May 2012 e-Newsletter
In this Issue:
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Mrs. Florence Cooper
Ms. Hilda Hernandez
Ann Dedman Delahanty
Lisa Mizrahi Kaado
Shaloma Shawmut Lessner
Mrs. Betty Palecek
Last year, the National Women’s Political Caucus celebrated 40 years of supporting multi-partisan women for political office.
This year the organization is starting its next 40 years with two impressive initiatives:
Women across the country are asked to become Founders of the Foundation with a tax-deductible gift of $2,000 to launch the Foundation
We’ve been moving and shaking to get out the message that the ratification of the ERA is past-due. A recent poll showed that 91% of Americans believe the Constitution should guarantee equal rights for women. So what’s the hold-up?
It has also been shown that over 70% of Americans do not know that the Constitution does not provide women with equal rights under the law. That’s where we come in.
Kamala Lopez, the creator of the Equal Rights Education Project, was recently recognized at “21 Leaders for the 21st Century Gala” in New York City. The reception, which was held at the Jumeirah Essex House on May 3rd honored Kamala’s work as a “Producer on Equality Vision.” Congratulations Kamy!
We are also proud to announce that NWPC Staff, Programs Director Bettina Hager, accepted the position of Co-Chair for the ERA Task Force of the National Council of Women’s Organizations. She will be working as co-Chair with current Chair Bobbie Francis to help garner momentum behind the movement to pass and ratify the ERA once and for all!
NWPC would also like to invite you to participate in an exciting opportunity to learn more about Kamala’s ERA Education Project and join her and Bettina for a webinar hosted by EMERGE America. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 30th at 3pm ET/ 2pm CT/ 12pm PT. It will look at the work Kamy has already achieved and where she plans to take the ERA Education Project in the future. Please RSVP for the webinar or email Bettina at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The LGBTQ Community and its rights to equality under the law have been at the forefront of the debate as the country turns its focus to Marriage Equality. The controversial Amendment 1 on the ballot in North Carolina’s primary was approved this past May 8th. The Amendment, which addresses Same-Sex Marriage Equality, was accepted by a 61%-39% majority. The ballot language stated and affirmed that “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” This was a major setback in the country’s acceptance of equal rights for the LGBTQ community.
Among the flurry and reaction to this vote, President Barack Obama came out on public television to officially support Same-Sex Marriage. Although the announcement was prematurely provoked by some remarks by Vice President Joe Biden, the President was rumored to be preparing a statement to be given within the next few months. President Obama affirmed on ABC that he thinks “Same-sex couples should be able to get married.” This was a historic step forward for the LGBTQ community.
Dear NWPC Members and Friends,
Our May Newsletter finds me so warmed by our April Board meeting in Kansas City, and very enthusiastic about the future of NWPC. The Kansas City and Missouri Caucuses have welcomed us before, and they are wonderful hosts, but this meeting had new surprises for us in store. Not only did we have good participation and strong discussions in our Board meeting sessions, but we also had the opportunity to attend two events, one of which I will describe more fully later. Caucus member, philanthropist and community activist Mary Steeb hosted a cocktail party in honor of Marguerite Cooper, NWPC CA, at her amazing home, and we made new friends and visited with old ones. Mary also signed on as a Founder of the new NWPC Endowment fund that was approved for establishment by vote of the NWPC Board as part of the weekend’s agenda, so we are doubly grateful for her generosity.
The Board meeting proper was punctuated by some lively items, and we all loved watching the draft of multiple video productions by VP for Diversity and Outreach, Donna DeBerry, making our comments and thinking of the public impact we will be making with these new treasurers. The videos will offer a vision of NWPC and our work, and generate interest for new members. Donna is also making specific shorter videos for Diversity Outreach, so we will have targeted videos for Hispanic, African American, Asian, etc. populations to come join Caucus.
