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March 2012 e-Newsletter

In this Issue:


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Join us at the 2012 DNC, RNC, or Both!

We are excited to announce that NWPC will host a reception to welcome Caucus supporters, attendees, elected women and women candidates immediately preceding the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

This will be a fantastic way to kick-off a fantastic week! We will celebrate women's roles at the Democratic National Convention and raise funds for activities that strengthen the work of NWPC to support women candidates and awareness for women’s issues. Take a moment to read the recent article in the Washington Post’s “She the People” blog in that highlights our event .

The NWPC Reception which will take place at RiRa Irish Pub and Restaurant, 208 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina, Sunday, September 2, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 pm. Reservations to attend the event can be made by contacting Bettina Hager at the NWPC National Office by email: bettina@nwpc.org. The registration fee is $75.00 and includes hors d’oeuvres and a choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks. The event is being produced and coordinated by Bonnie Wallsh of Bonnie Wallsh Associates, LLC, and Linda Dyer Hart of Dyer Hart Productions.

We are still in the process of planning our reception at the RNC! We will announce details as soon as we have everything finalized. Please let us know if you are willing to help with the RNC reception!

We look forward to seeing everyone in August, September, or both!


PPAC Makes Candidate Recommendations for Endorsement to NWPC Board

Elizabeth Warren
MA-Senate
Elizabeth Warren is a true representative of the middle class, and NWPC is proud to endorse her high-profile Senatorial race in Massachusetts. We are thrilled to see such a strong woman ready to fill a Senate seat in need of woman that knows what is right!

Terri Sewell
AL-07
After taking office in 2010, Congresswoman Terri Sewell has been fighting hard for the people of Alabama. Congresswoman Sewell is the first black woman to ever be elected to Congress in Alabama, and she continues to make us proud through her work as Democratic freshman class president and as both a regional and senior Whip.

Kyrsten Sinema
AZ-09
Current state Senator, Kyrsten Sinema is seeking a seat in Congress to bring a voice back to the people of Arizona. NWPC is happy to see a woman committed so committed to serving her constituents and obtaining equality for women and other minorities!

Barbara Lee
CA-13
Since 1998, Congresswoman Barbara Lee has been supporting women’s rights and issues on Capitol Hill. We are confident that if re-elected, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s fantastic constituent service will continue and progress in her next term representing California’s 13th District.

Jackie Speier
CA-14
During her first term in Congress, Representative Jackie Speier has had an impeccable record when it comes to voting in favor of women’s rights and issues. Previously serving as both a California Assemblywoman and Senator, Congresswoman Speier is rooted in public service and will further her dedication to her constituents and women in America if re-elected to a second term.

Lois Capps
CA-24
Congresswoman Lois Capps is a true leader in the arena of women’s health and equal rights. She is certainly a champion for silenced voices, and is the best choice for California’s 24th district!

Judy Chu
CA-32
Congresswoman Judy Chu has served in Congress since 2009 and has not wasted a minute of her time there. We believe that Congresswoman Chu will continue to fight for women in both California and across the country.

Gloria Negrete McLeod
CA-35
Current State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod has served the people of California’s 32nd Senate District since 2006. We are confident that, if elected, Senator McLeod will deliver on her promises and advance women’s rights on the Hill!

Lucille Roybal-Allard
CA-40
For nearly 20 years, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard has served her constituents in California. She has kept women at the top of her priorities and should be re-elected to promote the advancement of women and the protection of our rights.

Loretta Sanchez
CA-46
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has been a member of Congress since 2003, and has always made NWPC proud. We are delighted to offer support for Congresswoman Sanchez’s 2012 Congressional campaign.

Denise Moreno Ducheny
CA-51
Denise Moreno Ducheny is running for Congress in order to stand up for the working world and the middle class. We are certain that, if elected, Denise Moreno Ducheny will serve her constituents to the utmost of her ability and protect and promote women’s rights during her time in Washington!

Susan A Davis
CA-53
Congresswoman Susan A. Davis is an excellent example of a women’s rights advocate that can work together with Congress to further a cause. Since she was elected in 2001, Congresswoman Davis has had a perfect record when it comes to voting for women’s issues.

Diana DeGette
CO-08
Congresswoman Dianna DeGette has yet to disappoint during her 8 terms in Congress. As Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Congresswoman DeGette continuously fights for women’s right to choice as well as economic equality.

Tammy Duckworth
IL-08
Bringing a whole new meaning to the word “fighter,” Tammy Duckworth is a phenomenal example of determination and perseverance. Tammy is a Veterans advocate that is willing to fight for women’s issues and the constituents of Illinois’s 8th District!

