Over one hundred-twenty years ago, (1896) a group of 18 women organized the Utah Women’s Democratic Club when women’s right to vote was authorized by the Utah State Constitution. The major purposes of the organization were to support the Democratic Party, promote legislation of interest to women and involve women in the political process.
WDC’s first president was elected as an alternate to the National Democratic Convention in Chicago and had the honor of being the only woman who occupied a seat in the Convention.
The Women’s Democratic Club labored hard to have the constitution of the State of Utah recognize the political equality of women by an equal suffrage clause that was incorporated in the State Constitution in 1896.
In 1922 the Women’s Democratic Club of Utah was determined to receive equal representation in the Democratic Party. Through their efforts, the Democratic State Convention adopted the 50/50 resolution, the first such resolution passed by a political body in the United States.
In 1925’s minutes the Club members honored WDC’s President as she resigned this prominent position to become “Utah’s First Lady”. The minutes give details that members could expect her help by bringing together the women of Salt Lake City and Utah for the common good. She extended an invitation to the members to use her home for meetings of the Club at any time.
In 1928, efforts made by the Women’s Democratic Club helped to pass an “act to entitle women to be official, equal and continuing members of the state, county, precinct and district committee” which was adopted into the by-laws of the State Convention.
The Women’s Democratic Club has been meeting continuously since 1896 and is held to be the oldest women’s club on record in the United States. The Women’s Democratic Club has always held an important role in the political field and ensuring voices of women are heard. The mission of The Women’s Democratic Club is to:
- Encourage women to seek public office
- Support progressive Democrats seeking elective office
- Provide a forum for vigorous discussion of key issues
- Advocate balanced, open, and accountable government
- Work for equal rights and equal protections under law for all