The Wave Of Women Running For Office Is Now 20,000 Strong — & Growing

Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 12:04 pm
The Wave Of Women Running For Office Is Now 20,000 Strong — & Growing
‎October‎ ‎28‎, ‎2017

There are now 20,000 more cracks (and counting) in the glass ceiling. Emily’s List announced at the Women’s Convention in Detroit on Saturday that more than 20,000 women across the country have thrown their hat into the ring to run for public office. “It was this convention that pushed us over,” Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock tells Refinery29. “We were at 19,000 last week and basically the past few days we shot up.”

There is a continuing wave of interest in running among progressive women that started almost immediately after Secretary Hillary Clinton’s loss in November. “Over 1,000 women hit the link on our website [to learning how to run] within four weeks of the election,” Schriock says. For the entire 2016 election cycle, which had been the group’s biggest to date before last November, Emily’s List heard from a grand total of 920 women.

Roughly half of the women who’ve reached out to Emily’s List, which was founded in 1985 to elect pro-choice women to office, are under age 45. All 50 states are represented. Schriock estimates that around 40% are looking to run in local races, such as city council and school board in their communities. Others are eyeing congressional races, some as soon as 2018.

“They’re not all running right now, but what they’re saying is I want to run. I want to serve. I want to make sure the voices of my community are heard. And I believe I can win,” Schriock says. “And they can! These are the voices that have been missing.”

Right now, the numbers reflect a dismal picture for gender parity in American politics. Women hold just 19.6% of seats in Congress, only 25% of the seats in state legislatures, and 24% of statewide executive positions, such as governor and lieutenant governor, according to the Center for American Women in Politics.

Research shows that while women candidates have an equal likelihood as their male counterparts at winning elections, far fewer women run. The reasons for this are myriad, ranging from women being more likely to be the sole caregiver for their families to women (especially women of color) being “systematically” underfunded by political action committees, according to a report from the Center for American Progress released earlier this year.

Earlier this week, Politico reported that the GOP has been working on building a copycat of Emily’s List. Their effort, named Winning For Women, will work to funnel dollars to Republican women candidates as a way to address another gap: the number of Republican women serving versus the number of Democratic women.

Schriock is not convinced that strategy will work, saying, “As long as the Republican Party continues to push for policies that hurt women, they will have trouble recruiting and electing women candidates for office.”

Sen. Gillibrand, who also runs a PAC for women candidates called Off the Sidelines, says she’s unfamiliar with Winning For Women or any GOP effort, but added, “When women are at the table, regardless of party, there is more consensus building and more work getting done.”

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Real Music
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 12:19 pm

Will 2018 be the next ‘Year of the Woman?’

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Real Music
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 12:47 pm
Election 2017 Was a Historic Night for Women.
Minority and LGBTQ women, in particular, scored big victories in state and local races across the country.
November 8, 2017

This story is part of our 2017 elections coverage.

Women claimed big victories on Tuesday in a night that marked many firsts and could signal the start of a sea change for women in politics.

The sheer volume of success for women candidates was a surprise to many, mainly because they were running against incumbents who historically win re-election 90 percent of the time. But not this year. Incumbents in Georgia, New Jersey and Virginia all lost their seats to women.

“It would be foolish to make too much of any one race,” says Jean Sinzdak, associate director of Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics. "But all of this together -- there’s something going on right now.”

A handful of cities elected their first female mayor or -- in the case of Seattle, its first in nearly a century. Women were elected to the mayor's office for the first time in Manchester, N.H., and Newton, Mass. There's also more to come as Atlanta (which has only had one woman mayor) and New Orleans (which has never had a woman mayor) are both holding mayoral runoff elections between female candidates.

Other firsts on the local level include Nassau County, N.Y., electing its first woman executive, and in Boston and Boise, Idaho, voters electing enough women that their city councils will now be either majority or near-majority female for the first time in their history.

At the state level, women in Georgia, Virginia and Washington claimed victory in open legislative seats formerly held by men or outright defeated male incumbents to make gains in state-level representation.