Jan Schakowsky
IL-09
Congresswoman Schakowsky works hard to accomplish her top priority—providing universal healthcare coverage for all Americans. As she works to provide universal healthcare, she constantly keeps the needs of women across the country as a top priority.

Cheri Bustos
IL-17
Born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, Cheri Bustos is a true Illinois native. Not only is she a talented journalist, but Ms. Bustos is invested in economic security and women’s issues.

Niki Tsongas
MA-03
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas has raised a family, practiced law, and served as a dean of a community college in the state of Massachusetts. As a strong, professional woman, Congresswoman Tsongas started Lowell, Massachusetts’s first all-female law practice and has since championed for women’s issues and women’s rights.

Sharon Sund
MN-03
Ms. Sharon Sund is a believer in the American dream and equality for all people. Women’s rights are a top issue for Sharon, and she is dedicated to bringing justice to American women if elected to office.

Carolyn McCarthy
NY-04
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy has an excellent record of public service and commitment. She has introduced a vast amount of pro-woman legislation as well as legislation for children’s rights and education.

Janet Cowell
NC-Treasurer
Janet Cowell has been serving as North Carolina’s State Treasurer since 2008. Cowell is a strong woman and seizes any and all opportunities to advance women’s rights in the state of North Carolina!

Joyce Healy-Abrams
OH-07
Joyce Healy-Abrams is a highly successful entrepreneur with a passionate commitment for civic engagement. We feel sure that Joyce Healy-Abrams is the right choice for the people of Ohio and women across America.

Tomeka Hart
TN-09
As a long time advocate of education, Ms. Tomeka Hart is always finding new ways to serve her community. Alongside of her stellar record in education reform, Tomeka Hart is also an advocate for women’s rights and health.

Dear NWPC Members and Friends,

March is Women’s History Month and I want to thank all the NWPC members who are making history by participating! There is almost nothing that can be accomplished in the world without the help of others, and almost nothing that cannot be accomplished by great women joining together. March 8th, the International Day of the Woman, was an important reminder that while we do the good work within our Nation, we must also recognize the struggles that affect women worldwide and the strength that is so often shown in their survival.

Despite this spirit of celebration, we cannot ignore the persistent and continuing attacks against women’s rights that have pervaded the last two months. From Rush Limbaugh’s verbal assault against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke to the current fight to maintain the Women’s Health Programming in Texas, we are in a state of constant defense. The words War on Women are quite meaningful, although political foes cry foul at the use of the term. Yet, what else really describes it? Not only are we seeing resistance to listening to women’s voices in congressional hearings over a matter that first and foremost impacts women, we hear statements that health insurance eligible claims should not include contraception, but also should not include prenatal testing! Never did I imagine that in my lifetime I would again see a woman’s access to contraception be compromised. Unfortunately, my imagination failed me. In fact, I could not have even dreamed that health insurance might not cover prenatal testing, just because there might be information from the testing that could support a woman’s decision to terminate a troubled pregnancy.

I invite you to read our newsletter and learn what the National Women’s Political Caucus is doing to fight these attacks. We are determined to keep our members informed and highlight both our trials and our successes. We must never silence our passion, for that is when we find ourselves most at risk. Together our strength is magnified, and together we will overcome.

In sisterhood,

Linda Young
President , NWPC


NWPC President, Linda Young Defends your Rights: HERVotes Press Conference

NWPC President Linda Young addresses a question at the press conference.

The 2012 HERVotes Coalition (Health and Economic Rights) stormed the media with a press conference uniting over 50 women’s organizations on March 1st, 2012. The coalition gathered together at the National Press Club to unite women and get out the vote in the 2012 election. Leaders nationwide arrived in DC on March 1st to attend the event, including NWPC President Linda Young! In addition to your president, several other feminist leaders attended the event including Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O'Neill, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Executive Director, National Council of Negro Women, Lisa Maatz, Director, Government Relations, American Association of University Women, and many others. Our VP, Education and Training, Lisa Kaado, also traveled from New Jersey to attend the press conference.

Because NWPC is a proud member of the HERVotes Coalition, we encourage you all to visit HERVotes online at www.hervotes.us to join us in stopping the attacks on historic advances for women, preserving successful policies, such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, respecting women’s contribution to the economy, and supporting jobs at livable wages and equal pay for our families’ economic security. As we mentioned in the previous newsletter, we are sincerely hoping that 2012 is the new “Year of the Woman,” and this can’t happen unless we mobilize. We are confident that HERVotes is an excellent avenue to use.


