Friday, March 16, 2012

Elect Women 2012 - the latest from the 2012 Project

Currently, the U.S. ranks 94th in the world for the percentage of women in Congress. Only 17% of congressional seats are held by women. In fact, the 2010 election marked the first time in 30 years that the number of elected women decreased.

That's why we're posting information for interested women to learn more about women candidates and how to help them win.

Go to the MissRepresentation webpage and check out the links to the 2012 Women's Election Tracker to find women running in your area, volunteer opportunities with candidates, and resources for your own future run.
Tune in This Week
Watch PBS' To the Contrary today and Saturday to see an interview with the 2012 Project founder, Mary Hughes. Check your local listings for the time.

Thanks, Ed Show
For highlighting the need for more women in office and for mentioning The 2012 Project's work to prompt talented women to run. The headline?  Don't Get Mad; Get Elected. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Long-time NWPC Supporter Runs for Congress


I just wanted to let you know that I was endorsed by EMILY’s List yesterday and I’m so excited to have their support.
From the press release:
“Julia is a strong progressive running an exceptional campaign and we are thrilled to put her ‘On the List’,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “Julia has been an effective advocate for environmental protections, affordable and accessible health care, and education during her time in the California State Assembly, and her continued leadership is exactly what is needed to get things done in Congress. EMILY’s List candidates like Julia are leading the way towards taking back the House in 2012, and we are proud to stand with her campaign during this historic year.”

Will you join with EMILY’s List and support my campaign by contributing $25, $50, $100 or any amount today?
At a time when women’s health is being used as a political football in Washington, it’s vital that the residents of Ventura County have a Representative in Congress who knows what she stands for, who will be an unwavering advocate for women’s rights, and who has the experience and the track record of solving tough problems.
Help send me to Congress so I can stand up for women’s health by making a contribution to my campaign today.
You know where I stand. Please stand with me.
Julia Brownley
Julia Brownley
Contribute to Julia!

6th annual West Hollywood’s Women’s Leadership Conference

The 6th annual West Hollywood’s Women’s Leadership Conference: Unlimited Opportunities – Knowledge.Power.Community. will be held April 13-14 2012! The mission of the West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference is to provide tools and support, inspired by the City’s Core Values, for women to be successful leaders in their private lives, in business and in the community.

Kick-Off Event: Featuring a film screening, panel discussion and the “Call To Action” reception!
This year’s conference kick-off will feature and exclusive screening of the award-winning documentary Miss Representation
Friday, April 13, 2012
7 pm – 10 pm
Pacific Design Center, Silver Screen Theatre
8687 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
RSVP:  or here.

Saturday Conference: Leadership Panels & Workshops!
An exciting day-long event geared towards women who live, work and play in West Hollywood, featuring dynamic speakers, informative panels and valuable resources, expert- led trainings, a continental breakfast and a keynote luncheon.

April 14, 2012
9 am – 4:30 pm
West Hollywood Park
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
$35 Early; $45 Advance; $55 Day; $15 senior/fulltime student rate
Special leadership program for young women 15-21.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Message from NWPC National

Rush Limbaugh went too far and is finally being publically called out due to his most recent rants against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. Leader Pelosi gave the young woman, who was denied the opportunity to speak at the infamous all-male birth control panel, the chance to testify on the House Floor the week after the initial hearing. She eloquently expressed her concern that young women, like her, at religiously affiliated educational institutions should not be discriminated against in their Health Care benefits. She advocated for universal coverage, without co-pay, of contraceptives.

In wake and response to Ms. Fluke’s comments Rush Limbaugh went on a multi-day tirade against the young women. And it got progressively worse. It went from personally attacking Ms. Fluke as a “slut” and “prostitute” for using birth control to suggesting that if the government pays for birth control the appropriate response is to repay the public by posting pornography on the Internet. Limbaugh has since apologized, but only after losing the support of multiple sponsors, more than 20 by the time of this writing.

Well, Ms. Fluke has publicly announced her refusal to accept Limbaugh’s apology, the sponsors aren’t coming around and neither is NWPC. It is time to tell the Nation that there is certainly a level that is not to be crossed. Limbaugh has crossed it, legislation in DC and across the Nation has crossed it and so have elected officials. 2012 is an election year and it is time to vote in women who will not stand for these attacks any longer.