We had a special guest recruited for us by VP for Communications Pat Lynch (great job, Pat!) to come visit with the Board about the reception preceding the Republican National Convention. Nationally recognized Republican activist Ann Stone, who serves on the Board of the National Women’s History Museum, among many other notable organizations, flew in for Saturday’s Board meeting. Ms. Stone spoke about her efforts to date with the RNC, and agreed to co-chair the reception with NWPC VP for Diversity and Outreach Donna DeBerry, and Ann also talked about the significant need to make our efforts stronger in reaching out to Republican women. It was really great to have Ann with us and to have her volunteer to help us with NWPC!
Plans are well underway for our Annual Meeting, which will be held July 27, 28, 29 in Reno, Nevada, with some optional pre and post meeting activities that you and your family will enjoy. Watch for updates on the meeting, and mark your calendars now, because you will NOT want to miss this meeting, or the fun events Pat Lynch and team are crafting for us. Keep up your good work in all your local and state Caucuses, and look for news elsewhere in the newsletter about the ERA Webinar, legislative news, our wonderful Endorsed Candidates, and more.
NWPC President Linda Young has been making the rounds to speak out on women’s issues and speak for NWPC members. She provided the keynote address for the American Association of University Women’s Texas Convention in April, given the assignment to “rouse the troops”, and motivate their members to do more. The topic was “Sisterhood, and Collaboration among Women’s Organizations.”
Through her remarks and prepared Power Point presentation, Linda shared some of our new partnerships and collaborations, and talked about HERvotes, since AAUW is another partner in that collaborative and they work on the initiatives too. Donna DeBerry’s new video was a great way to begin the speech and AAUW Texas has asked to put it on their website!
Another opportunity to represent NWPC came in Kansas City, where the Kansas City and Missouri Caucuses held a reception to honor elected officials and key planners of the joint NWPC KC and MO signature event, the Torch Dinner. Lee Smithson of the NWPC KC Foundation, presented the new program called Madame President Camp for Girls, a week-long political camp for girls who have interest in political office, such as President!, that will be held at the University of Missouri, KC. This will be a trade-marked program, so we are particularly proud as we know we will see more versions of this program in time.
Linda had the opportunity to speak with the audience for a bit, and I talked about the topic of mentoring, which is the focus of Sharing the Torch and the Torch Dinner. It was also an opportunity to talk about some of our work in the new administration of NWPC, and to recognize members of the Executive Committee who were present. Congratulations, Kansas City and Missouri Caucuses, for your amazing work for women in political life, and for your ten years of success with your own endowment! The Executive Committee enjoyed meeting members and a number of your wonderful sponsors at the reception, so thank you from National, and keep up all the good work!
We are growing increasingly confident that 2012 is the new “Year of the Woman!” Women across the country are standing up against attacks on our rights, including those who have courageously decided to run for Congress as a voice for women!
NWPC is thrilled to announce recent April Endorsement of 23 highly-qualified women for the 2012 campaign season. Though we had a large number of strong candidates, these women stood out as committed supporters of women’s rights and issues.
Our April endorsements include two incredibly strong women running for Senate. In an extremely high profile race, Elizabeth Warren (MA) will run against incumbent Scott Brown in Massachusetts. We are also re-endorsing Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) during this election cycle.
We have also endorsed 21 women seeking seats in the House. Incumbents include Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07) who is running for her second term in the House. From California, we are excited to endorse Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-24), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) and Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53). Our other fantastic endorsed incumbents include long-serving Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-08), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03), and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04).
We endorsed several women who are running for their first term in Congress. These women include Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35), Denise Moreno Ducheny (CA-51), Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Sharon Sund (MN-03), Joyce Healy Abrams (OH-07), and Tomeka Hart (TN-09). NWPC is also proud to endorse The Honorable Janet Cowell who is seeking re-election for North Carolina State Treasurer.
For US Senate races, we are pleased to announce our re-endorsement of Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA). We are also delighted to endorse current Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and current Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.
We endorsed 13 women seeking seats in the House. Incumbents include Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-18), Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04).
In addition to our fantastic incumbents, we have also endorsed several women who are seeking their first time in the House of Representatives! These women include Leslie Coolidge (IL-06), Shelli Yoder (IN-09), Tarryl Clark (MN-08), Teresa Hensley (MO-04), Nia Gill (NJ-10), Angela Zimmann (OH-05), and Missa Eaton (PA-03).
