September 2011 e-Newsletter
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Danna Zahran is currently a senior at The George Washington University, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, with concentrations in both International Development and Middle Eastern Affairs, and a minor in Business Administration. Danna’s degree choices define not only her interest in both fields, but also her desire to merge the two in a development career.
Having been raised in Saudi Arabia, and of Egyptian-Jordanian origin, Danna is fluent and literate in both English and Arabic. After moving to D.C. from Dallas to seek greater experience opportunities, she considers her internship with the NWPC to be one of the greatest accomplishments of her college career. Danna hopes to bring the valuable lessons she learns at the NWPC back to the Middle East, especially as her first hand experience with the Arab Spring this past year has made her increasingly aware of the necessity to help women become more actively involved. Although Danna intends to continue on to graduate school in the UK next fall, she plans on one day returning to Egypt to be part of its development and reform.
A hearty congratulation goes out to Judy Chavis, NWPC’s recently elected VP of Development. Judy, who is Executive Director, Business Development and Global Alliances for Dell, serves as Chair of this year’s 2011 EMMAs Event.
We spoke to Judy to find out more about her plans and goals as she takes on her new role on the Board of the NWPC and get her input on what to expect for the organization during the next two years of her work with the Caucus.
Q: You were recently elected as VP of Development for the NWPC and will be serving on the Executive Committee – Congratulations! What led you to this path and what do you look forward to as you take on this new position?
A:This role as VP of Development relates a lot to my past experience with fundraising. As the mother of two children, I have participated a lot in fundraising efforts at their school for their sports teams and getting their teams to tournaments. While I do a lot of development work at DELL, the difference in fundraising in the non-profit sector has a lot to do with working for a good cause, which is the case with NWPC. Mostly, I love the challenge and the feeling of getting my adrenaline going.
Q: You grew up in Jamaica, correct? How do you think the process of applying for your citizenship has shaped your attitude toward the importance of voting and advocating for women in America? Do you feel that the experience actually inspired you to greater involvement in electoral process?
A: Absolutely, the process has tremendously impacted my attitude towards the importance of advocating for women in America in a positive way. I became a citizen in 2008, although I came to the U.S. at around the age of fifteen and initially had no interest in applying…read more.
Q: In your role as Executive Director,Business Development and Global Alliances for Dell you surely have much experience in the Development field. What are the differences and advantages that you’re finding between development in the Corporate and Non-Profit worlds?
A: At Dell, or in the corporate sector, business development is conducted with the objective of creating a win-win situation for both sides. The goal there is initiating a plan that provides benefits to both parties – the company and the clients or partners. There’s a huge difference, however, in the Non-Profit world as the whole purpose centers on creating awareness and attracting positive involvement.
Q: You are serving as the Chair for this year’s 2011 EMMAs. Please tell me a little more about the world that is being put into it as we inch nearer to the November 6th Event. What are you looking forward to?
A: Upon my appointment in July, the main goal I have been working for is making the people aware of the organization. Drawing from my experience with organization and structure with the corporate world, we plan to rebrand the organization and greatly involve the media in the process. The aim is to both get as many submissions for the EMMAs as possible, as well as attract new outlets in music, entertainment, and sports for support… read more
Q:As you embark upon the next two years of work with the Caucus, what is your source of inspiration? What would you like to tell women and girls who may be considering leadership positions?
A: I draw a lot of inspiration from my role as a mentor of women ranging from colleagues at work to the daughters of girlfriends and friends of my children. I truly believe that when you do good to others, you get good in return. What inspires me is having met women both throughout and outside the organization, and to me, the caucus is like a sisterhood…read more
Thank you Judy!
Dear NWPC Members and Friends,
With this first newsletter of the second 40 years of the caucus, I wanted to let you know that your new executive team is working hard to bring new opportunities for us all in our goal to significantly increase the number of qualified women in political office.Since the convention, where we saw many of you and other wonderful role models of courage and commitment, we’ve gotten together for a planning retreat over a weekend and have begun work for this new term of office.