Support women nationwide by supporting progressive women candidates. Learn more about our 2012 endorsements at and make a commitment to their success.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blame it on the pill

By Nancy L. Cohen
March 4, 2012

The sexual revolution sparked a counterrevolution that contorts American politics, and confounds the majority, to this day.

If the pill had never been invented, perhaps American politics would be very different today.

Sex has consumed the political debate in recent weeks. To many it has been a surprising turn of events, given the near-universal prediction that this year's election would be all about the economy. If the history of the bipartisan sexual counterrevolution were better known, no one would be surprised.

Conflicts over gay marriage, transvaginal ultrasounds, Planned Parenthood funding and insurance coverage for birth control are not isolated events. Rather, they are the latest expression of a 40-year-old shadow movement that has played an important role in fueling America's political dysfunction.

Consider what America was like just 50 years ago. Americans could be arrested, fined and sentenced to prison for distributing birth control. Sex between consenting adults of the same sex was illegal in every state. Employment discrimination against women was pervasive and perfectly legal.

Everything changed in the space of roughly 15 years. The pill went on the market in 1960. Then the sexual revolution, feminism and gay liberation, in turn, revolutionized the family, the workplace and popular culture. By the end of the 1970s, Congress had outlawed gender discrimination in most areas of American life. Half of the states had repealed their laws against sodomy. The Supreme Court had ruled that statutes outlawing birth control and abortion were violations of constitutionally protected rights.

Today, most Americans take sexual freedom and gender equality for granted. But these were epochal changes. Given that government had long been in the business of legislating sexual morality and underwriting rigid gender roles, it is understandable that those who opposed these cultural transformations took their battle to the political arena.

The sexual counterrevolution was born in 1972, with a tiny group of women: far-right Republicans and Protestant fundamentalists who had never been particularly politically active before. Ironically, they were aided and abetted by their opposites: powerful liberal men, movers and shakers in the Democratic Party.

For the women, the rallying cause was defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. They viewed the ERA as undermining women's God-given traditional role and, with it, an idealized nuclear family. These grass-roots activists lobbied successfully to block ERA ratification in just 15 states, sending the nationally popular amendment down to defeat. They then moved on to battle sex education in public schools, federally funded child care and gay civil rights. (Abortion, importantly, was not an early concern. Evangelical Protestants, for example, because of their strong support for separation of church and state, were largely pro-choice through most of the 1970s.)

These women, not the more famous Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons, were the ones who galvanized evangelical voters to create the powerful Christian right and, out of that crucible, the GOP as we know it today.

Since 1994, extremely conservative religious voters have constituted the largest and most powerful bloc within the Republican Party. They made up more than 40% of those who voted for George W. Bushand John McCain. Rick Santorum's rise in the polls on pronouncements like birth control is "not OK," Mitt Romney's flip-flops to the right on abortion and gay marriage, and moderate RepublicanSen. Olympia Snowe's retirement are all testaments to the continuing influence of the sexual counterrevolutionaries within the Republican Party.

But the sexual counterrevolution isn't confined to the GOP; it has been a bipartisan affair.

The Democratic Party experienced its own backlash against the cultural revolution in the 1970s. After George McGovern lost the 1972 presidential election, party leaders and pundits blamed activists outside of the old party structure for the landslide defeat. "The American people made an association between McGovern and gay lib, and welfare rights, and pot smoking and black militants and women's lib ... and everything else that they saw as threatening," the Democrats' convention parliamentarian later concluded. In fact, however, polling shortly before the election showed that it was less voters' perception of McGovern as a cultural radical and more their view of him as weak and indecisive that cost him the election. The flight of the white South to Richard Nixon over racial issues didn't help.

But the old guard had a different view. "Unless we become acceptable to Middle America, we've had it," Hubert Humphrey, who had lost to McGovern and his supporters, told Time. To this day, influential Democrats return to the theory that cultural progressivism explains every defeat. In the 1980s, "Middle America" was the Reagan Democrat; in the '90s, Ross Perot's angry white men; in the George W. Bush years, the Kansan who voted his values against his material interests.

Never mind that statistical studies done by, among others, sociologists Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza show that to the extent the so-called Reagan Democrats — Northern blue-collar white men — voted Republican, they based their vote on the economy and social welfare policies, not on gays and abortion. Indeed, many held progressive social views, which caused them to vote less Republican. In fact, in 1992, according to Emory University's Alan Abramowitz, who studies party alignment, 1 out of 6 of such voters defected from the GOP because of its extreme antiabortion position.

