Posted by Jennifer Scheulen on April 27, 2021 at 12:07 PM
March 2021 Newsletter
In the News...
Pushing on an Open Door
Let’s take stock:
· Ten women confirmed in a few short weeks in the new Administration’s Cabinet.
· Many more in the pipeline for leadership posts throughout the federal government.
· Barely a ripple with some of the most strategic nominations and confirmations.
What a moment. What a wave.
What’s left? As women receive wide acceptance in positions of expertise, influence, and leadership in the national life we share, WCF bangs the drum for more of what it took to get them there: commitment to women in office.
Acceptance is a true milestone. Commitment is what turns that historic precedent into #50502028.
Commitment to making sure every one of these women is heard and her impact is noted far beyond the offices they occupy. Commitment to leveraging acceptance into expectation of a wide field of qualified women for every office on which we vote. Commitment to more than an organic “if we build it, they will come” approach.
We need every action we can imagine to ensure that the door is open ever wider from this moment forward, until we don’t even notice a door exists.
Talk About It!
Women Making Waves – and History
Layer into the Administration’s new cadre of women leaders significant gains in women serving in Congress, state government, and other areas of the lives we share. We are clearly on a wave.
People adopt new ideas in waves, influenced by the people they listen to in the waves before them. So, the waves must keep on rolling!
At the seashore, you see waves wax and wane. What do we do to make sure this wave rolls steadily throughout the land, enriching every community it reaches, carrying seeds that will take root to nourish all?
Start. Remember. Talk about… stories like these:
Glass ceilings, grass fields
For many sports fans, nothing beats baseball’s spring training, now underway in Florida and Arizona: the whiff of hopefulness with each crack of the bat, each eager rookie, each player autograph snared. This year, the game has something new: a woman in the general manager’s box. -more-
First Native American to lead the Department of the Interior
Today, in Women's History Month, let's celebrate a woman who changed our history this very afternoon.
"The Senate has confirmed Deb Haaland — a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico — to lead the Department of the Interior.” -more-
The woman on the moon
The man in the Moon will soon be joined by the woman on the Moon — an idea whose time has come, NASA says.
A half-century after the last human walked on the Moon, NASA has launched a new mission program with the goal that the next lunar footprint be made by a woman. -more-
A new view of measuring up
Women have long measured up in tackling occupations and careers often said to be male-only. Sometimes, though, the measuring up becomes a more literal challenge — and one that flips the negative to a positive.
As of this month, women in the Air Force are receiving protective vests designed for them. Unlike the old armor, crafted to fit the average male body… -more-
"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." - Coco Chanel
Where do a fashion designer, a pioneering helicopter pilot, and the second U.S. Senator ever to win as a write-in find common ground? Each had the courage to bet on herself. Each held the authenticity to buck the beliefs that bridled others. All inspire the freedom to think beyond any cultural box constructed to contain a person, a woman, a life’s story.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “I can't be afraid of that.”
Senator Murkowski is weighing a decision to run again. She was appointed in 2003 to fill her father’s Senate seat when he became Alaska’s governor. She won a full term in 2004. When she lost her 2010 primary to a TEA Party candidate, she kept writing her own story, winning by 15 points as a write-in without the support of her own party (who backed her challenger). She’s now the second most senior Republican in the Senate.
In 2022, Murkowski can expect challengers from multiple parties. Alaska adopted the innovative ranked-choice voting system in which the top four vote-getters from a single primary go to the general election, regardless of party. When voters then rank all four in terms of who they want most, the one who comes out on top goes to Washington. Facing a new race with new rules, Senator Murkowski can run on her signature courage.
Frequently disagreeing with President Trump’s actions, including her vote to impeach after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, she says simply, “I know that my actions, my vote may have political consequences. And I understand that. I absolutely understand that. But I can't be afraid of that.”
This time around, the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has already endorsed her –before she’s announced her decision to run for another term.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (R-IL): She lives every day to live up to the gift her crew gave her…
Tammy Duckworth is the retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel who now serves as U.S. Senator from Illinois, after two terms in the House of Representatives.
A Blackhawk helicopter pilot, she was among the first Army women to fly in combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. When a rocket-propelled grenade tore through her aircraft, her crew managed to bring it down and get their grievously injured pilot into another helicopter for lifesaving transport to medical care. She woke to a whole new world of challenges forced by the amputation of her legs and disabling wounds to her right arm.
Her new book, Every Day Is A Gift, is the story of a “mixed race girl” who had already faced the daily demands of a sudden change in fortunes, working alongside her brother to help her parents put food on the table when her dad, an American Army and Marine Corps veteran whose roots reach back to the Revolutionary War, struggled for a time to find work.
She’s overcome barriers again and again throughout her life, including becoming the first female Senator to give birth while in office, even working to pass a Resolution allowing children under the age of one onto the Senate floor. Most recently, she challenged the Biden Administration to put more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders into the Cabinet.
WCF attended an event several years ago in which Duckworth memorably challenged major Democratic donors and women’s advocacy groups alike. She told the assembled supporters not to come to her campaign rallies and “throw [her] under the bus” because she couldn’t deliver their perfect agendas. “I represent coal miners,” she said, noting that they need 10 years to get their kids through school, to pay off their houses.
In other words, she held high the integrity of her office – and called for common sense support for the transitions environmental concerns demand of us. After all, as fellow citizens, it’s important we recognize these workers as the people who have kept the lights on in our own homes for almost 150 years! When we understand our common ground connections, we can better help create a practical foundation for their passage into new lives and livelihoods.
Duckworth’s personal integrity, experience, and wisdom are a guiding light in dealing with the obstacles before us, many of which can seem unsurmountable. In her words, “Sometimes it takes dealing with a disability - the trauma, the relearning, the months of rehabilitation therapy - to uncover our true abilities and how we can put them to work for us in ways we may have never imagined.”
Coco Chanel by Man Ray
And Coco Chanel?
Well, this is a newsletter about getting women elected to office. Suffice to say, she passionately embraced her own vision, creating a look that gave women the courage to innovate with their personal style, making their own multi-layered statements about what, uniquely, suited them.
Meet Your Board Members!
Lorie Masters cares about the way gender, race, or ethnic background impacts the careers of women, particularly lawyers. She writes about it, studies it, and volunteers with groups that work on it, like the ABA’s Gender Equity Task Force. She leads pro bono work for victims of human trafficking and volunteers with Washington, DC, legal and justice groups that help make the city a better place for all the people it serves. A partner in the insurance practice at Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP, Masters ran in the first-ever race for DC Attorney General in 2014. She brings insights from that campaign and her legal work to WCF, helping drive the national movement for #5050x2028.
Now is the time we...
Dance and make a difference!
Yup. Seriously! Go ahead. Right now. Stand and stretch. Bust a move. Give your body a little joy for the journey!
Take a picture! Post it to WCF’s social!
And from that place, make your heart sing by making a difference… to women who have what it takes to shape a resilient economy, building our shared immunity from future national and global crises and the unequal impacts on women and others that such hardships create.
No time to lose! #5050x2028. Click "Let's DANCE" to donate!
“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.”
― Kathy Calvin
Until Next Month...
Be safe, be smart, and keep your eye on the future: #5050x2028!