Thursday, April 13, 2017

A message from NWPC California president, Karen Humphrey - April 2017



  

A message from NWPC California president, Karen Humphrey

Are you angry yet?  Do you agree we need to change a national politics that is toxic for women and families at the national level, and not all that great even in progressive California?  Are you ready to get to work finding and supporting great women for public office?

Even in the face of great resistance, it’s disheartening to see our national administration and Congress attack and defund program after program critical to the health and welfare of all Americans, especially women.  An administration eager to cut off mandatory health care for maternity and childbirth services shows that being “pro-life” is a philosophy which ends at birth.  The potential defunding of Planned Parenthood is just the tip of the iceberg for a Congress that is now awash in anti-choice politicians and a president who once famously said women who get abortions should be “punished.”

Almost as disheartening is the great state of California, where women’s numbers in the legislature have fallen by 8 or 9 percent since the mid-2000s, and where women-focused policies pushed by great women leaders struggle for enactment or governor’s signature.  If we had at least a third of the legislature—instead of well under a quarter as we do now--maybe the struggle to pass pro-woman bills and get them signed would be a lot easier.

As this is being written, we just learned the primary results in Congressional District 34, which was vacated when Xavier Becerra became California Attorney General.   Of more than 20 candidates, women were half, which is amazing.  NWPC considered several of them eligible for endorsement, and selected Wendy Carillo as most viable.  Sadly, not a single woman made it into the runoff; both top vote-getters were men, one of them a sitting Assemblymember who was expected to win.  A bright spot is a woman placed third, probably because she was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times.  In a low-turnout special election, that showed newspaper endorsements can help, but aren’t enough to win.

NWPC-CA’s Political Action Committee is going to consider what we need to do going forward.  Filling the electoral pipeline at ALL levels of government with progressive, pro-choice women is a necessary component.  If you are not already active in your local caucus’ efforts to recruit and support candidates for every elected office in your area, you need to join those efforts and help ramp them up.  
We have only 14 months to go until the June 2018 primary.
We need to support viable women candidates in that election, including Delaine Eastin for Governor, who has already been endorsed by NWPC-CA.   But we also need to focus on 2020 (the next Presidential election, and the Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote), 2022, 2024 and beyond.  NWPC’s work and your role in it will never be more important than it is right now!
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IMPORTANT DATES

Tentative calendar event for May 16 in Fresno: a reception for Delaine Eastin, candidate for Governor. If your local caucus would like to have a reception or other event for her, check with Karriann Farrell-Hinds, VP for Political Action, to make contact with the campaign.
NWPC National Convention will be held July 27-30 in Boston, MA. It will be inspirational as well as interesting and fun, and offer chances to work on a national agenda for changing American politics by gaining parity for women.  Watch NWPC-CA (www.nwpcca.org) or National (www.nwpc.org) websites for more information.

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