July 2012 e-Newsletter
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Have you registered for the 2012 NWPC Annual Meeting yet?
NWPC welcomes you to our Annual Meeting August 3rd through 5th at Harrah’s Reno in Reno, Nevada. With excellent roommates in their newest “West Wing”, including the use of their pampering health and spa facilities, we are incredibly grateful to have Harrah’s Reno be our host for the 2012 Annual Meeting. Don’t forget to make your reservation today to get the great rates NWPC guaranteed for the weekend!
NWPC has planned for an exciting weekend for event participants beginning with a Training Session on Friday, which includes a continental breakfast and boxed lunch. This Leadership and Expansion Training on Friday will give us all the opportunity to explore the leadership opportunities with NWPC, both local and national in order to help us grow. On Saturday, the INC Full Board Meeting will begin with a lovely breakfast then proceed with the meeting which will be followed by a classy cocktail reception and silent auction. Finally, we close the eventful weekend with the LDERF Full Board meeting on Sunday Morning. If you have already registered for the Annual Meeting, we look forward to seeing you in Reno!
If you have not registered yet, make your reservations online at www.nwpc.org with NWPC’s special rate today! If you have any questions or concerns, including sharing a room at Harrah’s Reno, please send an email to NWPC’s programs director Bettina Hager at Bettina@nwpc.org. At the NWPC 2012 Annual Meeting, we will be unveiling exciting news that you will not want to miss! Make your reservations now, and we will see you in Reno!
Samantha Aster is the Legislative and Legal Intern for the National Women’s Political Caucus this summer. Samantha is a second year law student at American University Washington College of Law, with an interest in Constitutional law. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Politics. Samantha hails from Edison, New Jersey.
Samantha spends much of her time with NWPC researching and analyzing legislation, court cases, and media coverage involving women’s issues. During her time with NWPC this summer, she has covered the Violence Against Women Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She also assists the Caucus on planning the EMMA awards. Samantha has played a key role in keeping the Caucus current by running the Caucus' twitter and spearheading the creation of our Pinterest account.
Allyson Bach is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in Political Science with a Public Policy minor. During her first year at UCLA, Allyson made campus involvement a leading priority. She holds the leadership position of Standards of Excellence Chair in UCLA’s Kappa Delta Sorority, joined the Mock Trial team and interned at the UCLA Career Center. It was at the Career Center that Allyson discovered the tremendous research internship opportunity with the National Women’s Political Caucus
This summer, Allyson is a political planning and action intern for NWPC. Her work includes preparing the Political Action Committee presentations for potential endorsements, attending and taking notes at press conferences and representing NWPC at receptions and conferences. Allyson also contributes to the NWPC by writing blogs and reports on current events, organizing submissions for the EMMA’s awards, and working on NWPC’s DNC and RNC Receptions. It is her diligence and passion for the support of women’s empowerment in politics that contributes to Allyson’s successful internship at NWPC this summer.
Danielle Marryshow is a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania from White Plains, NY. She is double majoring in Communication & Public Service and Political Science, and minoring in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. On campus, she is the President of the Society for Pre-Law Students of Color and serves as the Political Chair of Umoja, the African-American coalition on campus.
At the National Women’s Political Caucus, she is a Political Planning & Action intern. She became interested in women’s issues after taking a class in Reproductive Law, when she learned the extent to which women’s rights were being dialed back across the country. At NWPC, she tracks election results, prepares information about applicants so our Political Planning & Action committee can make endorsements, and keeps informed about races involving endorsed candidates.
Next summer, she hopes to work on the Hill become a congressional aide after college. She eventually hopes to go to law school and become a lobbyist (with morals). She also enjoys listening to the new Justin Beiber CD “Believe” with her coworkers whenever she gets the chance!
NWPC was honored to have a documentary crew from Ghana come to interview President Linda Young and Programs Director Bettina Hager on July 20th. Working in conjunction with the Department of State, they reached out to the Caucus as a resource to encourage young Ghanaian women to run for office. Their documentary will also feature elected women and other professional experts.
The crew was especially interested in NWPC’s relationship to founder and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Chisholm was the first African American woman to win a seat in Congress as well as the first African American to run on a major-party and first woman to ever run for President. Her influence has had a reach far greater than even we had imagined as she serves as a role model for women around the world.
