Women's Caucus News

GWC March 2020 Newsletter

Chair’s Corner: 

Empowering Women in a time of Pandemic

By Ann Hesse, Chair, Global Women’s Caucus 

Our last GWC Newsletter seems light years away.  We shared plans, announced upcoming events and commented on the politics of the day. Though we all knew the virus was spreading, it was not yet the all-consuming, life-altering presence in our lives that it has become. What a difference a few short weeks has made!

Now here we are, pivoting, adapting and planning day-by-day, as women do so well.  The wonderful thing about our truly Global Women’s Caucus is that we are already very good at social distancing without losing touch!

Our GWC Leaders are now busy shifting in-person events online and cooking up new ideas on how our sprawling caucus, with its thousands of members in every time zone, can “virtually” draw a little closer to each other and empower each other during this very stressful time so that we can carry on with the important work we do.

I will be asking each of our action teams to develop extra remote options for member participation, so keep an eye out for more online member meetings, webinars with expert guests and calls to action.

One of the most powerful ways we can push back against the feeling of helplessness and isolation that this pandemic is generating, is to commit to doing one positive action for a cause we believe in.  Follow this link for a whole list of easy ways that you can help out with our efforts to get out the vote.  Do you have a particular skill or an issue that is especially close to your heart? Then we would love to have you pitch in on one of our GWC teams as a volunteer.  Drop me a line at womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org and together we can find something that suits your skill-set, interests and schedule.

One commitment that I am personally making is to pledge that for every live social event that I have to miss with friends and family due to the corona virus, I will donate an equivalent amount of time and/or money to the task of ridding our democracy of the GOP virus that has infected us for what seems like an eternity now. Would you join me in a similar commitment?

The whole world is on a learning curve now. It almost feels like a slow motion 9/11. Nothing will be the same in the “after” time.  But perhaps the silver lining will be in the development of a greener, more sustainable, more empathetic society that values humanity over productivity, diversity over sameness and equality over dominance.

It has been said that pandemics change history.  As women’s history month 2020 comes to a close, let us embrace this change, and commit to working towards the goal of making a historic change for the better!

In solidarity, and with a warm virtual hug,

Ann

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Making Herstory History

By Clara Dessaint

Women’s History Month – like many of women’s hard-fought civil rights wins – took time and patient lobbying to be officially adopted.

Following the lead of a few US counties and universities, which had successfully hosted weeklong celebrations of women’s important roles in history, President Carter first proclaimed a Women’s History Week (commencing on March 8th) in 1980. Despite bipartisan, national support for recognizing and celebrating the many contributions of American women in this way, Women’s History Week required annual lobbying until 1987, when Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month.[i]  

Read more.

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Feminist Literature 101

By Sheila Malovany-Chevailler & Stacey Kruckel

Are you interested in immersing yourself more in the wonderful world of feminist literature, but don’t know where to start? Here are a few important, thought-provoking and empowering books to recharge your feminist batteries!

Click here for our list. Enjoy!  

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Women’s History Month Webinar: Celebrate Intersectionality!

The Global Women's Caucus, the Global Hispanic Caucus, and the Global Black Caucus have teamed up for a Women's History Month webinar called, “Black/Brown Power, Whiteness and Women: The 2020 Election Challenge—Democrats, Be the Light! Save America! (…And the World!)”

In this webinar, Ramona Houston, Ph.D., PMP will explore the historical development of racism and whiteness in America, and how Democrats can build powerful, multi-racial / multi-cultural coalitions and a stronger Democratic Party. 

She will discuss the racial politics at the root of Trumpism and argue that Democrats must understand this history and its manifestations to effectively defeat Trump.  According to Dr. Houston, women play a vital role in this process.  Ultimately, Dr. Houston challenges Democrats to “Be the Light,” especially during the critical upcoming 2020 Elections—both locally and nationally. 

Join three Democrats Abroad Global Chairs: Angela Fobbs (Black Caucus), Amerika Garcia Grewel (Hispanic Caucus) and Ann Hesse (Global Women’s Caucus), as they explore with Dr. Houston what it means to “Be the Light.”

If you have questions for Dr. Houston, please send them to womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org

This is an online event. RSVP to receive connection information.

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Reproductive Justice Action Team

By Salli Swartz

The Reproductive Justice Action Team is closely watching for the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the case of June Medical Services v. Gee. This case will test the limits of the Louisiana State law that requires hospital admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions. It will also decide whether abortion clinics have standing to sue to maintain their existence. 

Read more.

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GWC Climate Action Team - Update

By Naomi Ages

Greetings from the Global Women's Caucus Climate Action Team. Throughout the Global Presidential Primary (GPP), we've been hard at work on our 2020 climate project called Go Green, Vote Blue! We need to make climate change THE #1 issue in this election, up and down the ballot. We're kicking-off Go Green, Vote Blue during Earth Week - which starts April 21. To this end, we've created a Toolkit to help you organize your own ONLINE event, wherever you are! Earth Day is going digital, and so can you! 

The Toolkit is full of useful content, from shareable graphics to social media sample posts to suggested email messaging for you to use when inviting your chapter. It's super simple. All you have to do is plug in the details specific to your event.

