Stronger Together: United for Equality

2013 National NOW Conference Agenda

Speakers and Honorees

Maria Antonia Berrios

Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios is serving her sixth term in the Illinois General Assembly as the 39th District State Representative. Representative Berrios is the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in the Illinois House of Representatives as well as the first woman to hold the title of Chairwoman for the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs. She was also the first woman to serve as Co-Chair of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.

As a State Representative, her top priorities are to improve education and the quality of family life in her district and throughout Illinois. She has focused on issues that increase the well-being of children, seniors and working families. Representative Berrios strongly supports after school programs, affordable housing and initiatives that reduce crime, as well as provide better health care for everyone.

Representative Berrios has always been an active member in her community and has volunteered her time with the Young Democrats of Cook County. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Child’s Play Touring Theatre, a premiere theater company in the U.S. which for over 30 years has dedicated itself to performing works written by children.

Maria has a Masters Degree in Business Administration with a concentration on International Business from Keiser University. Berrios received her undergraduate degree from Northeastern Illinois University with a Board of Governor’s Degree.

Heather Booth

NOW Foundation Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women’s Health Award Honoree (on behalf of The Jane Collective)

Accepting the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women’s Health Award on behalf of Jane is Heather Booth. Heather has been an organizer for over forty years beginning in the civil rights and women’s movement and she is one of the nation’s leading strategists concerning progressive issue based campaigns.

During her time as a University of Chicago student, Booth was active in the civil rights, women’s and antiwar movements. She founded the first campus women’s organization and after women began seeking her help in finding a safe abortion provider; Booth founded Jane and with other women expanded it into the large operation it became (which is now the subject of a video, book and play).

Since Jane, Booth has continued to work as an advocate for women’s rights and has been deeply involved in a variety of social change and political groups. She founded the Midwest Academy, a training center for organizers and currently serves as president. Booth founded Citizen Action, has served on the founding board of Public Allies, was founding director of the NAACP National Voter Fund which helped increase African American voter turnout by nearly 2 million votes in 2000 and was founding director of Americans for Financial Reform. She has directed or consulted as the strategist for many issues and campaigns including immigration reform, financial reform and civil rights.

Alice Cohan

Alice Cohan is the Director of National Programs for the Feminist Majority Foundation and Political Director for the Feminist Majority and its PAC. A nationally recognized expert on field organizing and mass mobilizations, she has been working in the feminist movement for over 40 years. She has been an activist since age 19 when she became an intern for NOW-New Jersey.

Alice devoted many years to NOW activism as a grassroots leader, staffer, and finally as Political Director. She was the organizing power behind our Women’s Rights Marches. She directed the 2004 March for Women’s Lives which brought over a million to march in Washington, D.C. with the work of over 1,400 co-sponsoring organizations. She was honored by NOW with the President’s Award in 2004 in recognition of her accomplishments and leadership for women’s lives.

Cohan has organized both for FMF and NOW in many political campaigns for feminist women candidates all over the country. Her political work includes: interviewing Women Congressional Candidates, recommending endorsements, recruiting volunteers, political fundraising, chairing an informal national network of PACs that focus on Women Candidates; and organizing independent expenditure campaigns. At the Feminist Majority Foundation she works on a wide range of issues and projects including: Campus Organizing, National Clinic Access, Coalitions and liaison work with various groups, and organizing feminist actions and meetings.

Carol Moseley Braun

Ambassador Braun pursued a career path that fulfilled her desire for public service and she devoted much of her professional life to legal issues concerning the environment and social justice.

Ambassador Braun received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1969, and a law degree from the University of Chicago. She is a former candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. She has served her country as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, United States Senator from Illinois, Cook County Executive Officer, Illinois State Representative and United States Attorney.

Her work earned her the Attorney General’s Special Achievement award and more than 200 additional awards and 11 honorary degrees. The public school, Carol Moseley Braun Elementary, Illinois, was named after her in 2001. The school team name is the Ambassadors.

The first permanent female member of the Senate Finance Committee, Ambassador Braun advocated for retirement security and health care support for working men and women. She proposed the first modern federal school construction legislation, and the first women’s pension equity laws. Her legislative record reflects a commitment to social justice and fiscal prudence.

Ambassador Braun serves on the advisory boards for the Chicago-based Healthy Foods Campaign and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, the Chicago Network and the International Women’s Association.

Sue Errington

A dedicated community leader and public advocate, Indiana State Senator Sue Errington has spent much of her life working to bring people together to get things done.

First elected to the State Senate in November of 2006, Errington has a long record of public service. She has served on the Delaware County Council, the Mayor’s Affirmative Action Task Force, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Health Education, the City-County Commission Against Domestic Violence, the Delaware County Community Corrections Board, the Muncie Housing Authority and the Muncie Action Plan (MAP).

She has also volunteered with local, state and national organizations advancing women’s rights and good government including the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Muncie-Delaware County Coalition of Women’s Organizations, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, the League of Women Voters, and American Association of University Women. Sue holds many awards, including the Ball State University Perham Women of Achievement Award for Distinction in Public Advocacy.

Sue currently serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Health and Provider Services Committee, a member of the Senate Utilities and Technology; Education and Career Development; and Energy and Environmental Affairs standing committees as well as the Public Health Subcommittee. She is currently one of four State Directors from Indiana to act as a delegate for Women in Government, a national bipartisan organization of women state legislators.

Robyn Gabel

Robyn Gabel (D-18, Evanston) has served in the state legislature since April, 2010. She is Vice-Chair of the Appropriations for Human Services Committee and a member of the Insurance and Healthcare Disparities committees among others. Throughout her career, she has maintained a strong commitment to serving the people of Illinois as an advocate for women, children and families. Representative Gabel’s legislative priorities include affordable, accessible health care, environment and sustainability issues, education, and economic development.

Before serving in the state legislature she was the Executive Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition a non-profit advocacy organization from 1988 – 2010 and previously worked at Planned Parenthood and women’s health centers. While at the Coalition, she helped pass the All Kids program, giving every child in Illinois access to quality, affordable healthcare. There are now over 2.2 million children and their parents enrolled in All Kids and FamilyCare.