We invite you to read the newsletter and find out what your sister caucuses across the country are doing, what programs and events are planned, what the political scene holds for us, and good news about some of our newer members and officers.As we continue our newest efforts, we will also be contacting you for sharing your insight and experiences and will be highlighting a different member to celebrate the great women who make up the National Women’s Political Caucus. Please read about the amazing Exceptional Merit in Media Awards, NWPC's signature event we call the EMMAs to be held in Los Angeles on November 6.Hope to see you soon.
We are excited to announce this year’s Exceptional Merit Media Awards (EMMAs) awards will be held November 6, 2011 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles from 12-3 PM.It is sure to be an event you will not want to miss, so mark your calendars and set those travel plans early!
The EMMAs began in 1986 to recognize exceptional coverage of women’s issues across media outlets. Since its inception, the EMMAs have recognized contributions from the likes of Sheryl WuDunn, Ellen Goodman, Cokie Roberts, and Diane Sawyer, Glamour Magazine, and Ms. Magazine. Always a forward thinker, Judy Chavis, this year’s EMMA’s chairwoman, has made it her goal to attract new outlets in music, entertainment, and sports to the event.
In keeping with the event’s desire to merge the seriousness of the material with a fun and spirited atmosphere, the band Red Sea Rising will be performing. To get more information on this event and purchase tickets or sponsorships please check out the Official 2011 EMMA’s website .See you in L.A.
Exciting news for the upcoming 2012 elections. Recently, superstar Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Representative Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin announced their bid for the 2012 Senate election. With campaign season coming up around the corner, NWPC is here to highlight the campaign trails of these two exceptional women.
With census data released we, as a nation, have once again found ourselves in the midst of political redistricting. For better or worse, redistricting is a necessity in America. As the American population becomes more urbanized with individuals looking to put down new roots, redistricting ideally allows for equal representation. With this in mind, we feel that a breakdown of both the practice’s potential benefits and challenges are in order.
The obvious benefit to redistricting is that, at least in some states, it opens up the door to add additional congressional seats. In the 2011 redistricting process, eight states are gaining seats, with Texas gaining as many as four. In addition, these new seats create great opportunities for women running for public office as research has shown they perform strongly in races for open seats.
Though the process adds a number of potential seats for women, redistricting has its drawbacks. First, redistricting can result in pitting two female incumbents or strong candidates against each other thus, reducing the number of representative seats for women. In addition to potentially reducing female representation, redistricting can often disguise a broader political tactic employed by competing political parties to either better their own odds of reelection or hinder their opponents’.Depending on how the lines are drawn, local demographics can be divided resulting in flawed representation. While district lines are determined by numbers, the process will always raise concerns over whether or not redistricting is done according to true demographics or done according to old-fashioned gerrymandering. As the results continue to trickle out, we need to make sure we are standing with and by our women incumbents and making sure every open seat is a woman’s seat!
On September 8, President Obama introduced, before a joint session of Congress, the American Jobs Act, an economic recovery plan centering around $447 billion in tax cuts and government spending. The president argued that improving the country’s economic malaise requires Congress to cut taxes, extend unemployment benefits, and invest in the nation’s schools and infrastructure. President Obama believes that the $60 billion set aside for infrastructure development, including modernizing roads, railroads, airports, and waterways, will put Americans back to work while another $35 billion will prevent the layoffs of over 280,000 teachers and first responders. Additionally, the American Jobs Act incentivizes hiring individuals unemployed for more than six months with tax credits while continuing to support the growth of the nation’s small businesses by providing cutting payroll taxes. Since his speech, the president has launched a nationwide push to win support for the upcoming bill.
This summer Governor McDonnell signed Senate Bill 924 in order to enact new regulations on abortion providers. Known as “TRAP laws”, or Target Regulations Against Abortion Providers, these laws seek to regulate abortion facilities as hospitals, controlling construction standards, staffing practices and procedures. In reaction to the bill, women’s rights group Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health has started a statewide petition and has hosted a Speak Out Rally on September 14th at Virginia Commonwealth University. Though the board passed the bill, the Coalition is continuing to gather supporters and students against limited access to abortion services. The Coalition is asking that Virginia residents voice their pro-choice opinions by signing the petition as well as attending their October 15th rally in Monroe Park.Feel free to learn more about the organization the bill and rally at their website.
