What a week it's been. From Monday's news of the president's decision to share code word-level secret intelligence with the Russian foreign minister, to Tuesday's bombshell that Trump attempted to "persuade" FBI Director Comey to stop the Flynn investigation, to Wednesday's appointment of a special counsel, and then to Friday's bombshell that a senior White House adviser is a "person of interest" in the Russia investigation (yes, we used "bombshell" twice in the same sentence intentionally). We're constantly being buffeted by news breaking upon news that is still in the process of being broken. As Alexandra Petri writes in her May 17 Washington Post op-ed: "Merely watching this, you are now 600 years old. (Have you written this before? Hundreds of years have passed since Tuesday. You have no memory of the Time Before.) It is as though all of your involuntary muscle functions now require conscious effort. Everything you assumed would take care of itself so that you could go about your life now requires you to watch it and hold your breath. You are holding your breath all the time." Now more than ever progressive Democratic women must stand together in word and action to support one another, fellow Democrats, and everyone and everything caught in the crosshairs of the Republican agenda of greed and hate. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. See the announcements, events, and opportunities for service listed below--and persist!
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
From members Rachel Guglielmo and Regina Moore:
The following statement will be released nationally today. We're excited that a pilot will be in Bloomington
Announcing Launch of RISE TO RUN: New Organization That Will Mobilize and Train Young, Progressive Women to Run for Office
First-Ever Nationwide, Community-Based Organization Focused Solely on Preparing Progressive High School and College-Aged Women for Office
(Bloomington, Indiana) May 22, 2017 – Progressive female leaders representing a wide range of policy perspectives have come together to launch a new national organization, Rise to Run, which will train and encourage progressive high school girls and college-aged women to run for office. Rise to Run is the first and only grassroots and community-based organization that is progressive, exists both on and offline, and is focused solely on this critical age group of females.
“For generations, American girls and young women have had too few female role models to look to in positions of political power – both in their communities and in the White House,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Rise to Run and also founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The dream of a female political revolution didn't die on November 8, 2016. In fact, the election outcome provided the inspiration for Rise to Run, which will train and activate the next generation of political leaders in our country: young women who will advance a progressive and intersectional agenda.”
Specifically, Rise to Run will bring progressive girls and young women together in their communities to give them insight into the political process, connect them with mentors, and involve them in activism. Through in-person training and on-the-ground networks, Rise to Run will make electoral politics and political action more appealing and accessible for young women of every identity.
“Women typically wait until they’re older to run for office because they don’t have the support to enter electoral politics,” said Helen Brosnan, Rise to Run organizer and founder of Own It. “By identifying and inviting young women into the process much earlier, we’re hopeful they will consider making public service a career out of college and, in turn, significantly lower the average age women run for office.”
Rise to Run National Advisory Board members include Brynne Craig, former National Deputy Director of State Campaigns and Political Engagement, Hillary for America; Donna Edwards, former Congresswoman for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District; Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL; Sarah McBride, a transgender activist and National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign; Natalie Montelongo, National Field Director at Voto Latino; Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco and the Lieutenant Governor of California; Brittany Packnett, organizer in Ferguson and co-founder of We The Protestors and Campaign Zero; Megan Smith, the United States' third-ever Chief Technology Officer; Kara Swisher, reporter, author, and executive editor of Recode; Jamia Wilson, a feminist activist and Executive Director of Women, Action & the Media; and Nanxi Liu, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Enplug, Inc. and youth advisory board member at the Lady Gaga Foundation.
“Since the 2016 election, lawmakers, activists, and celebrities have implored American women to run for office,” said Sarah McBride, Rise to Run National Advisory Board member. “Rise to Run answers those calls to action and helps create a new wave of women ready to enter electoral politics at a younger age.”
“We need to fill our nation’s political pipeline with young, progressive, women of all identities and backgrounds who reflect the vibrant communities that make up America,” said McBride.
Other supporters include Rise to Run Trailblazers – women who have run for office, are currently running, or who are current or former elected officials. These women embody our mission statement and values system and will serve as ongoing inspiration for the young women participating in Rise to Run trainings.
Initial Rise to Run Trailblazers include: Allyson Carpenter, a student leader at Howard University and the youngest elected official in the history of the nation’s capital; Margo Davidson, the first female and first African American to serve as State Representative of the 164th district of Pennsylvania; Yvanna Cancela, who represents the 10th district in the Nevada Senate and is Executive Director of the Immigrant Workers Citizenship Project; Jillian Johnson, Durham City Councilwoman in North Carolina, director of operations for Southern Vision Alliance and Black Lives Matter activist; Tracy McCreery, a Missouri State Representative and founding member of the St. Louis Rescue & Restore Coalition; Laura Moser, currently running for Congress in TX-07 and founder of http://dailyaction.org; Janet Petersen, Iowa State Senator from the 18th district; Ayanna Pressley, a member of the Boston City Council and the first woman of color to be elected to the council in its 107-year history; Cora Faith Walker, Missouri State Representative from Ferguson; Nantasha Williams, a national organizer of the Women’s March on Washington and former New York State Assembly candidate; Attica Woodson Scott; Kentucky State Representative and former member of the Louisville City Council.
"We are at a crucial juncture in American politics: the progressive movement must build a base of support for women at this specific level – middle school, high school, college – so that when women enter the political system, they have a support system,” said Attica Woodson Scott. “That’s why Rise to Run is so urgently necessary and why I’m so excited to be part of it.”