Notably, women in Virginia led the surge in flipping 11 of 16 Republican-held seats in the House, with one race too close to call on Wednesday. Starting next year, the chamber will have at least 28 women serving. That’s a record high and an increase of more than half.

Election night was also historic for minority and LGBTQ women.

Charlotte, N.C., elected Vi Lyles to be its first black woman as mayor, and Sudanese-American Mazahir Salih became the first Muslim and first immigrant to win a seat on the city council in Iowa City, Iowa. Sheila Oliver was elected New Jersey's first black woman lieutenant governor, and the first two Latinas were elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

An openly transgender woman won a statehouse seat for the first time in Virginia, while Andrea Jenkins in Minneapolis became the first transgender woman elected to a city council in a major city. Lisa Middleton in Palm Springs became California's first transgender candidate to win a city council seat. And in Seattle, Jenny Durkan will be the city's first lesbian mayor.

In some ways, the groundswell of victories can be viewed as a direct result of the many women inspired to run after President Trump’s surprise defeat of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a year ago. Certainly, some races had the tone of a referendum on Trump.

In New Jersey, 32-year-old Democrat Ashley Bennett was inspired to run against Republican Atlantic County Freeholder John Carman when he mocked the Women’s March on his Facebook page. She won with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

In Virginia, transgender candidate Danica Roem ran against long-time Republican Del. Robert Marshall after he sponsored a so-called bathroom bill in the state legislature. Roem, 32, campaigned on ideals like inclusion and equality, but her main platform spoke to local concerns, such as better transportation and infrastructure. She won with 54 percent of the vote.

But Mirya Holman, a political science professor at Tulane University, cautions that change in politics doesn’t happen in a matter of months. She sees this as a culmination of the work that organizations promoting female candidates -- like Emily’s List and Ready to Run -- have been doing for years.

“We also had five women elected mayor in Utah,” she says, “which is just amazing because that is not a liberal place. But the reason is that the Republican party in Utah has been working really hard to encourage women to run.”

The surprise victories this week for so many first-time female candidates has many hopeful that mainstream donors and organizers -- who generally don't gravitate toward unknown women candidates -- will take notice. But, Rutgers’ Kelly Dittmar notes that Virginia -- where a whopping nine of 30 women challenging incumbents won their race -- is now a solidly purple and leaning blue state. So, expecting the same level of upsets next year in red states might be overly optimistic.

“We have to be a little careful about saying Virginia is like other states,” she says. “But there is a lot of hope that this inspires funders and parties to invest more.”

*CORRECTION: A previous version of this mistakenly reported Lisa Middleton's win as being to the California Legislature. She in fact won a seat on the Palm Springs City Council.

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Real Music
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2017 01:17 pm
Obama Says What Women Have Known Forever: Elect More Female Candidates.

‎December‎ ‎4‎, ‎2017
Barack Obama is getting on the Elect More Women train and with good reason. During a speech in France this past Saturday, the former president said we should be putting more women in positions of power "because men seem to be having some problems these days."

He added, "Not to generalize, but women seem to have a better capacity than men do, partly because of their socialization."

Obama didn't name any names, but it's not too difficult to imagine what was he referring to: The Democratic Party is struggling to deal with the sexual misconduct accusations against Sen. Al Franken, Reps. John Conyers, and Ruben Kihuen. On the Republican side, we've also seen serious allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Rep. Blake Farenthold, and President Donald Trump himself. And that's without taking into account the number of politicians that have come under fire for sexual harassment and misconduct in state legislatures across the country.

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Real Music
Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2017 02:27 pm
The Time for Crying is Over—Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Wants You to Run for Office Instead

November 8th was almost a year ago. You probably have vivid memories of where you were that night. Nearly everyone does. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was at the Javitz Center, waiting for Hillary Clinton to be elected President. "I was still believing in Hillary,” she says, “right up until the moment we lost Wisconsin." Then, she recalls that around her, "tears started to flow."

"I didn’t break down into tears until the next morning when I woke up at 6 a.m.," she recalls. "Then I felt we were in a very dangerous time."