You have received a message with the HERvotes press release, an outstanding new program focused on significantly increasing the number of registered women voters.The brainchild of Ellie Smeal, President of Feminist Majority and one of our founders, Kathy Bonk of the Media Consortium, the campaign brings particular attention to laws that impact women's health and economic rights. President Linda Young joined in the press conference call with the leadership of the 20+ women's organizations, and was proud to add NWPC to that list.The campaign has held two blog carnivals to raise awareness, reaching millions of women.NWPC Staff Bettina Hager contributed to the most recent blog carnival on jobs and the economy.Please check out her post and consider contributing to the next blog carnival, tweeting or posting on Facebook to spread the word!
Many of you will remember that through the years, we have had groups wanting to use the Caucus name and identification but, unfortunately, they opted to not comply with our guidelines. While we respect individuality and creativity, when it comes to the title National Women's Political Caucus, we feel that it is important to reiterate that we own the copyright to the name and symbols affiliated with the organization.Moreover, legitimately formed groups that affiliate under the National organization umbrella are the only ones allowed to use our name or symbol. The past President, Lulu Flores, worked with attorneys to verify and update the record of our ownership of our name, and we do, indeed, have reason to protect and be proud of it.
The National Women's Political Caucus has been around for forty years now, and we have many who have given their time, resources, and passion to build and support the organization; we owe it to their efforts to continue to carry the name forward. The Caucus is often called and recognized as NWPC, and through the trademark registration, we own NWPC, the National Women's Political Caucus, and also Power, Passion and Progress. In using the name or any part of the name, we are referring to the National organization, so when you receive information from the National organization, it will simply be National Women's Political Caucus, or NWPC. Local and state caucuses use the full name or NWPC and add their identifying name to specify their own location or territory, such as NWPC-AZ, or NWPC-NJ, etc. Please know that this effort also protects our organization and the values we hold from being diminished by other groups being able to use either the full name of the organization or "NWPC". We have taken legal action to verify our ownership of the name, so if another group illegally utilizes the name or the symbol of NWPC, they are non-compliant with the law.
We will be sending out a follow up on NWPC branding in the near future.Be sure to check it out!
NWPC of Massachusetts to host its 2011 Tribute to Abigail Adams on Tuesday, October 11th at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus introduced the Tribute to Abigail Adams in 1988 to recognize six Massachusetts women leaders. Award recipients are women who have demonstrated, through their work and/or their community activism, an outstanding commitment to the realization of equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This year’s Dolores Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor at Harvard Business School.Awards will also be given to Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, Ruth Ellen Fitch, Lauren Baker, Vicary M. Graham, Jane C. Edmonds.
NWPC of California honors 2011 Women of Achievement at Emeryville Memorial Center on Saturday, October 15
NWPC-CA will honor the 2011 distinguished women from diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated leadership around women’s issues, worked to improve the lives of women, and made a significant difference in their communities.In addition to honoring the Women of Achievement, NWPC-CA will proudly celebrate the 40 Anniversary of NWPC with founding members & 100 years of Women’s Suffrage in California.
NWPC of Washington State holds “Show your Support” Candidate Reception
NWPC-WA held a Candidate Reception & PAC Fundraiser at St. Mary’s Place, a day shelter for homeless women and children on September 13.Attendees were encouraged to “show their support” and bring a donation of unworn underwear to support Mary’s Place, earning them $5 off any ticket price at the event!
NWPC of Texas holds Annual Meeting and Political Training
The NWPC-TX held its annual meeting on Saturday, September 24. NWPC-TX, for the fourth year, will be doing the political training for Las Comadres, The Texas Public Policy And Candidate Training Program, on Saturday October 1.