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Women's suffrage exhibit at museum


Visitors to the Los Altos History Museum, many of them candidates in local council races, enjoy the new exhibit on women suffrage.

Last Thursday's reception for the new Los Altos History Museum exhibit, "Votes For Women: Unfinished Business," drew women candidates running for local offices to signify that women play a major role in today's political landscape.

The traveling exhibit, running through Nov. 21, originated at the Huntington Library in Southern California. The California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA) scaled it down for portability and has sponsored its showing throughout California since 1999.

Only about half of the exhibit featured at the Los Altos History Museum is from CERA and the Huntington Library. The other half, which covers the period from the passing of the 19th Amendment to modern day, was created by a committee of History Museum members and volunteers.

For the Los Altos exhibition, Jane Reed, former mayor and exhibit chairwoman, formed a group to expand the exhibit to reflect the current climate of a presidential race in full swing.

"What I was amazed at … how much the museum members have contributed to the exhibit," said committee member Mike Larkin.

Colette Cranston, herself a candidate for Los Altos Hills City Council, suggested that female candidates from all over the Peninsula could come and be part of the exhibit's opening night.

"As a History House member, I got the notice about this exhibit, 'Votes For Women,' and thought it would be advantageous both for women candidates running on the Peninsula and the Museum to come here for this opening event," Cranston said.

The opening, Sept. 23, reflected her input with women candidates from Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Mountain View attending.

"With only 14 out of 100 women in the U.S. Senate, as a group women need to make their voices heard so that we have greater representation in elected offices," said Connie Chronis.

The Los Altos History Museum, located at 51 S. San Antonio Road, is open noon to 4 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, Admission is free. For more information, call 948-9427 or logon to www.losaltoshistory.org.

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