Joanne Howes

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Joanne Howes

Joanne Howes is a Partner, Director of Client Services, Government Affairs of Washington DC consultancy firm Bass & Howes. She is a a frequent advisor to both corporate and nonprofit clients with lobbying strategies, coalition building and strategic planning. She also has expertise in forming new organizations and programs, which she did for the Society for Women's Health Research, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and WomenHeart. Howes oversees projects as a strategic advisor for the National Breast Cancer Coalition, Family Violence Prevention Fund and the National Partnership for Women and Families. Her health policy work for pharmaceutical and biotech corporations such as Genentech, Inc. has involved forging critical alliances with the advocacy community. Prior to joining forces with Marie Bass, Howes served as legislative director for Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and was a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Both Bass and Howes are founding members of EMILY's List, the national donor network for Democratic women candidates that is now the largest political action committee in the country.[1]

Democratic Agenda

More than 1,200 people attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee initiated Democratic Agenda Conference held November 16-18, 1979, at the International Inn and Metropolitan AM Church in Washington 1 DC. The conference focused on "corporate power'; as the key barrier to "economic and political democracy," concepts many Democratic Agenda participants defined as "socialism.'

The Democratic Agenda meetings attempted to develop anti-corporate alternatives" through influencing the direction of the Democratic Party during the period leading to the July 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York.

Workshops included "Do You Want to Run for Delegate" - Diana Chapin, moderator; Joann Howes, Vivian Hall.[2]

Kennedy campaign

In 1979, Joanne Howes was a deputy campaign manager for Ted Kennedy.[3]

Promotion of Geraldine Ferraro

Journalist and Democratic Socialists of America member Harold Meyerson detailed socialist Mildred Jeffrey's work with Joanne Howes to promote 1984 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferarro;[4]

Millie then became “the unelected leader,” in the words of her co-conspirator Joanne Howes, of a committee of seven Democratic women promoting the idea of a female vice presidential candidate on the 1984 ticket. “By the fall of 1983,”recalls Howes, “we came to the conclusion that the right person was Gerry Ferraro” – then an obscure member of Congress from Queens. That required augmenting Ferraro’s visibility and bona fides, and as a result of “Millie’s strategic thinking,” says Howes, the group successfully pressured the party and Walter Mondale to make Ferraro chair of the convention platform committee. The rest is herstory.

Bass & Howes

Howes ran the Washington DC consultancy firm Bass & Howes for many years with Marie Bass.


  1. SPOKE bio
  2. Information Digest, December 14, 1979, page 370/371
  3. [New York Magazine 3 Dec 1979, page 8 Feminists score philandering candidate