Fleeson Gooing was recently pleased to be a sponsor of a Centennial Luncheon celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. The luncheon was hosted by the Kansas League of Women Voters and the League of Women Voters of Wichita Metro. Speakers were former Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker and Chris Carson, President of the League of Women Voters of the US.
The Nineteenth Amendment was passed by Congress in 1919. Over the next year it was ratified by the requisite number of states and was formally adopted on August 26, 1920. Its passage coincided with the creation of the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization formed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. Today, the League focuses on issues such as voter suppression, gerrymandering and voter registration and education.
Fleeson Gooing has strong historical ties to the League of Women Voters. Jane Brooks, the wife of the firm’s founder, C.H. Brooks, served as the first permanent chair of the National League of Women Voters from March of 1919 to February of 1920. She also organized the Sedgwick County League of Women Voters (later, the Wichita League of Women Voters), which may have been the first local League in the nation.
Jane Brooks served in many leadership roles in the Kansas and Wichita Leagues before her death in 1945. In addition to her husband founding what would eventually become Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch, her son, Willard Brooks, grandson, Bill Thompson, and great-grandson, Ed Healy, were all attorneys in the firm. Bill retired from the firm in 2016 and Ed in 2018.
The firm’s ties to the League of Women Voters have continued. Gwen Bell, wife of late-Fleeson Gooing attorney Carl Bell, served a two-year term as President of the Wichita League, and Kayla Vix, a former Fleeson Gooing staff member, is currently a Communications Manager for the League of Women Voters of the US in Washington, DC.