September 2013 e-Newsletter
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Intern Spotlight: Megan Morgan
Megan Morgan was born and raised in New Cumberland, WV and is a senior American History and Political Science Major at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She is currently attending the American Studies Program sponsored by the Council of Christian Colleges and University in Washington, D.C. Megan has always been interested in women’s and human rights, and working for the NWPC gives her the first step towards seeing her role in activism.
At the National Women’s Political Caucus, Megan is a Political Planning & Action Intern. She enjoys researching and contacting campaign offices as well as spending some time on the Equal Rights Amendment. Megan will be graduating Spring 2014 and plans to continue her education in Political Science in order to help end discrimination against women.
When she is not fighting alongside NWPC for women’s equality, Megan enjoys participating in her school’s comedy troupe. She also leads the MVNU College Democrats and MVNU History and Political Science Club. Megan enjoys spending her time relaxing through yoga, especially when able to don her vintage Power Rangers t-shirt.
Preview: 2013 EMMAs
The Richer Sex, by Liza Mundy
"Thanks for Ruining My Life," by Abigail Pesta
"Girls 4 Sale," by Andrea Powell
The National Women’s Political Caucus Foundation creates Good Corporations Awards
NWPC’s Foundation is moving full steam ahead, creating and bestowing the first Good Corporations Awards at the 2013 Good Guys Awards Gala in Austin, TX. This year’s awardees went to Google, Southwest Airlines and James P. Nutter and Company. Congratulations to all our Good Corporations!
Donate now and become a founding member today!
UPDATE: Abortion Legislation
Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas State Legislature have passed a new anti-abortion law. This set of laws makes it so that women cannot seek an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Also, this law puts restrictions on abortion clinics throughout the state. Currently, there is another piece of legislation in work to require doctors to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present before legally performing an abortion.
North Dakota currently has a law in place that bans abortions after 6 weeks, or the time that a fetal heartbeat can be registered by doctors. This law also bans abortions for gender selection and genetic abnormalities. This is currently the most restrictive law in place that bans abortion.
Oklahoma is a part of the next big Supreme Court decision when it comes to abortion. Cline V. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice was accepted to the Court on June 27. This case is an appeal by the state of Oklahoma from a ruling by the state Supreme Court that strikes down a law that limits doctors’ ability to prescribe the pills used for terminating early pregnancies. This case is expected to produce a bigger result about where the federal government stands when it comes to medically induced abortions.
As of June, state legislature passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. There is an exception for cases of incest and rape, however, it is very limited.
Gov. Kasich has signed a bill into law that makes it much more difficult for clinics to provide abortions. That includes barring public hospitals from making agreements with abortion clinics to accept their patients in case of emergency.
California has brought us good news! Gov. Jerry Brown along with Congress has signed a bill that will make it easier for women in rural areas to seek abortion services. This bill expands those who can perform abortions to nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and certified midwives.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has introduced new legislation for the “fresh start” Equal Rights Amendment! Introduced on August 1st with 95 co-sponsors, the language of H.J. Res 56 would proactively add the word “woman” to the Constitution. The new wording for the legislation in below.
On the Senate side, the related bill S.J. Res 10, introduced by Senator Menendez, currently has 14 co-sponsors. The three state strategy bills are also doing well in this congressional session. Senator Cardin’s bill S.J. Res 15 now has 31 co-sponsors and Representative Andrews’s companion bill H.J. Res 43 has 87 co-sponsors. Contact your Representatives and Senators today and encourage them to co-sponsor all four bills today!
Dear NWPC Members and Friends,
The first Newsletter of the new term for Board and Officers of NWPC has had a busy start, as we race toward the EMMAs in October, begin our efforts for new initiatives, and continue to work on membership and visibility. Our Executive Committee has a few new faces, and we welcome Vice President for Communications, Paul Willmarth, MO. and Treasurer Beth Lerner, FL., and Sherrill Mulhern, of MO and DC was elected to the newly-approved second Vice President for Development, to our slate of officers. Note that while Pat Lynch of NV returned again to office, she now has been elected as Vice President for Development; Donna DeBerry, TX., returned but this time ran and was elected as Vice President for Board Development, and Teray Stephens, CA., ran for and was elected as Vice President for Diversity and Outreach. Crystal Williams, MO., was re-elected as Vice President for Membership, having assumed the position during the past months when then-VP for Membership Theresa Garza Ruiz had to step down from that post. We are excited about our team and hope our membership will grow and prosper under this leadership.