She has a B.A. from Beloit College, an M.S.P.H. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health and an M.J. in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago. She is on the board of the Campaign for Better Health Care and the Heartwood Center. Representative Gabel is a member of the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty, the Legislative Medicaid Advisory Committee and the Perinatal Advisory Committee for Illinois.

Norma Guillard

Dr. Norma Guillard joined the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign when she was 15 years old. She is featured in Catherine Murphy’s Maestra, a documentary about the women and girls who taught their nation to read and write during the Campaign. A social psychologist from Santiago de Cuba, she is one of the first Cuban women of her generation to call herself a feminist. She primarily works on issues of gender, race, sexual orientation, diversity and identity in a Cuban and Caribbean context. As a Cuban of African descent, Guillard has greatly contributed to the debates on race and racism in Cuba.

She is an adjunct professor at the University of Havana teaching psychology and gender, and a past president of the Cuban Association of Psychologists. She is also an Advisor to UNESCO and to the United Nations Development Program on the issue of gender in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. She is a principal collaborator at the National Center for the Prevention of AIDS and the National Center for Sex Education, which works to end homophobia and lobbies for civil unions in Cuba. Additionally, she is one of the founders of “Oremi,” the first organization of lesbian and bisexual women in Cuba.

Guillard has co-produced several documentaries, including the celebrated film Living to the Limit by leading Cuban director Belkys Vega.

Patricia Ireland

Patricia Ireland has been improving women’s lives for most of her own life. As the longest-serving National Organization for Women president from 1991 to 2001, Ireland helped move NOW to the forefront of the political scene, build a strong, effective women’s movement and establish herself as a groundbreaking activist. Ireland published an autobiography titled What Women Want.

With a deep understanding of the connections between women’s rights and other human rights issues, Ireland forged bonds between NOW and allies in the anti-poverty, civil rights, disability rights and LGBT communities, strengthening and broadening NOW’s commitment to justice for women in all of our multiple, often overlapping, communities.

Her activism ranged from serving on the board of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition to getting arrested at the White House over the continued ban on lesbians and gays in the military. Ireland created NOW’s Elect Women for a Change campaign, which played a pivotal role in making 1992 the “Year of the Woman.” She led the 1992 Global Feminist Conference in the U.S. and represented NOW around the world.

Today Ireland continues fighting for social justice, in her professional work — as an attorney in Miami, she represents unions and their members — and in her volunteer activism. She co-chairs the National NOW Board Advisory Committee and is a key adviser to the NOW/PAC.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. is called the “the Great Unifier” because of his efforts of uniting people on common ground across race, culture, class, gender, and belief. He dedicated his life to social change and has been present in every human rights movement over the last forty years. Jackson has has worked with international leaders, including President Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1960, he began his career by leading a sit-in at the segregated local library in Greenville, South Carolina. He became an organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was later appointed by Dr. King as head of the Operation Breadbasket program, organizing protests against racist businesses in the South.

In 1984, Jackson founded the National Rainbow Coalition, a social justice organization devoted to political empowerment, education, and changing public policy. The organization joined with Operation PUSH and is known today as the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

He was elected Senator of Washington, D.C. in 1991 while advocating for voter involvement and participation in the government. He has been a steadfast supporter of universal healthcare, unions, funding for education, ending the housing crisis, and has been an international diplomat, involved in sensitive crises in Syria, Cuba, Kuwait, and Kosovo. He has published four books, hosted a show on CNN, and writes a syndicated weekly column.

The Jane Collective

NOW Foundation Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women’s Health Award Honoree

Before the Roe v. Wade court decision of 1973, women with unwanted pregnancies faced difficult choices in the United States. Women with money could travel to a country where abortion was legal, and those without that option could take their chances with illegal abortionists in this country. Others tried dangerous self-induced abortions, making the coat hanger a national symbol of women’s desperation. Each year an estimated 5,000 women died from botched abortions.

During those years, the courage, compassion and vision of the underground abortion service known as Jane, allowed more than 11,000 women in Chicago to have safe, medically appropriate abortions. The Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation — better known by its nickname “Jane” — began as an underground referral group. Eventually they decided to perform abortion procedures themselves. Members of the Jane Collective, while risking arrest and imprisonment, provided excellent care and counseling in an environment that was welcoming toward all.

Accepting the Victoria J. Mastrobuno Women’s Health Award on behalf of Jane are Heather Booth and Jeanne Galatzer-Levy.

Saru Jayaraman

Woman of Action Honoree

Saru Jayaraman is the co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. She is also an assistant professor of Public Law in the Department of Political Science at Brooklyn College.

In 1992, Jayaraman co-founded Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE), a national young women’s organization which is dedicated to strengthened the lives and communities of young women of color through a curricululum based, group, and one-on-one mentorship program. After 9/11, working with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United in New York City. At ROC United, Jayraman has fought to raise the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers, published ground-breaking reports, demanded paid leave, and worked to eliminate the rampant racism and sexism in the industry. ROC went national in 2008 and now has 10,000 members in 19 cities nationwide.

Jayaraman is a graduate of the Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has been named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” (2008), 1010 WINS’s “Newsmaker of the Year,” and one of New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. Jayaraman co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce and authored Behind the Kitchen Door: What Every Diner Should Know About The People Who Feed You.

Robin Kelly

Congresswoman Robin Kelly has dedicated her life to public service and advancing women in politics. She is devoted to improving life for her constituents, and most recently has set her sights on ending gun violence.

Robin was appointed Chief Administrative Officer for Cook County President Preckwinkle in 2011 and is a former state representative who served within the 2nd Congressional District of Illinois. As the first African American woman to serve as chief of staff for an elected constitutional statewide officer in Illinois, Robin has pursued an agenda rooted in promoting small business job creation, investment strategy innovation, eliminating food deserts and advancing financial literacy in underserved areas.

