Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leadership of Emily's List makes the trek to WA-08 to support Suzan DelBene

This weekend, the leadership of Emily's List is in our region to help raise money for Suzan DelBene (the Democratic nominee for Congress in Washington's 8th Congressional District) following their earlier endorsement of her candidacy.

At an event hosted at Soundview Strategies today, Suzan explained why she is running for Congress. She said the most important reason she's challenging Reichert is to help families stay on their feet. "[Dave] Reichert voted for policy that got us into this mess," she observed, adding that he seems to lack the "will or desire" to help find meaningful solutions to our challenges.

Suzan made the most of the opportunity to explain why the Emily's List endorsement was so important to her. She reflected that she has been working with women for a long time; when her mother was in the Peace Corps in Botswana, Suzan would talk with the women who her mom worked with and realized that they needed a voice. She continued the cause by giving back to the community and working with Global Partnerships, a microfinance group which works in Nicaragua. Microfinance empowers women and builds voices for women.

Stephanie Shriock, the new President of Emily's List (and the successor to Ellen Malcom) then mentioned how excited she is to be helping Suzan. She reviewed the history of Emily's List (which began twenty five years ago) and was a response to the question, "Why don't we have any Democratic women in the U.S. Senate? Why do we only have twelve in the House?" This led to the creation of an organization which helps pro-choice women win election to Congress.

Nowadays, we have thirteen women in the Senate and fifty six in the House. That may sound like a lot, but it is only seventeen percent of the entire Congress.

Thanks to Emily's List, Stephanie declared, the door has been opened for women in politics. But that doesn't mean the door will stay open. Nor does the success of Emily's List prevent women's rights from being jeopardized.

"Now is not the time to be complacent, this is the time to [hit] the accelerator," Stephanie said, observing that both electing Suzan and reelecting Senator Murray are critical goals. Winning will require expanding their network, growing the online dialogue, and fighting to win. "This is a time to roll up our sleeves and work harder than ever before," she concluded.

When the event was over, I left thinking, this campaign continues to surprise and impress me. It's coming together, slowly but surely, and it's going to be a electoral force. I'm looking forward to seeing it build strength as the year gets older.


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