See media release on the Stop the Slide Tour

MEDIA RELEASE

For information, contact Laurie Kretchmar, laurie (at) closethegapca (dot) org

650.274.8497

Announcing the Stop the Slide Tour –

CA Campaign to Recruit Progressive Women Goes On the Road


Palo Alto, CA February 28, 2014  — To underscore the decline in the number of women in the CA legislature and to highlight the benefits of having more,
close the gap CA is launching the Stop the Slide Tour. The multi-city speaker series takes place in March to coincide with Women’s History Month. The Golden State ranks 19th in the nation for the number of women serving its state legislature, down from 6th a decade ago.  That’s 26% of the legislators today versus 30% a decade ago.   

Stop the Slide tour speakers include Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson and Holly Mitchell, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva and close the gap CA‘s special guest Rebecca Sive, author of Every Day is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House, which has been described as the “ ‘Lean In‘ for politics, ” along with Senator (retired) Christine Kehoe and close the gap CA founder Mary Hughes. For a complete list of speakers, see the Tour page.

All Stop the Slide Tour events are open to the public:

  • March 8 – LA at Hyatt Regency Downtown LA, 4 pm  
  • March 9 – San Diego at the Women’s Museum of CA, 3:30 pm  
  • March 10 – SF at The Bar Association of San Francisco Conference Center, 6:30 pm
  • March 11 – Palo Alto at The Woman’s Club, 7:30 pm

The slide is a dangerous trend,” says Betsy Cotton, close the gap CA‘s director. “Fewer women mean a narrower policy agenda and less transparency and inclusion in the proceedings. California can do better if we make recruiting a priority.” close the gap CA recruited progressive women candidates to run in 2014 and is already recruiting prospects for 2016 legislative seats.

Author Rebecca Sive says, “As California goes, so goes the nation. It’s vital that California reverse the slide in the number of women getting elected to ensure the well-being of women, girls and their families.”

Tour partners include the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Club, The Bar Association of San Francisco’s No Glass Ceiling Initiative, California List, Democratic Women in Action, EMILY’s List, Equal Rights Advocates, HOPE PAC, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, LAAAWPPI/LAAAWPAC, NWPC LA Metro, NWPC LA South Bay, NWPC LA Westside, NWPC San Fernando Valley, NWPC Greater Pasadena, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County, Run Women Run, SFWPC, and the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto.

For the latest information, to purchase tickets and to pre-order copies of Sive’s book, visit the 
Tour page at http://closethegapCA.org/tour.

close the gap CA is a statewide campaign to find talented, progressive women to run for open seats in the California legislature in 2014 and 2016. With focus and a targeted strategy, we can ‘close the gap’ and not just the gender gap. When we elect progressive women, we take steps to close the school funding gap, the access gap to affordable health and reproductive care, and the growing gap between the wealthy and those in poverty. For more information, visit closethegapca.org.

 

ALLY SPOTLIGHT: National Women’s Political Caucus & NWPC Alameda North

NWPCAN Board
NWPC-AN Executive Board

By Kim Huynh

Spurred by Congress’s failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970, a group of prominent politicians and activists including Gloria Steinem, then Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm and Bella Azbug, and U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Jill Ruckelshaus banded together in 1971 to form the National Women’s Political Caucus.

The goal was to increase women’s participation in all areas of political and public life, and over the course of its 43-year history NWPC has made great strides not only to this end, but also in bringing women’s issues to the political forefront.

Today, the NWPC has expanded to 1,200 member organizations across 18 states with no chapter larger younger, or more diverse in Northern California than NWPC Alameda North. The 120-member NWPC-AN, as it’s known, also currently serves as the largest PAC in California to endorse and contribute solely to female candidates.

Criteria for candidate endorsement is simple: applicants must be female, support the PAC’s bottom-line issues, and be in interested in issues affecting women and children. In the past the debate as to whether the PAC should be able to endorse feminist men has led to heated disputes, resulting in the policy that although male candidates may speak to the organization, they cannot be endorsed.

The organization has endorsed hundreds of candidates over four decades. Two recent examples of NWPC AN’s uplifting effect are Jennifer West, elected to the city council of Emeryville, and Rosie Torres of the Oakland Unified School District.  Co-chair Annie Flores says she is immensely proud of her chapter’s great success in helping women outside of the status quo get elected—those “who may have neither the endorsement of Labor nor the support of the establishment because they’re not men, and who enter into the race with one-quarter of the money their male competitors have raised.”

NWPCANNWPC-AN regularly holds forums on ballot initiatives and endorsement meetings to consider candidates in local races. In addition, the chapter takes on special projects such as clinic defense, voter registration drives, precinct work and staffing campaign offices and phone banks to support its key issues.  Its signature event is the annual Susan B. Anthony fundraiser through which the chapter honors women who have made significant contributions in their fields.

“A great source of pride for us has been to see the women’s movement diversify and transcend racial and socioeconomic barriers over time,” Flores states. “We will continue working towards the day our political institutions reflect diversity and gender parity as well.”

For any questions or inquiries about NWPC-AN, please contact Annie Flores at (925) 354-7559, or annie.fl21@gmail.com

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