As a former State Representative of the 38th District, Robin brings extensive legislative experience to the 2nd Illinois Congressional District. She successfully sponsored bills to protect consumers from fraud, support economic development, and increase the minimum wage. She also led the fight for landmark legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and improve public safety.

During her tenure in the Illinois Legislature, Robin mentored candidates and encouraged new leaders, including Barack Obama, in his successful 2004 bid for U.S. Senate.

A New York native, Robin moved to Illinois after high school to attend Bradley University. She later received a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University. Robin currently lives in Matteson with her family.

Linda Lawson

State Representative Linda Lawson is instrumental in reducing violence against women and the advancement of women in politics. Linda attended Indiana University Northwest and went on to become the first female captain of the Hammond Police Department. Representative Lawson served in numerous capacities over a 24–year period. She worked as a patrol officer and with the sex crimes and domestic violence divisions, where she gained a great deal of knowledge and experience.

In 1998, Lawson was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives to represent Indiana House District 1. She has served as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and on such legislative committees as Environmental Affairs, Courts & Criminal Code, Family Affairs, Education, and Labor. She currently is a member of the following committees: Statutory Committee on Ethics, Judiciary, Public Policy, and the Select Committee on Government Reduction.

On Nov. 8, 2012, Representative Lawson was elected Indiana House Democratic Floor Leader. Representative Lawson has been involved in many pieces of crucial domestic violence legislation in her career at the Statehouse. She has served on numerous boards and in organizations such as Haven House (a women’s shelter in Lake County), the Hammond Historical Society Board, the Robertsdale/Whiting Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, the Humane Society of the Calumet Area, and the Boys & Girls Club.

Jeanne Galatzer Levy

NOW Foundation Victoria J. Mastrobuono Women’s Health Award Honoree (on behalf of The Jane Collective)

Accepting the Mastrobuno Award on behalf of Jane is Jeanne Galatzer-Levy. She has been working at the front of the women’s reproductive rights movement since the very beginning. At just 20 years old, Jeanne joined the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation, known as “Jane,” an affiliate of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union. Jeanne was working when Jane was infiltrated by the police in 1972, cementing her conviction to work in women’s reproductive justice. After leaving Jane, Jeanne worked with the Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective to produce the large colorful feminist posters the group made famous.

Since her time at Jane, Jeanne has earned a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in science journalism from Columbia College.

Jeanne is the associate director in the News Bureau of the University of Illinois and manages media relations for the biomedical and natural sciences. Jeanne has handled media relations for the American Medical Association, of which she managed all nine journals, the University of Chicago, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Jeanne co-authored a book in 2009, entitled The Scientific Basis of Child Custody Decisions. Her medical and biological science articles have been published in many notable publications, and she also produces video and podcasts.

Karen Lewis

Woman of Impact Honoree

Karen GJ Lewis was elected president of the 30,000-member Chicago Teachers Union on June 11, 2010. She has been a member of the Chicago Teachers Union since 1988. Lewis taught high school chemistry at various Chicago public high schools for 22 years. She believes that students, parents, teachers and community members are educators’ natural allies. Her goal is to truly improve Chicago Public Schools and stand firmly against the privatization of public education.

The only National Board Certified Teacher to lead a U.S. labor union, she also serves as executive vice president to the Illinois Federation of Teachers and as vice president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Karen grew up in the Chicago Public Schools system, having attended Kozminski Elementary School and Kenwood High School now Kenwood Academy. After her junior year at Kenwood she accepted early admission at Mount Holyoke College. She later transferred to Dartmouth College, just after the trustees voted for the college to go co-ed where she had the distinction of being the only African American woman in the class of 1974.

Lewis also received her M.A. in education from Northeastern Illinois University and her M.F.A. from Columbia College. Lewis comes from a family of educators — her father, mother and husband, John Lewis, who is now retired, all were Chicago Public School teachers.

Deb Mell

Deb Mell represents the 40th District in the Illinois House of Representatives and is a key player in securing rights for women, minorities, and the LGBT community. Deb is known for her advocacy of affordable healthcare, economic justice, public safety, and environmentalism.

Graduating from Cornell College with a dual major in Political Science and History, Deb pursued her passion for cooking by getting her Culinary Arts degree from California Culinary Academy. After working for renowned chefs in San Francisco, she returned to home. In 2009 she was elected to the Illinois State House of Representatives.

Today Deb is proud to live in the same neighborhood where she grew up. She lives an active Chicago life. She likes running, biking, cooking, and just completed her second marathon. She also appreciates the rich culture of her city. Deb is a breast cancer survivor and proud to have been the recipient of the best medical care in the country in Chicago.

Deb received the Civic Leadership Award from Erie Family Heath Center/Centro de Salud Erie, NOW (National Organization for Women) award for her activism, the Howard Brown Cornerstone Award for community excellence, the Albany Park Community Center 2010 Appreciation Award, and the Best Aunt Ever Award (by unanimous vote from Amy, Annie, Justin, and Kate.) She lives with her wife, Christin Baker.

Elaine Nekritz

State Representative Elaine Nekritz is serving her sixth term in the Illinois House of Representatives. Nekritz’s top legislative priorities are fiscal responsibility and stabilizing the Illinois pension systems. In 2011, Rep. Nekritz proposed the State’s first ever spending cap. That cap has been adopted for the last two annual budgets, leading to dramatic reductions in spending and a surplus in the fiscal year that concluded on June 30, 2012.

Nekritz serves on many prominent committees including the Family & Children Committee, Veterans’ Affairs, Workers’ Compensation Reform, as well as being the Chairperson of the Elections & Campaign Reform and Vice-Chairperson of the Environment and Energy Committee. As a member of the Governor’s Pension Working Group and Chair of the House Pension and Personnel Committee, Representative Nekritz is dedicated to reforming the pension systems to make them affordable and sustainable for taxpayers and those receiving a pension. This year she was named an Assistant Majority Leader in the House.

Prior to her election as representative of the 57th District, Representative Nekritz worked at the law firm of Altheimer and Gray.