Governor Rick Perry Blocks Healthcare Access for over 130,000 Women in Texas

NWPC Board Officer, Veronica Rivera tells Perry “Don’t Mess with Austin Women”

Texas Governor, Rick Perry, has knowingly ended healthcare access for over 130,000 Texan women by blocking federal funding for The Women’s Health Program. The Women’s Health Program (a Medicaid program) provides medical access and care to women in Texas that cannot afford it otherwise. The program costs roughly $40 million dollars and 90% of that cost was funded federally.

According to Medicaid law, a state cannot choose which providers they will or will not fund if the provider is legally qualified. Governor Perry did just this when he decided to defund Planned Parenthood (a perfectly qualified provider) because they offer abortion services. Because the Governor consciously opposed Medicaid law, the state of Texas has lost its Medicaid funding for the Women’s Health Program. He was asked numerous times to change his decision, but he refused. He claims that the state will now cover the funding that was cut, but we find that hard to believe when women’s health seems like such a non-issue in the Governor’s eyes; however, Texan women are speaking out!

On Tuesday, March 13th Planned Parenthood hosted a “Don’t Mess with Texas Women” rally at the Texas Capitol to oppose Governor Perry’s assault. Planned Parenthood President, Cecile Richards, attended the rally along with other legislators and special guests. Richards gave an incredible speech where she said (in NWPC fashion), “We are Republicans, and we are Democrats, and we are Independents, because by God, women’s healthcare does not come with a political label.” The rally was a success and received national attention. Below are a couple of photos of rally participants and a photo of the rally itself. Thanks to all NWPC members who attended and/or supported these efforts!



NWPC Announces 13 New Endorsements & 22 Recommendations to Board

The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) proudly announces its recent endorsement of 13 exceptionally qualified pro-choice women for their congressional campaigns. Women still only hold 17% of the seats in Congress while making up more than 50% of the population. The numbers just don’t add up! The women listed above are attempting to raise that statistic while simultaneously advocating for women’s rights. In the recent months, women’s reproductive health has fallen under widespread attack. It is more important than ever that women like those listed above are elected for a congressional seat.

Endorsed candidates include: Senatorial candidates Claire McCaskill(MO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and House candidates Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Val Demings (FL-08), Christie Vilsack (IA-04), Donna Edwards (MD-04), Heather McTeer (MS-02), Franke Wilmer (MT-AL), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Olivia Freeman (OH-10), Eleanor Norton Holmes (DC-AL), Sue Thorn (WV-01), Kelda Roys (WI-02).

We are proud to be a part of these women’s journeys towards the nation’s capitol; you can now find information about these candidates on our official 2012 endorsement page by clicking here. All of these women are fantastic examples of strong candidates; however, we regret to inform you that two of our recently endorsed candidates did not make it through their primaries. Olivia Freeman (OH-10) and Heather McTeer (MS-02) fought hard, but did not receiving the number of votes needed to win. We hope that these women do not give up and continue to run in the future!

In addition to our officially endorsed candidates, our PPAC voted to endorse 22 additional incredible women! These names are still awaiting board approval, but we are excited to introduce you to another round of potential endorsed candidates!



Legislative Update

Contraception Compromise

Clearly the hottest topic during these past few months has been the issue of contraception. We are shocked and baffled that our government has politicized contraception and is creating obstacles for women to safely access contraceptives. Despite Obama’s recent compromise, many Catholic bishops are still fired up and angry. In fact, on Wednesday, March 14th, top U.S. Catholic bishops formally made their fight against the reproductive services mandate the church's top priority. The White House, along with the Department of Health and Human Services, continues to consider strategies to guarantee women’s access to contraception while still protecting religious freedom. On March 16th, the Obama Administration announced a 90 day comment period to find the best way to implement the contraception compromise. Meanwhile, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has introduced a bill (HR 1179) to allow certain employers and insurers to opt out of the mandate for contraceptive coverage if they are morally opposed. The bill has more than 220 House co-sponsors. We are hopeful that this bill dies quickly in Congress, and that contraception will cease being political and become accessible to all women.

VAWA

After it was reported by committee on February 2nd, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization of 2011(VAWA) has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. VAWA (S.1925) advocates are still working to secure 60 filibuster-proof sponsors for the bill before it hits the Senate floor. Just last week two additional senators , Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Udall (D-CO), signed on to sponsor the bill. The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence has set March 20th as the goal for gaining these necessary sponsors. Check out 4vawa.org for details on VAWA and what you can do to help!

