Friday, December 16, 2011

If you are a Democrat...

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Check your snail mail! If you are a Democrat, you may have received a "2012 Priority Issues Survey" from Nancy Pelosi asking for $$$ to win back the House. Nowhere does the survey mention Equal Rights for Women or Equal Representation or anything about women, but "Stabilizing Afghanistan" did make the priority grab-bag cut...You can join others in sending the mailer back without a stamp or $$$ -- and asking what concrete plans the DCCC has to elect MORE women to Congress and whether they are focusing on filling empty seats with women to accelerate our numbers. Countries which now have more than 30% women in national legislatures -- the U.S. is stuck at 16.8% -- have taken concrete steps to boost women. What about us?

"Help Democrats protect the progress we have made?" Progress in recent times has been lacking on almost every front, and we can't just blame Republicans. You may also recall that the last time Democrats controlled Congress, the Paycheck Fairness Act was not passed and CEDAW was again not ratified. Most importantly, critical healthcare and financial issues important women and their families were discussed and voted upon with way too few women's voices and none from 18 states. 2010 mid-term election results sent women backwards re Congressional seats for the first time since 1979, with no women elected from 20 states. Shame!

Who does your party support and why, how are those decisions made? The Democratic and Republican parties both must support MORE women by making sure they make it through primaries. Dem leaders will tell you that there is a rule against the Party supporting one Democrat over another in a primary, but the reality is that they break that rule with impunity whenever it serves their purposes. That rule could be changed by the DNC Rules Committee and ratified at the 2012 Convention -- but only if rank-and-file Democrats stand up and refuse to let your leaders claim one thing and then do another. Change the rule and take away the bogus excuse for not supporting MORE women, especially for empty seats.

You can support the candidates of your choice directly, not wait to see where the "Democratic Leadership Team" will throw your money while many candidates -- most likely underfunded women -- are left twisting in the wind carrying the Democratic banner, making many (including financial) sacrifices, and bearing humiliating losses because they were not chosen based on questionable electoral strategies. More work by women's groups to get more women to run is great, but simply not enough. Political parties must be held accountable for the fact that women are grossly underrepresented in Congress -- unless all you want is more of the same.

(Read SMOKE & MIRRORS -- especially Chapter 6: Got Results? -- for a closer look at whether the Democratic Party follows its own rules. For a 50% discount use CODE WK85Q at checkout.)

-- then click HERE to access "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women" on


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