Representative Nekritz’ work in Springfield has earned the Legislative Service Award from the American Lung Association, the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the Northwest Suburban Sierra Club’s Legislator of the Year Award.

Sara Paretsky

In 1982, Sara Paretsky shook up the male-dominated world of mystery literature by writing a character who switched female characters from victims to victors. The introduction of V.I. Warshawski in Indemnity Only portrayed a female investigator who was tough and intelligent, an archetype that was not previously seen in mystery novels.

Though Sara is known for her depiction of V.I., Sara claimed her stake in social justice long before she published a book. Sara contributed to the New York Times and The Guardian, chaired the University of Kansas’ first Commission on the Status of Women, and was a community organizer during Chicago’s race riots in 1966.

She founded Sisters in Crime, an international organization that supports women crime writers. She was awarded Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year award in 1987 for the organization. Her work has been celebrated through various awards including the Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement and the Gold Dagger from the British Crime Writers for best novel in 2004. Sara received honorary doctoral degrees from a number of universities.

Sara’s presence in the women’s rights movement is found in various avenues. Her contributions in public policymaking has advanced the lives of the marginalized in Chicago. Her books are available in over 30 languages, proving that the presence of a smart, independent female character knows no borders.

Maria Pesqueira

Maria Pesqueira is the President and CEO to Mujeres Latinas en Accion, one of the longest standing Latina human service organizations in the nation. Under her leadership Mujeres received the prestigious ORBA Award for Nonprofit Financial Management Excellence; moved Mujeres’ main office to a newly renovated 14,000 square foot facility and opened two additional satellite offices. She also introduced several new programs including a mother-daughter leadership course, which is designed to reduce the Latina teen pregnancy rate.

Pesqueira’s awards include the 2012 “Making A Difference Award” by the Chicago Women and Philanthropy, being named by Chicago Magazine as one of six “Chicagoans of the Year 2006;” the 2005 National Organization for Women’s “Women Who Dared Award;” The 2003 “Thomas Jefferson Award;” Accento Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” for 2002; and Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40” for the year 2000.

Additionally, she is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and has served as Executive Committee Board member for the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

Pesqueira has a BA from DePaul University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard University JFK School of Government Executive Program, the Center for Creative Leadership and St. Thomas University MiniMBA program in Nonprofit Management.

Toni Preckwinkle

Toni Preckwinkle runs Cook County. She has served as Cook County Board President since 2010 and is the first women elected to the office. President Preckwinkle immediately set to work to shore up the County’s budget, strengthen its vital public health system and foster a more effective and humane criminal justice system.

Within two years, President Preckwinkle eliminated more than $1 billion in deficits. She made the tough choices necessary to eliminate waste, improve efficiency and bring in revenue. She oversaw the rollback of the unpopular sales tax hike, which saved residents more than $440 million and brought relief to businesses and working families.

President Preckwinkle also has worked to improve the Cook County Health and Hospitals System by winning federal approval of a Medicaid waiver that will allow the County to enroll more than 100,000 low-income residents into the health system, ensuring their access to critical health-related services.

In 1991, she was elected alderman of the 4th Ward on the city’s south side. She served in that role on the Chicago City Council for 19 years where she fought for affordable housing, education funding and criminal justice reform among other important issues. President Preckwinkle’s progressive and independent leadership earned her the Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization’s Best Alderman Award in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2005 and 2008.

Jan Schakowsky

Woman of Impact Honoree

From her days as a young housewife leading the campaign to put expiration dates on food products to the 2008 passage of legislation she helped write making children’s products and toys safe, Representative Jan Schakowsky has worked to make life better for working and middle class people in the United States. After serving for eight years in the Illinois General Assembly, she was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998. Currently in her eighth term, Schakowsky is serving in the House Democratic leadership as chief deputy whip and a member of the Steering and Policy Committee.

For decades, Schakowsky’s top priority has been winning affordable, quality health care for all. In 2009 and 2010, she played a leadership role in writing and passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that finally established health care as a right and not a privilege in the U.S.

Schakowsky is proudly pro-choice and favors marriage equality and comprehensive immigration reform. At a time when income inequality has reached record levels, she is fighting for the jobs and paychecks of working and middle class people. In 2010, Schakowsky was appointed to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, where she offered her own proposal to balance the budget without cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid or further burdening struggling families.

Eleanor Smeal

Founder and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Eleanor Smeal has been on the frontlines fighting for women’s equality for 40 years.

She has been at the forefront of almost every major women’s rights victory — from the integration of Little League, newspaper help-wanted ads and police departments, to the passage of landmark legislation, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Equal Credit Act, Violence Against Women Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

During her three terms as NOW president, Smeal led the drive to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. She was the first to identify the “gender gap” — the difference in the way women and men vote — and popularized its usage in election and polling analyses to enhance women’s voting clout. Smeal has pushed to make Social Security and pensions more equitable for women, and to realign federal priorities by developing a feminist budget. She has campaigned to close the wage gap and achieve pay equity for the vast majority of women who are segregated in low-paying jobs.

Smeal and FMF were the first to draw world attention to the Taliban’s brutal treatment of women in Afghanistan. In the 1990s, Smeal led the campaign to win FDA approval of mifepristone (the early option abortion medication). In 2001, her organization became the sole publisher of Ms. Magazine.

Heather A. Steans

Heather Steans has represented Illinois Senate District 7 since 2008. Steans chairs the Appropriations I Committee, vice chairs the Environment Committee, co-chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Medicaid Advisory Committee, and serves on the Public Health and Executive committees. Steans passed Medicaid reform legislation to address the state’s $2.7 billion shortfall, ensuring ongoing solvency of the Medicaid program. She has enacted significant nursing home reform legislation, bills to improve the environment by reducing mercury waste and creating commercial composting capabilities, and sponsored bills to create civil unions, repeal the death penalty and most recently secured Senate passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act to provide freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples.

