Bi-weekly Brief: November 18, 2016
Brought to you by Women's Campaign Fund
I’ve missed you! And like you, I’m bummed we haven’t broken that hardest, highest glass ceiling, but I am increasingly optimistic more women and girls are thinking about running for office. I’ve been out on the campaign trail for lots of women candidates who support common ground, and it paid off. For the bright spots on our horizon, break out the good stuff – it’s time to celebrate!
P.S. Check out She Should Run – they have had 1,500 sign-ups for trainings for how to run for office.
President-elect Trump’s cabinet considerations
As President-elect Donald Trump considers his team, there are a number of strong, and some controversial, women reportedly on his short list. As there should be, because who runs the world? Exactly. If you’re curious which women he might appoint (you know I’m curious), here’s a list of potential candidates. Among familiar names, Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has said she “will serve in whatever capacity I’m asked, where I feel like I can be most helpful.” To more women in the White House! *Raises glass*
I am personally having a very hard time looking at Sarah Palin and Pam Bondi. I was going to suggest moving them further down the list, but given that it is a magazine article – what can we say about these people and common ground.
Two glass ceilings smashed by down-ballot women
Let’s welcome some fresh(wo)men to politics. Say hello to Ilhan Omar, who will represent Minnesota in the House of Representatives, our country’s first Somali-American legislator.
In other down-ballot, glass-ceiling-shattering news, there’s a new sheriff in town (if you live in Jefferson County, Texas). Zena Stephens, the first black female Texas sheriff, was elected with 51.4% of the vote and will replace a 20-year veteran.
On Senate diversity: more is better, but this deserves celebration
For the first time, two female biracial senators have won Senate seats (side note: how did it take this long?). Tammy Duckworth, a half-Thai Illinois Democrat, flipped the seat and will replace Mark Kirk after winning 54.4% of the vote.
Out west, former California Attorney General Kamala Harris is something of a double first – the first California senator of Indian descent and the country’s first black female senator in nearly two decades. It’s about time! She will replace retiring Senate stalwart Barbara Boxer.
Another former Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada, will fill the vacancy left by retiring minority leader Harry Reid. She becomes the first Latina senator.
The House wins with eight of a kind
Better than a royal flush, eight new women were elected to the House. The fresh(wo)men include Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), Nannette Barragan (D-California), Lisa Blunt (D-Delaware), Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida), Val Demmings (D-Florida), Carol Shea-Porter (D-New Hampshire), Claudia Tenney (R-New York), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington). Congress is now a little more diverse because of these wins, and I’m all in for that.
Journalism legend Gwen Ifill dies (RIP)
“For young women of color looking for a role model, she was it.” With these words, PBS’s “NewsHour” co-anchor Judy Woodruff highlighted one of the finer points of Gwen Ifill’s legacy. The journalism community (and the Women’s Campaign Fund) will miss her commitment to fact-based reporting, her debate moderation, and will fondly remember the contrast she provided as a woman of color in an industry dominated by white men.
March for women’s rights (aka human rights, remember?)
If you agree that women’s rights are human rights (and we know you do), there’s a march for you. The day after the Presidential Inauguration, in Washington, DC, we will march for equality. Regardless of party affiliation, this is an event for all who support inclusion and seek significant change. If you’re interested, check out this Facebook group to see how you can participate. Then check out this article on why your attendance matters, because it does.
Mansplaining: Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Ever find yourself sitting in the aisles of your local bookstore on an overcast weekend morning? I recently did, and luckily, I crossed paths with Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me. Of course the title piqued my interest, but as I breezed through the first pages, I was nodding and irritated and agreeing and laughing out loud. It’s the kind of fun and thoughtful read that slow weekend mornings are made for. If you aren’t sure what mansplaining is, treat yourself – you’ll get it!
Today’s Inspiration: Lady Gaga: "Being a lady today means being a fighter"
Whether it’s fighting for the right to vote, for equal pay, for reproductive rights, or for a Congressional seat, women know how to fight and have for quite some time. Lady Gaga explains why it’s critical to embrace your womanhood now more than ever in the cover story for the latest Harper’s Bazaar. Time to channel our inner Rosie the Riveter *flexing biceps*.