PRENDA

HR 3541, also known, as the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA), continues to make its way through the Congressional system. This act would provide further obstacles for women seeking abortion by outlawing any abortion that is “discriminatory towards the fetus.” This could lead to unnecessary interrogations and needless denial of abortion services for women. PRENDA passed the House Committee on the Judiciary on February 16, 2012 by a vote of 20-13 and may be up for a House vote in the near future.

Abortion Access

Abortion access is being brutally assaulted across the United States. Numerous states have introduced, and in some cases passed, legislation that humiliates women seeking abortion by instituting unnecessary obstacles to this health procedure. For example, in Virginia, women seeking abortions must now undergo an ultrasound and endure a 24 hour wait period before they can obtain an abortion. In Kansas, an abortion bill has been proposed that would exempt doctors from malpractice suits if they withhold information that could have prevented a health problem for the mother or child, if they do it in the name of preventing an abortion. Sound crazy? Bills just like these are cropping up all over the country, and they must be stopped! Check out this interactive map that outlines current anti-abortion laws.


ERA’s 40th Anniversary!

As a part of Women’s History Month, we celebrate the women across our country who have made significant contributions to our society. This most certainly includes Alice Paul, a renowned suffragist and architect of the final campaign for the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women’s right to vote in 1920. Paul also, in 1923, authored the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was finally passed in both houses of Congress on March 22, 1972—40 years ago!

During the ten-year ratification campaign, the country had the opportunity to add the ERA to the Constitution and guarantee women and men equal rights. However, constitutional amendments require approval by 38 states, and at a 1982 deadline, the ERA was three states short of ratification because of misrepresentations about its intent and impact.

The ERA would provide a fundamental legal remedy against sex discrimination for both men and women. Without the ERA, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that rights are held equally without regard to sex. The first – and still the only – right specifically affirmed as equal for women and men is the right to vote.

The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) is hosting a special event and NWPC is proud to be involved in the celebration, recognizing the impact and efforts of our members for the past 40 years. On March 22nd, NWCO will hold a 40th Anniversary ERA Commemoration event attended by feminist leaders as well as bill lead sponsors Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) and Senator Robert Menendez (NJ). We are honored to have been asked to speak, and will be represented by VP, Education & Training Lisa Kaado, at this event and are excited to share about our work on the ERA Programs.

ERA Education Project creator Kamala Lopez will also be attending and documenting the event. NWPC is excited to work with and support her as she continues to garner strength for her work and Pubic Service Announcements. Please remember that our job is far from over and with yourfinancial support of this important program we can see the ERA become reality.

Although 40 years later we are still fighting to get the ERA passed, we believe the time has come for this amendment to make its way through Congress (again) and be ratified by the states.


OUT AND ABOUT

NWPC-California

The National Women’s Political Caucus of California will hold the 2012 Jeannette Rankin “Courage to Run” Awards & Reception on Saturday April 21 at the Skirball Center from 6:30-8:30 PM. The program honors progressive women that have shown extraordinary courage during their campaign for office. The event will include special guest Kamala Lopez, filmmaker & producer of ‘A Single Woman’ (Jeannette Rankin film) and several highly-esteemed elected officials!

NWPC-Cincinnati, Ohio

On March 30th, 2012the Cincinnati Women’s Political Caucus will co-sponsor the Women’s City Club National Speaker, Keri Kennedy at The Millennium Hotel at 7:30 pm. The topic of the discussion will be based on Human Rights and the Environment, a matter important to women in the Caucus and around the country.

NWPC-Massachusetts

On February 29th, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus held a Young Professionals Kickoff Mixer in Boston Massachusetts. The event allowed young people to network while offering them the chance to hear from MA State Representative Kate Hogan and MWPC Board Member and PAC Co-Chair Meredith Warren. Thanks for encouraging political engagement from young women in your state!

NWPC-Washington

The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington held The Senator Maria Cantwell's Women of Valor Awards on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Special guests include U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, Mary Landrieu, Patty Murray, & Jeanne Shaheen. What an excellent way to honor such fabulous women!

 

NWPC Foundation

Be part of the start by donating to the NWPC Foundation. Celebrate the next 40 years and beyond! Visit www.nwpcfdn.org to learn more.

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Donate to the NWPC Foundation to help promote the "Political Equality Century!"


NWPC-Dell MPP Program

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  • Up to 30% OFF list prices for select configurations
  • Members receive additional savings on select* electronics and accessories!
  • Monthly coupons for Members Only

*Offer does not apply to the following products categories: Printers and Ink, Gaming, Batteries and Power. Additional savings apply to select other offers.

Members can shop online and register for Dell Advantage atwww.dell.com/mpp or can call 1-800-545-3769 speak with a sales representative. Offer valid only to NWPC members.