The Democrats are the more progressive party on social issues, to be sure, but the fear of a largely mythic conservative Everyman doesn't dissipate. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed 63% support for insurance coverage for birth control, and yet the Obama administration had backed away from its initial ruling on the subject. That the president is still "evolving" on gay marriage is another testament to the persistent influence of the Democrats' own sexual counterrevolution.

All this matters not just for its contribution to the nation's political dysfunction but also because of the toll it has exacted on millions of Americans.

One out of two of us lives in a community where it is legal to fire a woman because she is a lesbian, or to refuse to rent a house to a man because he is gay. The Defense of Marriage Act denies married gay couples the economic benefits our government bestows on married straight couples. Women make 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, and only 18 Fortune 500 companies are run by women, a gap many experts attribute more to the lack of public support for mothers in the workforce than to gender discrimination in the boardroom. The U.S. is one of only nine nations that doesn't provide universal paid maternity leave.

The sexual counterrevolution represents a minority view in American democracy. Today, a solid majority of Americans support abortion rights, gay civil rights and other socially liberal positions; by a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 margin, Americans oppose the extreme positions staked out by the right-wing sexual counterrevolutionaries on abortion and gay civil rights. Even on gay marriage, the balance has shifted toward more liberty and acceptance.

The counterrevolutionaries discovered early on that the American political system offers many ways around public opinion — delay and obstruction can hold back or nibble away at policies the majority desires.

As for the Americans denied opportunity and equality by the sexual counterrevolution, and for the majority that doesn't want to go backward on civil rights and personal liberty, don't expect unconditional surrender.

The culture war lives on, and will until the sexual counterrevolution ends.

Nancy L. Cohen is the author of "Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America."

Friday, March 2, 2012

Having Women in Power Makes a Difference!

Perspective From Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

This isn't the 1950s, it's 2012. Why we're debating a woman's access to birth control is beyond me. Yesterday, the Senate voted down an attempt by the GOP to let employers opt out of providing any medical service they personally objected to -- but the bill was really drafted to let them opt out of covering contraception. Of course, Democrats in the Senate stood strong. But right after the vote, the bill's sponsor, Senator Roy Blunt, said, "I'm confident this issue is not over." House Speaker John Boehner immediately backed him up, saying, "It's important for us to win this issue," before hinting that he'd put it to a vote in the House. This fight is definitely not over -- and we need to stand up for the women and men whose access to care would be denied if the GOP has their way.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the Chair of the Democratic National Committee

Thursday, March 1, 2012

NWPC Reception at the Democratic National Convention

NWPC Hosts Welcome Reception for Women To Precede Democratic National Convention

Washington, DC- The National Women’s Political Caucus announced today that it will host a reception to welcome Caucus supporters, attendees, elected women and women candidates immediately preceding the Democratic National Convention. The event will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sunday, September 2nd, prior to the opening of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

The event will also raise funds for activities that strengthen the work of NWPC to support women candidates and awareness for women’s issues. Leigh Rose of Charlotte is the North Carolina NWPC Event Chairperson and the Event Coordinators are Bonnie Wallsh and Linda Dyer Hart of Charlotte.
“We invite NWPC members and invited guests to participate in a great networking occasion, featuring many prominent and elected women, knowing that they are also standing up for issues that affect
women, families, communities and our nation,” commented Linda Young, President of NWPC. “During the reception, the Caucus will recognize outstanding women journalists, women in business, as well as women in politics.”

“It’s a great pleasure for the North Carolina Caucus to help coordinate this amazing event,” said Leigh Rose. “We are looking forward to announcing our NWPC Event Host Committee, Honored Guests and speakers in the near future.”

The National Women’s Political Caucus Reception which will take place at RiRa Irish Pub and Restaurant, 208 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina, Sunday, September 2, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 pm. Reservations to attend the event can be made by contacting Bettina Hager at the NWPC National Office by email: The registration fee is $75.00 and includes hors d’oeuvres and a choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks.

The event is being produced and coordinated by Bonnie Wallsh of Bonnie Wallsh Associates, LLC, and Linda Dyer Hart of Dyer Hart Productions.

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