Difference between revisions of "Women Leading Letter"

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Revision as of 00:27, 27 March 2020

The Women Leading Letter was released in early 2020.

Background

Hours after the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren ended her presidential campaign and all but assured the next American president would be a white man in his 70s, a group of influential Democratic women gathered for dinner at a Spanish restaurant in downtown Washington.

The timing was coincidental, but it underscored the urgency of their meeting.

More than a hundred years after American women earned the right to vote; four years after the first female presidential nominee of a major party won the popular vote by 3 million votes and two years after the election of the most female congressional class in history, six diverse women had entered the 2020 Democratic race and didn’t win a single nominating contest.

“Without a doubt, the secret to Democratic victories in the past three years has been women’s leadership. The idea that that wouldn’t translate into the first woman president was heartbreaking for many of us,” said Heather McGhee, a distinguished senior fellow at the thinktank Demos, who supported Warren and helped organize the meeting.

Emotions still raw, the group of women decided to do something about it.

Over tapas, they drew up a list of demands for the party’s next nominee: he would choose a female running mate; women would represent the “governing majority” of a Democratic administration; appointments would reflect “the diversity of our communities” and economic issues focused on issues such as paid family leave would be a priority in the first 100 days.

They compiled the principles into a letter that was signed by dozens of prominent party activists and leaders and sent to the Democratic National Committee.

Days later, at the 11th Democratic presidential debate, the first without a female candidate on stage, Joe Biden explicitly committed to picking a woman as vice-president.

“There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow,” said Biden, who holds a nearly unassailable lead over his rival, the Vermont socialist senator Bernie Sanders. He also committed to nominating the first African American woman to the supreme court, a gesture that reflects his reliance on the support of black women, a crucial Democratic constituency.[1]

Demands

Democratic victory in 2020 will depend on record-breaking participation by women. Women are the backbone of the Democratic party. Women are a majority of Democratic voters, volunteers and donors.

Women are not a uniform bloc. Our differences should not divide us; indeed, our diversity is our strength. To win the support of women from all of our diverse communities, candidates must reflect both our shared issues and the specific needs of each of our communities in their platforms and commit to including our voices in representative strength in government.

As women leaders from all backgrounds and communities across our country, building on calls from groups fighting for gender equity and justice, we demand that the Democratic National Committee and the presidential nominee commit to:

1. Nominate a woman to serve as Vice President of the United States and make her voice central to the campaign and administration 2. Appoint a governing majority of women in the presidential cabinet—both cabinet secretaries and political appointees at all levels including White House staff—with appointments that reflect the diversity of our communities 3. Lift up and honor the voices and leadership of women serving on your campaigns including staff and family 4. Meet with women from every community—Black; Latina; Indigenous; Asian and Pacific Islander; white; undocumented and refugee; disabled; lesbian, bi, queer and trans; urban, suburban, rural; young, old; e.g.—and develop a platform that reflects our voices 5. Invest in women-led engagement and mobilization programs 6. Make women’s economic issues a priority of the first 100 days, with a special focus on policies like paid family and medical leave and pay equity that disproportionately affect women

Since 2017, women from all backgrounds have stood up in record numbers, driving Democraticvictories. We will continue to work together to build and develop demands and programs to reach all of our communities and mobilize women in record numbers.

Our issues cannot wait. We act together to save our planet, our democracy, our communities, our healthcare, our jobs, our families and ourselves.

Progressive change is only possible—and sustainable—if women continue to participate in record numbers. We will encourage women to run for office, work to create opportunities for women to hold leadership roles in campaigns and government, and strive to break down barriers so women continue to engage in our political process. This is only the beginning. Women are leading and standing together. Sign on here (copy/paste the link into your browser):[2]

Original Signers

Lorretta Johnson for American Federation of Teachers María Teresa Kumar for Voto Latino Nelini Stamp for Working Families Party Nomiki Konst for Matriarch Rachel O'Leary Carmona for Women's March Randi Weingarten for American Federation of Teachers Sara Nelson for Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Shaunna Thomas for UltraViolet Stephanie Schriock for EMILY's List Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs for Women’s March Varshini Prakash for Sunrise Movement Amaya Smith Ana Maria Archila Debra Ness Erika Moritsugu Fatima Goss Graves Gwen Mills Heather McGhee Ilyse G. Hogue Jamila Headley Jennifer Epps-Addison Judith Lichtman Karen Boykin-Towns Kristin Brown Leah Greenberg

COMMUNITY SIGNERS (updated daily)

Keely Killpack for Killpack Inc, a Change Strategy Consultancy Lauren Jacobs for Partnership Action Fund Meaghan McAteer for Indivisible Brookfield Paula Wood for Progressive Women of Pelham Rachel Maiore for Pioneer Valley Women’s March Sam Nitz for Asgard Strategies & Analytics Adrianne George Allison Javery Andrew Lipsett Angela Crist Anna Galland Ashley Spillane Bambi Snodgrass Beth Sutton-Ramspeck Cameron Hill Carla Lievano Christina Beaulieu Christine Smith Christine Manns Cyndy Hernandez Diane Daren Eileen Sauvageau Elizabeth Malone Ellen Farmer Emilia Decaudin Emily Slatkow Gail Page Hanna Mahaffey Heather May Holly Fingerle Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre Jessica Sheehan Jill Stewart June Mackenzie Karen Dick Linda Berger

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