As we recognize the importance of electing and supporting women Nationwide we also are inspired by the work being done across the globe. The documentary is expected to run Nationwide in Ghana and hopefully will be used in other African Nations to encourage greater female political participation.
Dear NWPC Members and Friends,
As we brave the heat wave of mid-summer, we are getting ready for the Annual Meeting August 3-5 in Reno, Nevada, where we are holding the first Annual Meeting of this administration of NWPC. Vice President for Communications, Pat Lynch, has worked hard to make all of the arrangements for us, and we are particularly excited about the Saturday evening reception Pat has scheduled while we are there.
All meetings and the Saturday evening reception are at Harrah’s in Reno, and Pat has been super-busy inviting women who may be interested in the Caucus to come meet our Board and members. Pat has set a goal of founding the Caucus again in Nevada, beginning with the Reno area where Pat lives, so we hope Saturday evening brings lots of opportunities for us to meet new folks and hopefully help Pat recruit them into the Caucus. If you haven’t made your reservations yet, you really should, because during the evening reception, we will have a special celebration with our brand new NWPC Foundation that had Board vote approval at the April Board meeting in Kansas City.
Your President has been working to represent NWPC and you wherever we find opportunities to spread the Caucus message. In June, I attended an event in DC with our wonderful friend Edie Fraser, as Senator Debbie Stabenow was honored with a reception at Edie’s home, and as always there were great networking opportunities.
While in DC, I visited with several leaders of sister organizations, as part of this administration’s goal to make significant gains in partnering and collaboration with like-minded women’s organizations. We continue to work on joint efforts to further support women’s equality and women’s participation in the political process.
We were contacted by a television producer who works with international groups who come into the US to conduct interviews and meetings with government officials, and were told that a television station in Ghana had requested to do an interview with NWPC, as part of their television special on women and political office in Ghana. (See NWPC Goes Global elsewhere in the Newsletter) Many in Ghana are concerned that, although women are certainly welcome to participate in the political arena, they are not stepping up to run. While in the US for a week, the group interviewed several African American women members of Congress, and other individuals they had scheduled for their television special.
The special is planned to show in Ghana and potentially other African states who may be interested, to promote women running for elected office. For NWPC, the film crew and the television producer in the states who regularly works with the State Department with international visitors joined us at Caucus offices for the shoot. They interviewed me about the history of NWPC, about our goals, purposes and challenges we face in advancing our mission. I was also asked about the role of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in establishing the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971, and about how such a strong role model impacted our approach in the political world. They interviewed Bettina about her work for us at NWPC, and addressed questions to have highlighted her perspective of how Caucus impacts the lives of young women today. The team shared that they had hopes that showing a young professional woman in the film might encourage young women in their country to become engaged in the political process, and Bettina’s enthusiasm always shows, so we know that will come through in the film.
Thank you again for all you do for Caucus, and for your commitment to equality and equal representation by women. See you in Reno!
On Thursday, October 4th, 2012, the National Women’s Political Caucus will be holding the 2012 Exceptional Merit in Media Awards (EMMAs). The evening reception will be held at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York City. Ms. Irene Natividad, who created the EMMAs in 1986, is the event chair for the NWPC traditional award ceremony.
The EMMAs are one of NWPC’s signature events and we are thrilled to be hosting them yet again. The EMMAs were created by the NWPC to honor and reward journalists and media outlets in radio, television, print and the internet that take an exceptional effort to inform and educate the public about women’s issues.
Since the first awards were given, recipients of the award include Sheryl WuDunn for Half the Sky, Glamour Magazine’s “Meet Generation (R)x” and Ms. Magazine’s “The Scandal of Military Rape.” Notable journalist award recipients include Ellen Goodman, Cokie Roberts, Barbara Ehrenreich, Diane Sawyer, and Eleanor Clift, who all were recognized because of their acknowledgement of issues important to women and their efforts to bring light to the issues that tend to be glossed over by the mainstream coverage.
NWPC would like to extend an invitation to our members to attend as well as provide suggestions for recommendations of possible recipients for the awards. Please email all suggestions to our National Office at email@example.com. Register for the EMMAs or sponsor the EMMAs by going online to www.nwpc.org or following this link http://www.nwpc.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=10.
Women’s rights have been hotly debated in the past couple years, and they will almost certainly play a role in the 2012 November election. It is important that women participate in the political process to keep the gains that we have made this far. However, we can’t expect men to understand the gravity of women’s issues. More women need to be part of the decision-making process. NWPC is working to help make women part of that process by endorsing female candidates for office who support women’s rights and helping to keep members and the public informed about the value of the rights we have and how easily they can be taken away if we are not vigilant.