The Convention had many highlights, and we received significant positive response about the amazing lineup of speakers and panelists on the program. Those who attended the event enjoyed a beautiful Diversity Reception Friday night (thank you Donna DeBerry!), and a very lively Good Guys event on Saturday night. We had a new tradition for the Good Guys: the establishment of an additional category of Good Corporations. We recognized three outstanding corporations: The James B. Nutter Company, Southwest Airlines, and Google. Interestingly, one of our Good Corporation winners, Google, had among its staff Former Texas State Representative Mark Strama, who also received one of our Good Guys Awards! Mark Strama was always supportive and helpful on women’s issues during his time in the House, but recently left the Legislature to become the lead for Google Fiber in Texas. We wish him the very best!
Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte was a fabulous keynote speaker for our Good Guys Gala, bringing laughter, applause and even a few tears as she shared her wit and wisdom. Senator Leticia Van De Putte is a winner of a Women of Courage award and fought alongside Senator Wendy Davis during the historic 11 hour filibuster. Senator Van De Putte is the one who said that now famous phrase, “At what point does a female senator have to raise her voice or her hand to be heard over her male colleagues in the room?" Thanks to NWPC Texas, t-shirts with Senator Van de Putte’s words and the NWPC logo on the front along with a Stand with Wendy motto on the back, were printed and given out for free to those who marched and demonstrated at the Capitol during the multi-day stand. Senator Van de Putte had missed a couple of days during the legislative session because her father had died. In fact, on the day of her father’s funeral, Senator Van de Putte drove from her San Antonio home back to the Capitol because she believed she must take a stand and support Senator Davis and her brave colleagues
I would like to thank all who have helped spread the word of our boycott against Macy’s. We have had a great response from many of our own membership, and from other groups and sister organizations. I appreciate everyone who continues to work for the cause NPWC stands for, and for your work every day in the trenches to support qualified women to political office.
On Thursday, October 24th, 2013, the National Women’s Political Caucus will hold the 2013 Exceptional Merit in Media Awards (EMMAs). The evening reception will be held at the New York Institute of Technology Auditorium in New York City.
This year, NWPC received 34 fantastic submissions for the awards. The full list of nominees can be found at www.nwpc.org/2013emmanominees. You can find some sneak previews of three of our nominees in the left side column of the newsletter.
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.
Register for the EMMAs or sponsor the EMMAs by going online to www.nwpc.org/EMMA or following this link http://www.nwpc.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=19.
The 2013 NWPC Biennial Convention, held from August 9-11 in Austin, TX made for a wonderful weekend. Attendees were inspired at cutting-edge campaign training, panels focusing on current women’s issues, and networking events. Thank you to everyone who worked on our Convention! Please also check out our photo gallery for highlights from the weekend:
We also want to welcome our newly elected 2013-2015 Board! NWPC is proud to announce your new leadership as we move into the next election cycle.
NWPC 2013-2015 Officers
Linda Young - Democrat, TX
1st Vice President:
VP Political Planning
Veronica Rivera—Democrat, TX
Beth Lerner—Democrat, FL
The NWPC National Office has received questionnaires from qualified and inspiring nationwide. We know; however, that one of the trickiest places to be in an election is a challenger. Below we are highlighting two strong women who are throwing their hats into races against incumbent men.
2014 Election Preview: Challengers
Challenger for PA-12, Erin McClelland
Seat currently held by Keith Rothfus (R)
Erin McClelland is a businesswoman who cares about people. Using her extensive psychology and behavioral health background of 17 years, she founded Arche Wellness, a modern treatment center for addiction recovery which covers substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It is the first Department of Health licensed orthomolecular addiction treatment program in Pennsylvania.
Erin McClelland is also a strong supporter of women’s rights, unlike the current incumbent, Keith Rothfus, who said he supported the Violence Against Women Act yet voted against the Senate version of the bill on the House floor. Keith Rothfus has walked in lockstep with the Republican party, and co-sponsored the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, believing that a women would consider aborting a baby on the basis of gender preference.