Steans graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in Urban Studies and received her M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Steans has received numerous awards, including the AARP Legislator of the Year Award, the Richard Phelan Profile in Courage Award from Planned Parenthood, the Legislative Recovery Award from Trilogy, the Partner in Change award from the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness and the Equality Illinois Freedom Award.

Heather Steans and her husband Leo have lived with their three children in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago for 19 years.

Marion Wagner

Marion Wagner joined NOW in 1972 when she lived in Oregon. She moved to Indiana in 1975 to help ratify the ERA and was part of the successful Indiana ratification on January 18, 1977. She has been involved in NOW continually since joining. Marion has served several terms on the NOW National Board, including several terms as Great Lakes Regional Director. She served as Indiana NOW State coordinator and later as President. She has also been Indianapolis President, national Lesbian Rights CIC Chair and several terms on the National PAC, starting in 1979. She currently is on the Indiana NOW State Board, is president of Indianapolis NOW, and serves on the National NOW PAC.

Marion retired from the faculty of Indiana University School of Social Work in 2007 and is an Emeritus Professor. Her fields of interest were social policy, community organization, feminist administration, and power and empowerment. She was involved in faculty governance at the University and directed the MSW programs for Indiana University on four campuses.

She has been active in the Council of Social Work Education and National Association of Social Workers. Her local community involvement in addition to NOW includes founding the first shelter for battered women in Indianapolis and board membership in the Indiana Youth Group, an agency focused on LGBTQ youth and their allies.



Breakout Session I – Friday 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

NOW 101

Come meet NOW President Terry O’Neill, Vice President Executive Bonnie Grabenhofer and Vice President Membership Allendra Letsome in the president’s hospitality suite and learn the basics of being an activist for women’s rights with the National Organization for Women.

Facilitators: Eleanor Smeal, Elisabeth Crum

Documenting Our History While Our Founding Mothers Are Still With Us

Although the role of national NOW has been documented, the history of individual chapters has generally not been told. The aging of many founding members makes it all the more urgent that the story of NOW in all its regional diversity be documented. Prof. Stephanie Gilmore will trace the history of NOW activism in three different communities, while Philadelphia NOW President Karen Bojar will discuss her book on the early history of Philadelphia NOW. NOW Board member Jocelyn Morris will recall her efforts in forming a NOW chapter in 1980 to combat racism and sexism and to build support for the ERA among women of color. The workshop will close with a brief presentation about a new path towards a women’s history museum.

Moderator: Denise Baer

Panelists: Stephanie Gilmore, Karen Bojar, Jocelyn Morris, Julia Ramsey

Fighting for Freedom from Poverty in a Walmart Economy

As the largest employer in the country and the target of the largest class action gender discrimination lawsuit in history, Walmart has a significant impact on economic security for many women. NOW first led the now well-recognized protest movement against many of Walmart’s discriminatory employment practices. More recently, concerns have focused on exploitive practices in the supply chain for Walmart’s products. This workshop will feature the Making Change at Walmart Campaign with a presentation by a Walmart Associate and an interactive discussion with organizers from the United Food and Commercial Workers and Jobs with Justice about what activists can do to stand in solidarity with workers and change Walmart.

Moderator: MacKenzie Baris

Panelists: Silvia Fabela, Anita Lederer and Walmart Associate

New York State Feminists’ Brilliant Road to Equality

NOW activists and allies in New York offer a template for action on women’s rights that should be embraced in every state. NOW chapters across the state of New York have joined forces in a broad coalition of more than 400 organizations to push forward the Women’s Equality Act. The act is a ten-point plan that promises to strengthen state laws and tackle issues that are key to equality: protecting women’s reproductive rights, ending discrimination in the workplace, establishing pay equity, and helping victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. The panel will discuss how they have achieved backing from key government leaders and are making great progress in their Road to Equality.

Moderator: Zenaida Mendez

Panelists: Sonia Ossorio, Kulsum Ameji, Donya Nass

A Womanist Approach to Ending Violence Against Black Women

In this highly interactive workshop, the panelists will define womanism and provide fresh insights and perspectives in addressing partner violence perpetrated against Black women. Each panelist will demonstrate a womanist theory’s application in a range of social settings. Specific cases will be drawn from the panelists’ research and practice with a range of women across socio-economic classes and income levels, religious and spiritual traditions, sexual orientations, familial statuses, and gender identities. The workshop’s intention is to generate awareness of a womanist lens as a means for examining and mobilizing change in Black women’s lives. Shared experiences and plain-language handouts will be useful in preventing intimate partner violence.

Moderator: Stacee Reicherzer

Panelists: Pamela Manley-Johnson, Tiffany Rush-Wilson

Skills-Building: Recruiting an ERA Army Using Social Media

In order to reach a wider array of people, social media was used almost exclusively in the organizing of two recent Equal Rights Amendment events. The first success was a one-month campaign to reach a minimum of 25,000 signatures on a White House petition supporting removal of the 1972 ERA deadline. The second was a Call to Action to the Arkansas State Legislature for a standing-room-only debate on the ERA. Blog talk radio, YouTube, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, messaging and email have revolutionized the way we communicate. New technologies will exponentially increase our activist base in support of ERA bills in Congress. A toolkit handout will be available, along with information on the twitter campaign, #ratifyERA.

Moderator: Barbara Anderson

Panelists: Andrea Miller, Bettina Hager, Luanne Smith, Tammy Simkins, Desiree Jordan

Public Education, the Great Equalizer, Under Attack

This timely workshop will examine the struggle for the “soul of public education” involving labor-community coalitions pushing back against corporate driven “reform” aimed at privatizing public education. Representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union and their community allies will describe how they have come together to fight this threat. The role of poverty, gender and racial inequality in school performance will be discussed and how “reformers” are exacerbating those conditions. Feminist Majority Foundation President Ellie Smeal will join the panel. Strategies and actions for organizing in your community will be made to put students, parents, teachers, and the community at the center of education policy.

