a coordinated feminist campaign, voters for Virginia Woodward can also
support incumbent state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, bottom left, a former NOW
state coordinator; Tina Pugh, bottom third from left, for city alderman;
and two feminist judges. Also pictured with NOW President Patricia Ireland
are bottom, left to right: Jean Murphy Jacob and Laura McCrea, chapter
president; and top row: Nancy Rankin, Carolyn O'Daniel, Ireland, Eleanor
Self and Kathy Kremer. Photo by Leslie Martin.
by Linda Berg,
Get active, get educated and change the face of politics! That was the challenge to NOW chapters through delegates overwhelming support of the "Victory 2000 - The Feminization of Politics" resolution at the 1997 National NOW Conference. The goal of this modest resolution is to elect 2,000 feminists to all levels of political office by the year 2000!
Over the last several months, NOW/PAC and NOW Equality PAC have been working on the blueprints for this campaign. The aim is to provide tools to empower activists to recruit and elect strong allies who will run on feminist issues and protect women's rights. No one will be stronger on feminist issues than NOW members who are elected to political office.
Even though 1997 was an "off-year" for federal elections, NOW PACs have already begun to elect NOW members and women's rights supporters to many state and local offices. In New Jersey, 12 candidates endorsed by NOW-NJ PAC won election to the state legislature. Even in Virginia, where there was a right-wing sweep of many offices, Virginia NOW PAC celebrated many crucial victories. And throughout the country NOW chapters are reporting wins on their city and county councils.
Looking ahead, electing strong women's rights supporters will prepare activists for the many electoral opportunities that will be created after the 2000 census and resulting reapportionment in 2002. These feminist officeholders will be ready and qualified to take advantage of any future political seats that may open.
Although filing deadlines for 1998 are still far away in most states and localities, some exciting NOW members are taking the plunge and running for political office. We hope they inspire you and your chapter members to join them!
As this issue went to print, six NOW members are making a run for the U.S. Congress: Shirley Baca of Las Cruces, N.M., Tammy Baldwin of Madison, Wis., Chris Kehoe of San Diego, Calif., Elizabeth Kelly of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Jan Schakowsky of Chicago and Virginia Woodward of Louisville, Ky.
"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woodward?" asks a campaign t-shirt for the NOW/PAC-endorsed Democratic candidate for the U.S. House from the Louisville, Ky., area. A PAC event for Woodward and a slate of feminist candidates for city and state races there raised $1,700. Photo by Leslie Martin.
In addition to these wonderful candidates, at least two NOW-affiliated women are running for governor in their states: Laura Boyd of Oklahoma and Myrth York of Rhode Island. And hundreds of NOW members are running for all levels of state and local office. Even two national PAC members are poised to enter races in their own communities.
With all of this hard work, by the year 2000 NOW members will be serving on school boards, commissions and city councils, in state legislatures and governors offices and in the U.S. House and Senate. Feminists will be able to call on 2,000 political allies to protect our rights!
The NOW/PAC is organizing political skills-building weekends in March and May. Please call Linda Berg at 202-331-0066, ext. 713 for more information.
To help elect feminist candidates, see the NOW/PAC contribution form.