Challenger for FL-8, Corry Westbrook
Seat currently held by Bill Posey (R)
One of Florida’s 8th Congressional District’s best economic drivers is tourism, and Corry Westbrook is determined to keep it thriving through environmental protectionism. The 8th District is home to four National Wildlife Refuges and one National Park. This is where Corry’s strength lies: she is currently the Federal Policy Director for Oceanina, an organization dedicated to revitalizing ocean ecosystems, where she has worked on fishery management, fighting illegal fishing and seafood fraud, and protecting endangered species like the whale – her favorite animal.
Corry Westbrook is also a strong supporter of women’s rights, unlike the current incumbent, Bill Posey, who voted against the Violence Against Women Act. Posey is a career politician who previously served in Florida’s 15th district and is behind the times when it comes to scientific issues. He denies climate change and claims that flu vaccines can cause autism, a belief that has been disproven by numerous scientific studies and threatens the collective health of our children.
Sexual Violence in the Military
With a media frenzy surrounding the sexual assault case of Kimberly Hanks against Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, legislation is required in order to protect women within the military. In 2012, it is estimated that over 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted, yet only 3,400 reported the attacks. With a push towards lowering these figures in order to protect women from acts of sexual violence, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is fighting back.
On 5/6/2013, Gillibrand proposed the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 (S.967). Section seven of this bill seeks immediate action on reports on sexual offenses involving members of the armed forces. It is important for women to be able to serve in the armed forces comfortably and without worry of being sexually mistreated in the workforce. With bi-partisan support from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), more attention will be given to this bill. You can write to your Senator in support of this bill at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
On September 28th, The House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Senate continuing resolution budget bill by a vote of 231 – 191. This amendment was the latest in a series of attempts by the House to stop the Affordable Care Act healthcare exchanges from starting on Tuesday, October 1st. This amendment would delay the individual mandate by one year, get rid of the medical device tax, and most importantly, allow any insurer or employer to drop coverage of contraception through it’s “conscience clause.”
The “conscience clause” would allow employers or insurers to opt out of providing health care services to women not already protected in the law (meaning items that cover both men and women) if the employers or insurers object to those services on morally or religiously ground. Contraception isn’t explicitly mentioned in the bill. Instead, it’s “additional and preventative care…with respect to women.” As of today, it seems to be pointed towards contraception, screening and vaccines for cervical, pregnancy related diabetes and certain types of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But what about tomorrow? At least we can all rest safe in our homes knowing that Viagra will continue to be covered.
The National Women’s Political Caucus Foundation is proud to become considered for membership in the new Million Women Mentors (MWM) program. The MWM’s mission is to connect one million women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professions with ten million girls and young women by 2016. Only 13% of girls currently have career interests in STEM fields. With MWM, we hope the needle will move to at least 20% by the end of the decade. In turn, we also hope to see women in STEM careers rising from 24% today to 33% in the future.
NWPC members, employees and interns know firsthand the discouragement that women face in STEM fields. Encouragement by parents and other mentors to pursue education in STEM areas is a part of combating these obstacles. It is important to support women in all fields as we work to fill the political pipeline with diverse women. We encourage all our members to think of how they can help as well, whether it is volunteering as a mentor for MWM, in your community, or simply telling a woman you know about the Million Women Mentors project.
Out and About
On October 1, 2013 from 6-8pm, NWPC-LA Metro will be hosting a Meet and Greet with Mayor Garcetti’s Chief of Staff Ana Guerrero. October 11-13, 2013, the NWPCCA will be hosting their State Board Meeting at the Aryes Hotel and Suites Costa Mesa. On October 12 from 5:30-8pm, NWPC-OC will be hosting the Breaking the Glass Ceiling event. On October 24, 2013, NWPC-LA Westside will be hosting a PAC event from 6:30-9:30pm at the Mark for Events. To register for these great events or for more information please visit www.nwpcca.orgwww.nwpcca.org
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus will be holding the 26th Annual Tribute to Abigail Adams on October 22, 2013 at 6pm at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston. www.mwpc.org
On September 23, 2013, the Metropolitan Louisville WPC will be hosting the Kentucky Commission on Women at 5:30pm. http://www.mlwpc.org.