In times when the hyper masculinity of the alt-right seems to dominate American politics—Trump claims never to cry, meanwhile a picture of President Obama crying over the death of children at Sandy Hook is routinely used to mock him by Trump supporters—it’s genuinely refreshing to hear from a politician who is enough in touch with basic human emotion to admit to crying. Those people alongside her who were mocked for being overly emotional on election night now seem prescient regarding some of the misery that lay ahead.

And while some might have been immobilized, Senator Gillibrand immediately went out and started kicking ass. In the past year, she topped the senate in opposing Trump’s nominees, traveled to Puerto Rico and shared her outrage that Trump has threatened to turn his back on the people there, and marked the anniversary of Roe. Vs. Wade by taking to the Senate Floor to stand up for women’s healthcare.

The New York Senator was, of course, right about living in dangerous times. We’ve watched white supremacists cheer the President's sentiments and the President attack private citizens, the free press, and the American judicial system. What’s going on abroad can seem even more dangerous.

Gillibrand recalls that on the morning Trump was elected, her first thought was the Iran deal, signed by Obama in 2015, and stipulated that in return for removal of UN sanctions, Iran would close its nuclear facilities. Trump has called it “the worst deal ever” and supposedly “threw a fit” upon finding out that Secretary of Defense James Matthis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and others in the administration wished to preserve it. Gillibrand remarks that she’s still frightened “that Trump would unwind the agreement. That would undo the potential for decades of peace and the might put us on the path to WWIII.”

Well. At least we didn’t vote for the lady who had a private email server.

But as terrifying as the year has been, there are also moments that Gillibrand has found immensely hopeful. “I thought [the women’s march] was the most inspiring moment in my political life,” she remarks. “Especially because it was intersectional—you could march for reproductive freedom or LGBT or black lives matter. You marched because you wanted to be heard, and that energy and determination hasn’t stopped.”

"Women are putting themselves between Trump and the horrible things he wants to accomplish."

That’s been essential. Gillibrand notes that grassroots movements are the only reason that we don’t have Trumpcare today. And Gillibrand wants to get more women involved in politics. To that end she’s spearheaded an organization called Off The Sidelines, which, she says, “has been a call to action for women over the last six years.”

Now, getting into politics might not seem like an entirely pleasant proposition for women who watched as Hillary Clinton was told to smile over and over, or heard Elizabeth Warren silenced. There’s no question that sexism affects women in the political arena—as it does in so many arenas. It’s affected Senator Gillibrand. She recalls a time in her 2006 campaign: “My opponent referred to me as ‘just a pretty face,’ and then he used a mailer with the ugliest picture he could find. With a green wash so I looked like a crazed witch.” Gillibrand sighs. “When you talk about women’s appearance it distracts the voter from what she’s running for. Sexism is alive and well in politics as it is in all industries.”

But it’s not keeping women down. “Emily’s List is working with 19,000 candidates as opposed to about 1,000,” Gillibrand says. “To change Washington you need to change the women’s player list. Women are putting themselves between Trump and the horrible things he wants to accomplish. They’re making an effort to stand tall and fight back." To get involved yourself, the Off The Sidelines foundation offers local listings of groups that can help women run for office and win. Through a partnership with Levo League, it can also connect you with mentors who can advise you as you run.

“If we had more women [in office], we wouldn’t be debating whether we should have access to contraception," says the Senator, "and we wouldn’t be fighting so hard to end violence in the military.”

Representation matters. (Gillibrand herself is currently supporting Rep Kyrsten Sinema's run against Jeff Flake in Arizona, and Jacky Rosen in Nevada.)

And if you don’t want to run, then getting involved in some other way can help. Gillibrant is a font of ideas of ways people can get involved in the political process. “We don’t have Trumpcare because so many people shared their personal stories,” she states. You can do the same on the phone with your reps or even social media. “Put a lawn sign on your lawn, go door to door for your candidate. Register people to vote. There’s so much we can do through our voices and time. That’s what flips election.” And start now. Because as Senator Gillibrant grimly notes, if we don’t flip the house in 2018, “then we won’t have a chance of stopping what Trump wants to do.”