According to the Center for Women and American Politics, the average age of American women who run for office is 47. And a recent study of high school and college students found that only 19 percent had any interest in running for office.
Rise to Run is launching initial pilot programs in four locations: Bloomington, Indiana; Durham, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; and San Francisco, California. The pilots are a mix of community and campus based hubs that will engage the participants in local politics and civic activity. Pilot members will have access to Rise to Run’s in-person training to prepare them to run for elected office at all levels and to have careers as key campaign staff. In addition, alumnae will receive support from a Rise to Run alumnae network.
“As a city known for its progressive politics, the vital contributions of women at all levels of city and county government, and its vibrant university community, Bloomington is a logical choice for a Rise to Run pilot initiative,” said Regina Moore, co-founder of the Bloomington-based Democratic Women’s Caucus and one of the lead pilot coordinators for the Rise to Run pilot program in Bloomington.
The Bloomington pilot will be assembling a local Advisory Council composed of women who have run for office, are currently running, or who are current or former elected officials. The Council will join forces to recruit a group of diverse, progressive young women of all identities and backgrounds to participate in – and lead – the program.
“We are building for the long-term,” added Moore. “We aim to cultivate and embolden an entire generation of women leaders who will transform the American political landscape.”
Rise to Run will expand its pilots to include hubs in all 50 states by 2020.
“One of the many things that sets Rise to Run apart is that even before members start any formal training, they begin to build relationships and engage in political activism in their communities,” said Eileen Soffer, Rise to Run organizer. “They are not only future leaders, but immediately become informed voters and advocates for progressive candidates and causes.”
Rise to Run is working with existing local and education-based organizations, as well as national organizations focused on progressive and women’s issues, to forge alliances that will benefit Rise to Run recruits and candidates. These connections also help Rise to Run participants identify opportunities to recognize and address unserved needs where they live.
“Rise to Run’s boots-on-the-ground infrastructure will embolden young progressive women to enter public office, electoral politics, and progressive activism at all levels of government – from campaign manager to city council to Congresswoman,” said Brynne Craig. “Rise to Run is deeply committed to recruiting women of color and women with different economic experiences in order to bring about sweeping change to the landscape of American electoral politics.”
Rise to Run’s progressive platform priorities will include economic, racial, reproductive, education and climate justice; a commitment to human rights and dignity; protecting the rights of women and children, immigrants, refugees, people of different faith communities, LGBTQ+ people and other sensitive populations; supporting criminal justice reform; combating police violence; fighting voter suppression and ensuring equal protection under the law for all.
“Given the outcome of the recent election, now is the time to double down on advancing progressive values,” said Ilyse Hogue. “Leadership development can't start young enough for girls and women, so we must actively empower, mobilize, train and deploy a new generation of young women who are resolute in their progressive values. I'm proud to be a part of this effort to invest early and often in the next generation who will lead us into the next century.”
“I believe more than ever that the future is female,” said Natalie Montolengo. “And studies show that when women make policies, all Americans benefit from their compassion and collegiality. Rise to Run candidates will ensure elected officials of the future are building bridges, not walls
Applications for the City of Bloomington Women's Commission
There is an opening on the city women's commission.
Information about meeting times, past minutes and programs are located on the City of Bloomington's Commission on the Status of Women's webpage. Check it out for more information, and consider this opportunity to serve your community.
Application at link:
Application for the State Democratic Emerging Leaders Project is Now Open!
Between now and June 15, 2017, applications are being accepted for the Indiana Democratic Emerging Leaders Project. The project is a free, year-long leadership development program designed to help build the Indiana Democratic Party’s bench of future public servants. The program will include four conferences throughout the year starting in September geared toward honing the skills of leaders ages 21 to 40 in the areas of campaign management, public policy, public service, and party building. Click here for more information on how to apply.
Several women from the DWC are graduates of this program, including Darcie Fawcett, Allison Chopra, Kaisa Goodman, and Jessica McClellan. We're sure they would be willing to share their impressions of the program, and encourage you to apply.
Democratic Party Rally to Protect Public Schools from Betsy DeVos and the Destructive Republican Agenda
Monday, May 22, at 5:30 p.m., Indiana Statehouse lawn, southside
Join the Indiana State Teachers' Association and the Democratic Party for a press conference and rally to protect public education from Republican efforts to dismantle it by siphoning away tax dollars for "school choice" vouchers, then join the protest demonstration in front of the Westin (241 W. Washington Street), where the Destroying Angel of Education is scheduled to speak at the American Federation for Children summit. Wear red for ed and bring a sign if you can! It doesn't have to be fancy or big. If you're interested in carpooling, click here.
MCBDC Call Out Meeting
Thursday, May 25, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., City Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton St.
The Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus invites you to a call out meeting. The meeting will feature guest Mayor John Hamilton, The Honorable Valeri Haughton-Motley, City Clerk Nicole Bolden, and County Clerk Nicole Browne. For more information, contact William Hosea at [email protected] or (812) 219-2420.
Your Voice Matters: Canvassing Training
Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., Monroe County Public Library, Room 1B
MCDP canvassing will take place on the second Saturday of each month from June to September. If you are interested in volunteering, please join us for one of our two informative canvassing trainings. Let’s show our community how much we care!
Your Voice Matters: Canvassing Training
Saturday, June 3, 11:00 a.m. - Noon, Monroe County Public Library, Room 1C
This will be our second training opportunity for all those ready to help us listen to our fellow citizens around Monroe County on the issues that matter to them!