All of these women are exceedingly qualified and put women at the top of their priorities. Please take the time to get to know a bit about each of them under our endorsement page.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has historically been one bill that Democrats and Republicans alike support with incredible bipartisan cooperation. The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2012, however, is breaking that tradition as it broadens its scope of protection to include the LGBT Community, Native Americans and Immigrants. These minority populations are not currently guaranteed protection under the current version of VAWA. The “controversial” new provisions have created a partisan divide. The Senate version of VAWA S.1925 passed with a definite majority (68-31). While we are thrilled to report that all 5 female Republican Senators voted for the bill, all 31 who voted against were Republican males-directly down the party line.
Unfortunately, the House bill of VAWA H.R. 4970 is a watered down version of the Senate bill and takes away the added provisions to protect the three minority groups not currently covered. It has passed through the House and going back to the Senate. Although passing the Violence Against Women Act is important, it needs to be done with the provisions to protect all women who are at risk. It is important to contact your Congressperson to encourage them to vote for the real VAWA with provisions for all women.
There is currently only one clinic in Mississippi that offers abortion procedures and it is in direct threat of being closed down due to Mississippi House Bill 1390. HB 1390 requires that all physicians who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital and be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Lawmakers in the state have openly acknowledged this to be a regulation to purposefully and definitively stop abortions in Mississippi.
HB 1390 passed in April and is scheduled to take effect on July 1st fulfilling Governor Phil Bryant’s (R) commitment to “continue to work Mississippi abortion-free.” The owner of the clinic, Diane Derzis, has said she plans to sue. Unfortunately, in a state where State Representative Bubba Carpenter responded to the possibility of women performing at-home abortions using coat hangers with “But hey, you have to have morals” the future looks bleak. We need to encourage all our advocates in Mississippi and out to support the clinic and allow women in Mississippi reproductive freedom and choice.
The National Defense Authorization Act, passed by the House Armed Servies Committee on May 10th aims to greatly improve the ability of small business to win government contracts. Although this passage is a victory for small business contracts, the bill directly affecting women-owned businesses, The Women’s Procurement Program Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4203) was not included in the package.
Barbara Kasoff, the President of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) an organization that fought hard for the passage of the NDAA commented “Since the government has never met its 5% goal for contracting with women owned firms, we need the changes included in H.R. 4203 to strengthen the Women-Owned Small Business Program.”
In other military news, the U.S. Army took a step forward as jobs in combat battalions are now officially opened to women.
The National Women’s Political Caucus of Arizona held its 2012 Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast, entitled “Recovery after the Devastation of the 50th Arizona Legislature” on Friday May 18th. The breakfast, which was held at The Arizona Inn, featured a panel discussion with AWPC-Endorsed Southern Arizona Legislators Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford (D-27), Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales (D-27), Senator Paula Aboud (D-28) and Senator Linda Lopez (D-29). email@example.com
The National Women’s Political Caucus of Greater Kansas City, MO is announcing its “launch” of a new program for young women and girls entitled the Madame President girl’s (political) camp. The camp, funded by the GKC-WPC Foundation is to be held at University of Missouri-Kansas City over a one week period from June 25-29. The mission of the camp is to specifically encourage young women to identify themselves as future politicians and, as the title suggests, Presidents! http://www.umkc.edu/civicengage/madamepres.shtml
The Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey will celebrate its 40th Anniversary at its Annual Meeting of the General Conference. The meeting will be held the night of May 31st starting at 6:00 pm at the Eagleton Institute of Rutgers University. WPCNJ and NWPC Founder Alice Cohan will be the featured keynote speaker for the event. firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday May 23rd, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington held its annual May Hutton Society Reception. The event featured an intimate meet and greet with some of Washington’s growing number of strong women mayors. The reception took place at the Watermark Tower in Downtown Seattle from 6:00-8:00 pm. email@example.com