2018 is coming soon. The time for crying is over. Now is the time for every woman to raise their voices and fight back.

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Real Music
Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2017 03:03 pm
Democrats rally behind Gillibrand after Trump’s ‘sexist smear’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand blasted President Donald Trump's Twitter attack on her as a "sexist smear" on Tuesday and said it was meant to silence her and others who have accused him of sexual misconduct, while Democrats demanded an ethics investigation of the president.

Trump, in an early morning tweet, labeled Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a "lightweight" and a "total flunky" for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who also represents New York, a day after she called on the president to resign amid a series of sexual misconduct and assault allegations against him.

Trump claimed Gillibrand would beg for campaign contributions — before he was elected — suggesting she "would do anything for them."

"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!" the president tweeted.

Gillibrand, at a Tuesday news conference, excoriated Trump for the suggestive remark that she would do anything and said she will continue to call for him to step down.

"It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice, and I will not be silenced on this issue. Neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday," she said, referring to the TV interview and press conference on Monday by women who have previously accused Trump of sexual misconduct before he took office.

"Their voices also will not be silenced," she added, "and neither will the millions of women and men who have marched against the president and his policies."

Gillibrand said Congress should open an investigation into the president because "it's the right thing to do."

Trump’s attack was prompted after the New York Democrat said in an interview on Monday that the president should step aside amid the dozens of allegationsfrom women, which range from inappropriate touching to sexual assault.

"President Trump has committed assault, according to these women, and those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, and he should be fully investigated and he should resign," Gillibrand told CNN.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) walks after her news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2017.© REUTERS/Yuri Gripas U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) walks after her news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2017. The president has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by more than a dozen women. He has forcefully denied all allegations.

Gillibrand responded to the barb-laced tweet with one of her own, vowing to continue to talk about the allegations against him and call on Congress to investigate the president.

"You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office," the senator tweeted.

The quarrel between the two quickly prompted Democrats to come to Gillibrand's side and boost calls for the president to resign or for Congress to open an ethics investigation.

The several Democrats who called on the president to step down include Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

"He’s a misogynist and admitted sexual predator and a liar. The only thing that will stop him from attacking us, because nobody is safe, is his resignation," Hirono said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who frequently tussles with the president, called the attack on Gillibrand an attempt "to bully, intimidate and slut-shame" Gillibrand.

"Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted," Warren tweeted.

More than a hundred Democratic lawmakers signed a letter calling on the Republican-led House Oversight Committee to open an investigation into the president. The move was led by the Democratic Women's Working Group in the House, which held a press conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to denounce the president's attack on Gillibrand.

"The Me Too movement has arrived," said Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., referring to the #MeToo social media movement where women and some men share stories about sexual misconduct.

"Sexual abuse will not be tolerated whether it's by a Hollywood producer, the chef of a restaurant, a member of Congress or the President of the United States. No man or woman is above the law."

Others said they were appalled at the president's tweet.

"It is grotesque. It took my breath away,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who came forward in October with her own story of being sexually harassed on Capitol Hill. “And it represents the conduct of a person who is ill-equipped to be the president of the United States."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also tweeted: "I stand with Sen. Gillibrand, a dedicated public servant and friend. America must reject Trump’s sexist slurs."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters on Tuesday, that the president will falter in his attempt to bully Gillibrand.

"I could just tell you that the president will fail in any effort to intimidate Kirsten Gillibrand. It ain’t going to work," he said. "If anything she is going to be strengthened in her efforts. She is a pretty determined person."

Federal campaign records show that Trump donated to Gillibrand's campaign during her 2010 special election run, including $2,400 for the primary and general election. He also donated $1,050 to her congressional campaign in 2007-2008. He also gave $2,100 to the Gillibrand Victory Fund PAC in 2007, according to federal campaign records

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Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2017 03:06 pm
Trump claimed Gillibrand would beg for campaign contributions — before he was elected — suggesting she "would do anything for them."

"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!" the president tweeted.

Awful man and disgrace to the presidency. Shame
Real Music
Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2017 03:09 pm
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