We are proud to announce that for July we have 18 new endorsed candidates. We believe that these women exemplify what NWPC stands for, and wish these fabulous ladies congratulations and good luck!
We are equally proud to announce that to date, 41 of our amazing endorsed candidates have advanced to the general election. Their tenacity and spirit allowed them to survive often tough primaries to take them one step closer to taking their seats in Congress.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is typically reauthorized with broad, bi-partisan support, but the upcoming Presidential election, in addition to the recent debate regarding the “War on Women”, has transformed an anti-violence bill into a partisan fight. Supporters of the Senate version have used the rollbacks and exclusions in the House version to rally female voters ahead of the November election. Supporters of the House version argue that their version eliminates fraud and cost, and hope to show voters that they are working to lower government spending.
The Violence Against Women Act came up for re-authorization in 2011. The Senate Judiciary Committee proposed a bi-partisan bill (S 1925) that would add protections for immigrants, Native Americans, and LGBT. The Senate version of VAWA passed with overwhelming support. The House of Representatives introduced their own version of VAWA (HR 4970), which denied protections for these three groups, as well as removing provisions and protections that had been in place for years. The House Version passed 221-205, with significant opposition from Democrats. Several groups have protested the House bill and pushed for passage of the Senate bill. There has been no further action on either bill as of July 2012.
On June 26th, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Court held that the individual mandate was not a command for Americans to purchase health insurance, but merely a tax on Americans if they do not. Because the Constitution grants Congress the authority to levy taxes, the Court found the individual mandate constitutional. The Court also upheld the Medicaid expansion, but struck down the provision that revoked all Medicaid funding for states who decide not to comply.
What does this mean for women? Insurance companies can no longer deny care to women for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, pregnancy or having a c-section. Insurance companies can no longer charge women higher premiums for the mere fact that they are female. Women can receive recommended preventative care, such as mammograms, pap tests, and domestic violence screenings, without the burden of a copay. Women will have the opportunity to choose their own doctors without a referral. Insurance companies are now required to cover maternity care. Nursing mothers will be given mandated breaks and a private place to express breast milk at places of employment that have at least 50 employees. More than 10 million low-income women will be covered by Medicaid when the law goes into full effect.
The Paycheck Fairness Act builds upon the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. The PFA would update the Equal Pay Act and close major loopholes that have prevented it from being effective.
Women comprise nearly half the workforce. For the last ten years women have earned 77 cents to the dollar for men. The PFA improves basic fairness in our workplace by ending discrimination against all workers, including pregnant women and caregivers.
Unfortunately, the Senate vote on S. 3220 on 6/5/2012 was eight votes shy of the 60 needed to bring the PFA to the floor for a vote. After the vote, Senator Harry Reid used a procedural maneuver that allows him to bring up the vote again. The Senate voted on party lines, and, disappointingly, GOP women Senators Kelly Ayotte, Lisa Murkowski, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins voted against moving the Act forward.
The National Women’s Political Caucus of California held it’s “Mini-Campaign Boot Camp” on July 21st. The Caucus partnered with Emerge California to teach Californian’s interested in running for office or running a successful campaign essential skills, such as developing a campaign plan, fundraising, and social media. The event was from 9:00 to 12:00 at the Hotel Hanford in Costa Mesa, California. www.nwpcca.org
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus hosted a panel called “Women at All Levels of Government” on June 12th from 7:30-9:00 am at the Union Club of Boston. The panel featured Mayor of Fitchburg Lisa Wong, Assistant Majority Whip Karen Spilka, and 2nd Assistant Majority Leader Kathi-Anne Reinstein. These women discussed heir experiences in elected office and what we can look towards in 2012. http://www.mwpc.org/events/commonwealth.php
The Women’s Caucus of New Jersey successfully lobbied the New Jersey State Senate to pass S2070 to retain the Division of Women. On June 21, members visited State Senators to convince legislators to support an amendment to ensure that the Division retained its stature and position of influence in its new agency and continued to support programs for women in the state. firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Women’s Political Caucus of South Dakota held a Caucus Social on June 13. Members joined together to discuss the upcoming election and determine what they could do to help progressive women candidates win. The event was hosted by Ann Randall. email@example.com