Moderator: James Thindwa

Panelists: Emma Tai, Jackson Potter, Amisha Patel, Eleanor Smeal

Issue Hearing

Ending Racism/Promoting Diversity

Issue Hearing

Lesbian Rights


Breakout Session II – Friday 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Saving Our Future: Protecting and Improving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

NOW president Terry O’Neill, NOW Government Relations Director Jan Erickson and National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare local retirement educator, Nan Anderson, will bring us up to date on efforts to push back against deficit cutters who would undermine our most important social insurance programs, endangering the economic security of women and their families. Right wing Republicans want to convert Medicare to a voucher system and raise the eligibility age to 70. Those same extremists want to reduce funding for Medicaid, and set Social Security on a path to benefit cuts and, eventually, privatization. We need benefit improvements, not cuts, and we can do that while also ensuring these programs’ sustainability for the future.

Moderator: Terry O’Neill

Panelists: Jan Erickson, Nan Anderson

Women of the World United to End Violence Against Women

Women’s rights advocates have dramatically increased their organizing globally to end all forms of violence against women and girls at the grassroots levels, in solidarity with other women from the global south, and working through international non-governmental organizations and the U.N. Given the escalating violence against women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, women are stepping up to say NO, not in my name, and YES, we can find better ways to live free from violence and peacefully with one another! Panelists will share strategies and solutions from the 2013 U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meetings, legislation in the U.S. to address violence and the renewed effort to ratify the Women’s Equality Treaty, CEDAW.

Moderator: Jan Strout

Panelists: Zenaida Mendez, Mona Lisa Wallace, Jerilyn Stapleton

Marriage Equality – Keeping Up the Momentum

During this past year NOW activists have helped achieve unprecedented victories in the struggle for marriage equality. In this workshop panelists will review the current status of marriage equality, hear first-hand accounts of the effects of marriage inequality on children and their families, and discuss examples of Social Security inequities when the marriages of same-sex couples are not recognized. To build on momentum created by the 2012 and 2013 victories, the panel will introduce the exciting NOW National Action Campaign for Equal Marriage and commit to take action together, making the promise of marriage a reality. Also presented will be an overview of various state laws, including those with civil unions and other domestic relationship laws as well as a discussion of next steps in legal cases and legislation.

Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer

Panelists: Shawn Phetteplace, Abi Green, Clelia and Annamarya Scaccia

Crisis in the Courts: A Diverse and Progressive Federal Bench Will Protect Women’s Rights

Federal judges make decisions that impact the lives of women every day. Federal appellate courts often have the final say on some of our nation’s biggest issues – from reproductive justice to marriage equality to ending discrimination. Current federal judicial vacancies must be filled with diverse judges who do not choose ideology over the law and who are familiar with issues women face every day. Republican obstructionism in the U.S. Senate is keeping scores of judicial seats vacant. Women make up only 30 percent of federal appeals and district court judges and women of color are just nine percent of the federal bench. Of President Obama’s 36 pending nominees, half are women. Action must be taken to confirm qualified, progressive judicial nominees now.

Moderator: Josh Field

Panelists: Elizabeth Glazer, Deborah Vagins, Sandhya Bathija, Michelle Schwartz, Barbara Arnwine

Skills-Building: Reproductive Justice – Winning Back Access One State at a Time

We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, yet for many women abortion is as hard to access, if not harder, than ever before. This panel will look at the top states where access to abortion care – and even birth control – are most in danger, and provide steps to win back access for all women and teens. We will provide a basic breakdown of the most popular pieces of anti-reproductive rights legislation proposed in abortion-hostile states and offer a blueprint of proactive bills and advocacy efforts to win back access.The panelists will design a game plan for activism against bad bills, both online and offline, and offer draft legislation to promote our agenda for reproductive justice.

Moderator: Tannis Fuller

Panelists: Robin Marty, Jessica Mason Pieklo, Jessica Luther

Skills-Building: NOW’s Feminist Field Force Invades NJ and VA

Elections in New Jersey and Virginia will have significant national consequences. Learn about the unique challenges we face trying to get the truth out about Republicans’ most popular governor in N.J. and our worst right-wing nightmare in Va. The Virginia political story is one of a legislature overtaken by Tea Party craziness and the most extreme Republican ticket imaginable. A new twist in the New Jersey political drama is the Senate seat opened by the passing of a progressive champion, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). Gov. Chris Christie (R) has announced he will ask for a special election in October to fill that seat. Plug into NOW’s exciting new project – the Feminist Field Force – and you can help us make a difference.

Moderator: Linda Berg

Panelists: Marj Signer, Jennifer Armiger, China Fortso

Issue Hearing

Global Feminism

Issue Hearing

Reproductive Rights/Women’s Health


Breakout Session III – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Taking Action Against Military Sexual Assault: Exploring Solutions

Military sexual assault is an epidemic. Reforms announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) and Congress have failed. According to the DoD, 86 percent of victims do not report, mostly out of fear of retaliation. Perpetrators are rarely punished. Regardless of continued promises of “zero tolerance” by military leadership, the problem is getting worse. Between 2010 and 2012, actions on grounds of sexual assault decreased by 23 percent, convictions decreased by 22 percent, courts-martial fell by eight percent, yet the number of assaults remains high. The military justice system elevates a commander’s authority and discretion over the rule of law and is fraught with inherent personal bias, conflicts of interest and low regard for the victim. What are the solutions?

Moderator: Miranda Petersen

Panelists: Rep. Jackie Speier, BriGette McCoy, Panayiota Bertzikis

Best Plan for Women’s Health: Expand Medicare to Cover Everyone

The big question facing those without health insurance is whether the Affordable Care Act will help provide truly affordable coverage. The ACA takes full effect in 2014 and many states – not all – are gearing up, but 18 million persons will still have no access. For older women, Medicare is a lifeline, even though is it by no means perfect. It requires seniors to spend money out of pocket and choose from a complicated array of insurance products for drug coverage. Conservatives in Congress say Medicare is going broke and want to turn the program into a private voucher system. But the better solution is to strengthen Medicare, rein in drug costs, and expand the program to provide quality, affordable health care to everyone.

