TWW Roundup: Will you be my…candidate? Happy Valentine’s Day!
Spreading the Love
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month this February, it seems appropriate to take a look at some candidates who have stepped up to the podium recently. Let’s make sure to spread the love and support progressive candidates all over the country, especially women, and especially women of color. We know that women are accepting the challenge of running for office in record numbers, and specifically more women of color are taking the leap.
The increase in numbers is reminiscent of another time in recent history when women felt the call to run. 1992 was hailed as “The Year of the Woman” because a record number ran and were elected to both the House and the Senate–largely in reaction to the horrendous hearings focusing on Anita Hill. That year four women won seats in the Senate, and 47 were elected to the House of Representatives. Carol Moseley Braun was among those elected to Senate seats; she became the first African-American woman Senator.
Unfortunately, that wave of women did not steadily grow. There was not an infrastructure in place to bring more women along, to train and support them. Now, in 2018, we have learned some lessons and organizations like Emily’s List and Higher Heights, a group helping to elect more Black women, are providing a more substantial support network. That network also includes grass roots organizations like TWW. Another group working to elect women is VoteRunLead by training women candidates. Of 46 women they trained in 2017, 31 won their races. 11 of those victors were women of color.
Black Women Running for Election
Here is a very brief sample list of candidates to learn more about:
- Lauren Underwood is running for U.S. House Representative in Illinois’ 14th District, which has never been represented by a woman or an African American in Congress.
- Lucy McBath is running for Georgia House of Representatives, 37th District. She is the mother of Jordan Davis, who you may remember was shot and killed at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, by a man objecting to the music he was playing in his car.
- Cherie Buckner-Webb is a Democrat running for Idaho State Senate as the incumbent, 19th District.
To find out more about Black women candidates, go to the website, Black Women in Politics. The website hosts a database of all Black women candidates. New submissions may be made or updated there.
Send Valentines to Your Elected Representatives
Take a minute and write a note, make a call, or send an email to an elected official who is making a difference. This past week House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made history by standing and speaking for more than eight hours on the House floor in support of the Dreamers. Her stamina and her dedication to her values is to be commended. Send her some love this week. Or choose someone in your local government who is working to make your community better for everyone. Make a contribution to an organization working to support women candidates. We need to sustain the infrastructure for more women to follow.
No Love for the ERA
Sadly, last week saw the defeat of a renewed effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in VIrginia. Although activists rallied in support, the largely male dominated legislature defeated the effort. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) have introduced bills to eliminate the deadline for ratification, in order to bypass a 1982 deadline. If that legislation passes, it could pave the way for the ERA to become part of the Constitution. Contact your MOC to support these bills.
- Save the ADA, oppose H.R. 620. Congress is about to vote on HR 620 – a bill designed to weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 1 out of 5 people in the US has a disability, and the ADA provides us with the fundamental civil right to use public accommodations and services.
- Take a look at our list of blogs and websites that we encourage you to read and follow, not just this month, but all year long. http://twwusa.org/4867/black-history-month-2018/
- Contact your members of Congress and tell them to support immigration reform and resolving the DACA problem now. McConnell has promised to allow debate.
- Let your representatives know that they must do everything in their power to guarantee the integrity of the Mueller Investigation! President’s Day demonstrations are in the works in many communities.
- Get out the Vote! Join a group like ACLU People Power to help register voters, fight for election reforms, and encourage everyone to vote.
Jacqui Viale is an educator and activist living in Long Beach California with her husband, two teenagers, two cats, a dog and a lizard. Jacqui holds a masters in Educational Administration from California State University, Long Beach.