Young, Fildes was honored with the first-ever “Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment” award.
The kickoff event also included displays from several non-profit partner organizations offering resources and information on services important to women; the unveiling of the 2014 Women’s History Month calendar of events; and remarks from officials, including opening remarks from County Executive Poloncarz.