Moderator: Dr. Anne Scheetz

Panelists: Claudia Fegan, Ida Hellander

The Transgender Community: Issues of Inclusion, Self-Definition and Politics

Transgender individuals experience high rates of employment discrimination, homelessness and violence, in a society that insists on a sharp divide between “female” and “male.” Panelists will address what transgender is all about, including history, research results, psychology, health and social issues. The goal is to educate and help attendees understand who transgender people are, and why, as well as to dispel myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings. The discussion will include information on marital relations and family concerns, research into causes and therapies. One panelist will speak about transsexual surgery and care, and another will discuss transgenders and several new gender identification terms and differences. This workshop promises to be informative and helpful to everyone who supports the transgender community.

Moderator: Jack McKethen

Panelists: Dr. Bonnie Estensen, Channyn Parker, Kai Kyriak Lopez

Moving Closer to Equal Pay, Paid Leave, Living Wage and Success for Women in Business

Panelists will take a broad look at factors important to gaining women’s economic equality. Where do we stand on ending sex-based wage discrimination, which is compounded by race-based discrimination for women of color? Why has the wage gap increased recently? Are we moving closer to paid family and medical leave? Why do we need an immediate increase in the minimum wage and the pitifully low sub-minimum wage of $2.13 of the restaurant industry? Can we convince lawmakers of the value of a living wage? How can women business owners succeed in a challenging economy? Several Chicago-based experts from Women Employed, the Women’s Business Development Center, and NOW’s Woman of Action awardee will address these questions.

Moderator: Hedy Ratner

Panelists: Melissa Joseph , Rachel Lyons, Saru Jayaraman

The Issue of Our Time: Reforming Immigration While Protecting Immigrant Women

This workshop, organized by Mujeres Latinas en Accion, will call attention to the issue of comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform from a feminist perspective. Immigration reform is not often considered to be a women’s issue, but in fact is a critical part of the fight for women’s equality. The recent momentum behind comprehensive reform is exciting, but has been missing a women’s focus. Panelists will touch upon immigration as a family issue, immigrant women are more vulnerable to abuse and the deportation of families. This panel will address the need for reform that preserves women’s basic rights and will review how well the legislation in Congress meets those needs. Attendees will learn how to advocate for compassionate reform.

Moderator: Ahlam Jbara

Panelists: Nuesa Gaytan, Itzel Camacho, Nubia Willman

Skills-Building: Take the Political Power – NOW PACs and How to Impact Elections in Your Community

The War on Women is being waged state by state and the battle for equality must be fought at the state and local levels. In the many states where Republican majorities are in control, we are seeing an avalanche of restrictive reproductive rights bills, including near total bans on abortion. In addition, conservative lawmakers – with the help of right wing governors – are pursuing anti-women, anti-public employees, anti-union and anti-consumer policies. They are also pushing for a corporate takeover of public schools and key government services. They must be stopped. It has never been more crucial to get your NOW PACs up and running effectively. Come learn about the basics of setting up and managing a PAC.

Moderator: Joanne Sterner

Panelists: Abby Levine, Kim Villanueva, Bonnie Grabenhofer

Feminist Flash Mob Dance Training – One Billion Rising

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to come to your revolution.” Do you agree? Then join NOW leaders at this flash mob training and tutorial. Learn how the One Billion Rising flash mob in San Francisco was organized in February 2012, to call attention to the need to stop violence against women around the world. Flash mobs help to engage activists on a deeper, more embodied level through dancing, poetry, singing and art. They also can produce massive media exposure, discourse and advocacy on our issues, as dance videos are posted and go viral, and catalyze the development of women social media journalists to tell their own narratives by picking up cameras. Who says a revolution can’t be joyful?

Note: this workshop continues through the next workshop session, ending at 11:15 a.m.

Coordinator: MonaLisa Wallace

Participants: Patricia Ireland, Laurie Roberts, Toni Van Pelt

Issue Hearing

Stopping Violence Against Women

Issue Hearing

Lesbian Rights


Breakout Session IV – Saturday 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.


Let Them Put a Ring On It: NOW’s Campaign for Marriage Equality

With twelve states and the District of Columbia officially recognizing marriage equality, this is an exciting time. However, the fight for marriage equality is far from over. This workshop will focus on NOW’s National Action Campaign for marriage equality. We will discuss the state of play at the state level, the implications of the recent Supreme Court decisions for our continuing struggle, and the importance of passing the federal Respect for Marriage Act to ensure federal recognition of benefits for committed same-sex couples. This workshop will provide members and chapter leaders with a framework for engaging in NOW’s campaign to keep pressure on decision-makers and win this battle. Come and learn how your chapter can get involved.

Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer

Panelists: Abi Green, Caroline Staerk

Impact of Medicare and Medicaid Cuts on Women with Disabilities

This workshop will explore how proposed changes in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are threatening women’s access to health care and economic security – especially women with disabilities. It will take up the creative ways that women are fighting back, including last year’s “My Medicaid Matters” demonstrations in states around the country. National and local demonstrations on disability issues are rare, and this workshop will emphasize the importance of organizing around these issues so that lawmakers will take notice. Panelists will show how the Hyde Amendment makes it extremely difficult for women dependent on Medicaid to access abortion care. Lastly, it will examine why and what it means that services for helping the poor and disabled are seriously being considered for budget cuts.

Moderator: Terry Moon

Panelists: Rahnee Patrick, Suzanne Klug, Sarah Robi

Closing the Racial Wealth Divide and Financing Critical Government Programs

If you are not alarmed over the growing wealth divide in this country, you must have been asleep for the past few decades. Even more dramatic is the wealth gap across racial lines. In 2009 the median net worth of unmarried white women was nearly $42,000 but just $100 for African-American women and $120 for Latinas – a shocking disparity that must be changed. This workshop will explore the necessary steps for progress towards economic equity for all. One important step is to adopt a “Robin Hood” 0.5 percent tax on Wall Street transactions that would generate up to $350 billion in revenues. Major nations in the EuroZone have done this and the U.S. should follow suit.

