January 2014 e-Newsletter
In this Issue:
Welcome Dr. Lei Lewis to the NWPC Board!
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lei Lewis as the newest member of the National Women’s Political Caucus Board. She will be taking on the position of VP, Development. Dr. Lewis is the CEO and Publisher of Women of Wealth Magazine. Her publication “strive(s) to stimulate entrepreneurship and vision building through diversity, strategic partnerships and relationships.” Welcome Lei!
Intern Ingenuity: Paris Bienert
Paris Bienert is finishing her Senior year at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She will graduate with a BA in International Affairs, concentration in Eurasian studies and a BA in Women's Studies, minor in German. As the President of GW Voices for Choice and former NARAL Choice Out Loud Campus Representative, Paris is accustomed to championing a woman's right to choice. We are thrilled to have her at NWPC this semester.
NWPC Foundation & Million Women Mentors
The National Women’s Political Caucus Foundation announces its participation in the Million Women Mentors initiative, in partnership with women’s organizations and corporate sponsors throughout the country. As part of the Million Women Mentors, Advancing Women and Girls in STEM Careers Through Mentoring, the National Women’s Political Caucus Foundation is sponsoring a program to link women office holders with girls and young women to demonstrate how STEM skills are essential to keeping government running, and understanding the financing and operation of government. The goal of the NWPC Mentoring initiative is to encourage young women to continue their education in STEM fields, and to consider applying those skills as future office holders and leaders.
February 14th marks the celebration of V-Day and the second annual One Billion Rising (OBR). OBR is a global campaign to end violence against women, rise for justice and promote gender equality. The “billion” references the statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime, or about one billion women worldwide.
This year we rise for justice. Justice for victims of military sexual violence, for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and for the passage of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). We rise against sexual violence, rape, incest, sex trafficking and campus based violence, to name a few. Join the movement and find an event near you: www.onebillionrising.org.
“Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government."
"This whole sort of war on women thing, I’m scratching my head, because if there was a war on women, I think they won."
Dear NWPC Members and Friends,
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014, and to another year when we must make a difference for women. NWPC’s slogan, 50/50 by 2020, needs to be high on our agendas and our messaging, because political parity, equality for women in pay and in fair treatment, is still not the norm, and our work is cut out for us. While I don’t do this, I just must give a thank you for Mike Huckabee’s efforts on behalf of women. Certainly Governor Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and former Presidential Candidate, gave us another nice sound bite to rail against with his statements made during a speech where he suggested that the War on Women was not real. And, he is worried about our libidos! Thanks Mike, for making women AGAIN think about tacky comments men make about women.
We have begun our planning for the March Board meeting in San Jose with the newly reconstituted and reformed Silicon Valley Caucus, and are excited about their work and enthusiasm. NWPC quarterly board meeting is to be held in San Jose the last weekend of March, and we believe we are in for a treat with some special events being planned. We know that the NWPC-SV is busy planning an event titled NWPC Legacy event, so watch for updates on the March Board meeting.
I have been working on outreach in various ways, and am pleased to report that I have been invited (and accepted) the invitation to be the keynote speaker for the International Women’s Forum at the United Nations in a few weeks, and I am very excited about this opportunity. I have joined one of their global councils, and really look forward to meeting more of the UN Women, and sharing NWPC with them. The council I signed on for is a project that is highly important to the Ambassador’s wife who has issued my speaker’s invitation, and the link below allows you to sign up, with the focus is to bring attention to the effort to end violence against women globally. The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, has proclaimed every 25th of the month as “Orange Day” – a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls. Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month. - See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-...
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) work that I am involved with has brought the opportunity to NWPC, and the NWPC Foundation stepped up to be a partner in the Million Women Mentors (MWM) program, a national outreach to develop mentors for young women to help them know more about STEM careers. Thanks very much to NWPC Foundation President, Rosemary Smithson, who went to DC to speak at the January 8 launch of the MWM at the National Press Club, along with a host of women leaders from around the country. Read more about the MWM elsewhere in this newsletter.
An update for all of you who have watched the phenomena of Senator Wendy Davis from Texas, Wendy outraised her lead opponent for Governor in the upcoming race, sitting Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and is making strides here in Texas that has lots of folks encouraged. Many of you have met the incredible Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who spoke at one of our events during the August Convention, and we are thrilled Leticia is running for Lt. Governor on the ticket with Wendy. I attended an event for Wendy this week, where Wendy and Leticia Van de Putte both spoke to a rousing and cheering supportive crowd in a sold out ballroom, and must say that the enthusiasm was amazing. NWPC and NWPC-TX will host a Stand with Wendy in Pink Sneakers fundraiser for Wendy coming up in the next few weeks, thanks to our wonderful friend and activist, Amy Wong Mok, who founded and is CEO of the Asian American Cultural Center in Austin.
Thanks as always for all you do for NWPC, and on behalf of women everywhere. Each of you is critical to the future of our organization, and we appreciate your support. We have much work to do, and I hope we will work together for our organizations goals, and to support each other in our sisterhood.
Announcing NWPC's second round of endorsements!
Open Seat for NC-12, Alma Adams
Seat currently Open
Alma Adams is running in North Carolina's 12th district, a district that was redistributed under Republican leadership in 2010 with a vacant seat. Adams is currently a State Representative in the North Carolina General Assembly. As an African American woman, Adams is likely to carry this Democratic district which is 44.6% African American and 61% likely female voters. Adams is a progressive candidate who has been a public servant fighting for women and families for nearly 30 years. As a Congresswoman, Adams would be sure to bring her strong commitment to equality, choice and education to Congress and continue fighting fighting for America's women and families.
Challenger for CA-15, Ellen Corbett
Seat currently held by Eric Swalwell (D)
California State Senator Majority Leader Ellen Corbett is finishing her second term in the CA Senate. Corbett has been actively involved in public service for over 20 years and is dedicated to serving her constituency as an elected official. She is especially steadfast in her dedication to women’s rights and firm in her resolve to stop any rollback in legislation won by the past generations. The National Women’s Political Caucus is confident Senator Corbett is ready to take on Washington DC.
HR 7 "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" Bill
HR 7 passed the House in the evening of January 28th with a 227-188 vote. Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) “No Tax Payer Funding for Abortion” bill would use the tax code to penalize individuals and small businesses for purchasing health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act that include coverage for abortion services. It would also prohibit the District of Columbia from using its locally generated tax revenue to provide abortion services to low-income women. There is little chance of the bill passing through the Senate.
The Supreme Court set a date to take up oral arguments on two cases challenging the ACA’s requirement that employer provided healthcare plans offer contraceptive coverage at no additional cost. On March 25th the Supreme Court will hear arguments on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stories and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Both cases aim to chip away at women’s access to affordable reproductive healthcare.
State and Local Caucuses Shine!
We hope to use this newsletter to do two additional things. The first is to determine what information will help our members across the country stay informed. The next is to ask you to provide information to us about your successes, innovations and creative work. Please send your ideas and suggestions to Paula Willmarth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I believe that when women succeed, America succeeds.”