FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2014
CONTACT: Juan Garcia
Women’s Campaign Fund Announces Final Eight Game Changers
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Women’s Campaign Fund (WCF) named the final eight Game Changers, bringing the total to 40, in honor of the organization’s 40th anniversary. The initiative, aimed at “changing the game” for women in politics, lays out WCF’s vision for a more representative government that includes more women, minorities, and others from outside the traditional world of politics.
“The eight Game Changers announced today round out an impressive list of women leaders running for office across the country and at all levels of office,” said Clare Bresnahan, WCF’s Political and Programs Director. “These women share WCF’s core values, are highly qualified women leaders, and are strong advocates for women, but they are also representative of the country and the direction we want to see our government move in.
We need a government that is more inclusive of racial and ethnic minorities, which is why over half of our Game Changers are women of color. We need more young voices in government; 20 of our Game Changers are women under 40. We need more LGBT diversity in Congress; we were proud to include Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, St. Del. Heather Mizeur for Maryland Governor, and Maura Healy for Massachusetts Attorney General. And we need more people from outside the traditional world of politics; 13 of our Game Changers are first time candidates.
These 40 women, and their races, represent a small fraction of the total number of elected offices up for grabs in 2014. But this isn’t about playing the game and increasing the number of women one percentage point every two years. This is about our vision of a representative government that truly reflects the American people. Because if our elected leaders looked more like 40 women, it would truly change everything.”
The Game Changers announced today include:
• Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, running for U.S. Senate (Hawaii): As a fourth-generation Japanese American, with 30 years of legal experience, and 16 years serving in the Hawaii Senate and Congress, Colleen is an exceptionally qualified woman leader who will put her unique background to work for the citizens of Hawaii. Listening to her grandfathers' stories of being sent to internment camps during WWII, Colleen was inspired to end discrimination and fight for equality.
• Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, running for re-election to U.S. House (AZ-09): Kyrsten Sinema isn’t like most politicians. She gets it. She knows what is like to go to bed hungry and do without basic needs. As a child, her father lost his job, her family became homeless and they lived for a time in an abandoned gas station without electricity or running water. That didn’t stop Kyrsten. She worked hard, earned a full academic scholarship to college and graduated early with honors. She was raised in a conservative Mormon family, but would become the first openly bisexual member of Congress. Her willingness to tackle tough situations head on has shaped her into a powerful advocate for Arizona women and their families.
• Wendy Greuel, running for U.S. House (CA-33): Wendy is a working mom and lifelong Angeleno who attended Los Angeles public schools and graduated from UCLA. She is also a businesswoman, a former City Controller, and even worked in President Clinton’s administration. Her wealth of experience and deep ties to the community make her a woman leader to watch in 2014.
• Brenda Lawrence, running for U.S. House (MI-14): Brenda grew up in Detroit's northeast side and was raised by her grandparents, after her mother died when she was three years old. Her story is one of a profound commitment to public service. She got her start in politics by being active in her children’s PTA, then the school board of education, then Mayor, then running for Lt. Governor, and now running for Congress.
• Leticia Van de Putte, running for Lieutenant Governor (Texas): During running mate Wendy Davis’ epic filibuster in the Texas Senate, State Senator Van de Putte proudly stood with her and spoke out against the lawmakers who tried to silence the voices of Texas women. Her leadership has clearly not gone unnoticed as multiple civic organizations and community groups have recognized Van de Putte as one of the most effective and influential legislators in Texas.
• State Representative Rashida Tlaib, running for State Senate (MI-04): As the child of Palestinian immigrant parents, Rashida experienced many of the challenges facing working families. She channeled that experience into public service as an attorney, community organizer, and social worker. Now, as a State Representative, she has made a name for herself as a strong woman leader willing to stand up for her community.
• State Representative Gayle Goldin, running for reelection to State House House (RI-03): Gayle’s grandfather fled from Eastern Europe to Canada for a life of safety and religious freedom. Her parents moved from Montreal to Atlanta when she was only 7 years old. Even though she could not read or write English at the time, she learned quickly, began volunteering in her community, starting her life’s work as a public servant.
• Cyndi Munson, running for State House (OK-85): Oklahoma is ranked second in the nation as the toughest place to live if you’re a woman and second to last in the nation for the number of women in office. That’s not a coincidence. The first step to turning that around is to send more strong, capable women leaders like Cyndi Munson to Oklahoma City who will bring a different set of priorities to governing that will benefit all Oklahomans. As an Asian American woman leader and avid champion for Oklahoma women and their families, Cyndi Munson will bring a different set of priorities to Oklahoma City, ones that will benefit all Oklahomans.
Previously announced Game Changers include:
• Emily Cain, running for U.S. House of Representatives (ME-02)
• Charniele Herring, running for U.S. House of Representatives (VA-08)
• Eloise Gomez Reyes, running for U.S. House of Representatives (CA-31)
• Sandra Fluke, running for California State Senate (CA-26)
• Connie Pillich, running for Ohio State Treasurer
• Nina Turner, running for Ohio Secretary of State
• Wendy Davis, running for Governor (Texas)
• Alison Lundergan Grimes, running for U.S. Senate (Kentucky)
• Rocky Lara, running for U.S. House of Representatives (NM-02)
• Alma Adams, running for U.S. House of Representatives (NC-12)
• Betty Yee, running for State Controller (California)
• Erin Molchany, running for reelection to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (PA-36)
• Amanda Renteria, running for U.S. House of Representatives (CA-21).
• Val Arkoosh, running for U.S. House of Representatives (PA-13)
• Maura Healey, running for Attorney General (Massachusetts)
• Allyson Schwartz, running for Governor (Pennsylvania)
• Suja Lowenthal, running for State Assembly (CA-70)
• Mary Sosa, running for State House of Representatives (OK-89)
• Kelly Westlund, running for U.S. House of Representatives (WI-07)
• Shaughnessy Naughton, running for U.S. House of Representatives (PA-08)
• Aimee Belgard, running for U.S. House of Representatives (NJ-03)
• Meshea Poore, running for U.S. House of Representatives (WV-02)
• Stephanie Chang, running for Michigan House of Representatives (MI-06)
• Kristy Pagan, running for Michigan House of Representatives (MI-21)
• Faith Winter, running for Colorado House of Representatives (CO-35)
• Rebecca Thompson, running for Michigan House of Representatives (MI-01)
• Heather Mizeur, running for Governor (Maryland)
• Lucy Flores, running for Lt. Governor (Nevada)
• Val Demings, running for Mayor (Orange County, Florida)
• Muriel Bowser, running for Mayor (Washington, DC)
• Brianne Nadeau, running for City Council (Washington, DC - Ward 1)
• Sharon Quirk-Silva, running for State Assembly (CA-65)
The Game Changers initiative complements WCF’s existing political endorsement program. The 40 women chosen for the initiative are selected from the pool of WCF’s already impressive roster of endorsed candidates. Each week, WCF will add more women to the list, leading up to the organization’s 40th anniversary celebration at the Parties of Your Choice Gala in New York City on May 15th.
For more information about WCF’s Game Changers, please visit wcfonline.org/game_changers. To read previous Game Changer announcements, please visit wcfonline.org/press_release.