Moderator: Jeanette Huezo

Panelists: Monique Nguyen Belizario, Monica Vesga, Francesca LoBasso, Jennifer Flynn

Women’s Voices Addressing Ageism – Making Ourselves Heard

Women’s voices are frequently marginalized in society. Older women are often further discounted because of society’s pervasive ageism that, especially when combined with sexism, is an extremely potent force for exclusion. In a culture saturated with images of young (and impossibly beautiful) women, we need to promote understanding of the negative effects of ageism on our ability to live with dignity and respect – effects that are as corrosive to younger women as they are damaging to older women. Panelists from the Gray Panthers and Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) will share their personal and professional experiences with ageism and activism. They will discuss the impacts of ageism and offer their perspectives on strategies to bring respect and credibility for older women.

Moderator: Sally Brown

Panelists: Judy Lear, Cheryl Larsen, Alex Dobkin

Skills-Building: Futures Visioning to Stop Violence Against Women

In this workshop panelists will imagine images of a different future for women in which rape as a pervasive social problem no longer exists. Futures Visioning is a technique that can be used to aid advocates in using strategic foresight for feminist organizing around stopping violence against women. Participants will break into small facilitated groups to discuss the meaning and implications of these images of the future and the steps needed to reach that future vision. The groups will then come together to discuss technological, social, and legal tools for combatting rape culture; now and in the future. Finally we will hear from an expert in Violence Against Women Act programs (both domestic violence and sexual assault) and funding needs.

Moderator: Alisha Bagat

Panelists: Joya Taf-Dick, Monica Weeks, Monica Owens, Monica McLaughlin

Issue Hearing

Constitutional Equality

Issue Hearing

Disability Rights


Breakout Session V – Saturday 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


NOW’s Campaign to Break the Social Security Glass Ceiling: Improving Benefits for Women and Strengthening the System’s Sustainability

Every year, Social Security keeps 21.4 million people from living in poverty; many of these individuals are women, who are more likely than men to rely on Social Security for virtually all of their income. Social Security benefit cuts would disproportionately affect women, communities of color, persons with disabilities and those in the LGBTQ community. That’s why improving and strengthening Social Security is one of NOW’s top priorities. NOW is launching a national action campaign to mobilize chapters and activists around the country to raise awareness, educate voters, advocate for equal treatment and enhanced benefits and stop benefit cuts. Learn how your chapter can get involved and start fighting for real change in Social Security to benefit you and your family.

Moderator: Bonnie Grabenhofer

Panelists: Jan Erickson, Shawn Phetteplace, Abi Green

Ending Racism and Promoting Diversity

Workshop panelists will discuss the steps needed in developing a strategic plan to promote diversity, end discrimination and racism. The goal is to provide attendees with the tools necessary for ending discrimination and promoting racial equality — in your organization, your community and in society. Ms. Williams is president of the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada and Utah and a former member of the NAACP National Board of Directors.

Moderator: Allendra Letsome

Panelists: Jeanetta Williams, Edward Lewis Jr.

If She Hadn’t Worn That: An Empowerment Model of Self-Defense

Every two minutes in the United States someone is sexually assaulted – the majority of whom are girls and women. Too often, risk reduction strategies provide a list of don’ts: don’t walk alone, don’t wear revealing clothing, don’t drink or do drugs. These prescriptions reinforce societal gender expectations and create a victim-blaming culture. This presentation will flip the script. It is a feminist empowerment model which focuses on prevention in the early stages of violence and provides a range of information and skills in awareness and assertiveness. Panelists will highlight its healing nature for women who have been assaulted and ways they can break the silence, bond with other assault survivors, and gain a deep sense of empowerment.

Moderator: Kate Webster

Panelists: Erin Weed, Martha Thompson, Ellen Snortland, Katy Mattingly

Speakouts, Sit-Ins, Flashmobs: Feminist Movement Wins Morning-After Pill OTC

After years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ordered the FDA to immediately permit over-the-counter sales of the two-pill version of emergency contraception without age restrictions. While the court has not yet ruled on sales of the one-pill version (Plan B One-Step), this partial victory for our side is huge. The back story is about nine female plaintiffs in the lawsuit who led a bold and persistent feminist organizing campaign, speaking from their own experiences. These plaintiffs conducted speak-outs, petitions, phone banking, flash mobs and a sit-in at the FDA resulting in several arrests. Civil disobedience and grassroots feminist actions were key in achieving this historic win.

Moderator: Dior Vargas

Panelists: Andrea Costello, Allison Guttu, Alexandra Leader

NOW on Campus: Strategies to Build Our Presence and Engage College Men

One way for NOW to grow is to partner with campus women’s centers, giving the organization increased visibility with younger feminists. NOW chapters can introduce campus activists to the networks in their larger community and provide skills training in organizing and local legislative advocacy. This workshop will explore the ways in which local chapters can benefit from connecting with women and men on campus, and engaging with them on issues of mutual importance, especially access to contraception and stopping violence against women. Panelists are from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Women’s Center at UCSB, as well as representatives from the Women’s Center at the University of New Mexico who have developed a Gendered Violence Prevention Program.

Moderator: Jill Dunlap

Panelists: Hannah Brown, Jena Pruitt, Angela Catena, Benjamin Smith

Skills Building: How to be an Effective Feminist Lobbyist

Learn how to effectively reach and talk to elected officials – from your mayor and city council members to state legislators, U.S. senators and your representative. The power of the constituent has been muffled by millions of dollars spent by professional lobbyists and Super PACs. However, it is the constituent who holds the key as to whether the elected official keeps her or his job. Knowing how to engage any elected official about the issue that is most important to you is vital to securing support for your legislation. Learn the basics of lobbying, from getting an appointment to preparing a “leave behind” paper, making an “Ask” and following-up. Also covered: simple rules for non-profit organizations engaging in lobbying.

Moderator: Amanda Knief

Panelists: Kelly Damerow, Abby Levine

Issue Hearing

Economic Justice

Issue Hearing

Emerging and Other Issues