I applaud the idea to erect a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon in Washington, D.C. A doctor and early proponent of the suffrage movement, Cannon strongly believed in the empowerment of women and helped place women's enfranchisement in the Utah Constitution. Cannon ran against her husband and several others for the Utah State Senate. Her bid was victorious, and she became the first female state senator in the United States.
During Cannon's two terms, she ran legislation promoting the rights of female workers; increasing education opportunities for deaf, blind and mute children, and the establishing of a state Board of Health. Cannon also sponsored Utah's first pure-food law and helped protect the State Board of Examiners from a lobbyist-driven takedown. The board was in charge of ensuring that doctors and midwives were qualified to perform their jobs, thereby preventing impersonators from injuring patients.
She is a sterling example, to both men and women, of the triumph of the human spirit. I can't think of a better representative for our great state than Martha Hughes Cannon.
Ryan D. Curtis
Salt Lake City