After you've planned your event, please email the details to womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org so we can promote them and support you!

If, after reading the directions in the toolkit, you need assistance with troubleshooting an online video/videoconferencing platform, please email womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org, with the subject line "Help with online conferencing". We will try our best to assist you!

We encourage you to poke around the Toolkit, especially the "Wearables and Shareables" folder, which has online and offline resources you can use all year for Go Green, Vote Blue!

We look forward to seeing all of your Go Green, Vote Blue events!  

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Introducing the Candidate Information Action Team

By Kati Newcomb

Welcome to the Candidate Information Action Team of the Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus!

I've taken on the position of Editor of Candidate Information for the Global Women’s Caucus because I truly believe that we're at a crossroads in American democracy and that the results of the 2020 election will have lasting effects on not only our country, but also the global community that we're all a part of.

At a regular cadence, the Candidate Information Action Team will post content on everything from profiles on candidates running in close or crucial races across the country to guides on how to research candidates on your own local ballots.

Read more.

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Thank you for reading our March GWC Newsletter, and as always, stay tuned to our Facebook page for the latest news.

In solidarity,

Your GWC Team

Ann Hesse, Chair, Global Women's Caucus
Stacey Kruckel, GWC Newsletter Managing Editor

Global Women's Caucus

womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org
http://www.democratsabroad.org/


GWC February 2020 Newsletter

Greetings from your Global Women’s Caucus team! 

In this issue, we celebrate Black History Month by providing a list of books, articles and podcasts focused on the experiences of African-American women, and we also provide an important, in-depth article that discusses the disparities in health care access for women of color in the US.

We also introduce our new Climate Change initiative and activities around the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and discuss the passage of the ERA legislation in Virginia and what may come next.  Finally, we offer three ideas to help you commemorate and be active during Women’s History Month in March.

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GWC Celebrates Black History Month

GWC is proud to join with other Americans in celebrating Black History Month.  Check out our lists of books, news stories and podcasts that commemorate the history and achievements of African-American women.   

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Disparities in Healthcare Access for Women of Color: Will Democrats Find Solutions?

By Ramya Prabhakar

The 2020 primary season has whittled down the impressive field of Democratic presidential contenders to a mere eight candidates. With the exit of Kamala Harris in early December, the field lost its only woman of color, and with the suspension of the Castro and Booker campaigns, the field became entirely white.  

Simultaneously, the platform of the Democratic party has centered around healthcare—and for good reason. Polling continues to show that voters rank healthcare as the most important issue in elections, and Democratic focus on Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act helped them win back the majority in the House of Representatives. And healthcare disparities negatively affect women—particularly women of color. This article lists some of the major risks and causes of disparities between women of color and white women, and then discusses the effects of Obamacare. Read more.

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GWC Launches New Climate Action Team!

The Global Women’s Caucus has launched an initiative to educate voters and participate in activities focused on climate change.  As a recent article in Time magazine noted, women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, and the UN estimates that 80% of those who have been displaced by climate change are women.

The GWC hosted an event in Paris to kick-off our climate change initiative and will be participating in Earth Day events and activities. Scroll down to learn more.

 

Women and the Environment Event in Paris

by Sheila Malovany-Chevallier

On January 26, 2020, I was lucky enough to host(ess) a meeting of the Women and the Environment group of Democrats Abroad France. 

The three women scientists, experts in their fields, shared their scientific work with the audience in a talk titled: Is Climate Change a Gender Issue?  Alyssa Fischer’s work discusses climate and sustainability, focusing on urban climate challenges and the inclusion of equity into climate conversations. Dr. Cara Maesano is a scientist and researcher in environmental epidemiology and exposure science at INSERM/Sorbonne University. Dana Powers is an environment journalist specializing in renewable energy and chair of the Democrats Abroad France Environment Policy Group. 

Click here to read more about this event, and you can also watch a video clip of the event here.  Special thanks to Jean-Pierre la Rochelle for filming the event.

Save the Date: April 22nd Climate Action on Earth Day

Many of the world’s largest climate organizations are planning major events for the week encompassing the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd.

Our new GWC Climate Action Team is working on an “Earth Action Week Event Ideas Package,” which will include lots of ideas for how our members can participate. Look for it in our next newsletter.

We would also like to encourage our GWC members to get involved in activities that major climate activist organizations are planning in your area. Check out the Earth Day and Strike with Us websites for more information.

This important anniversary provides us with an ideal opportunity to keep momentum going on the climate emergency, and to make noise around one of the most important election issues out there - climate change!

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ERA was Ratified in Virginia!  What’s Next? 

By Shari Temple

Virginia ratified the Equal Rights Amendment on January 27, with a vote of 27-12 in the VA Senate and 58-40 in the VA House.  It had full support from all Democrats and was supported by several Republicans. Virginia became 38th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the 38-state majority necessary to begin proceedings to amend the Constitution. 

Now that this historic milestone has been achieved, what comes next for ERA?  Read more about what’s happening in Virginia, in other states as well as the national level, and how you can help ensure that ERA is added to the Constitution.  

Story from an ERA Warrior:  Shari Temple

Shari Temple is the ERA Project Coordinator for Democrats Abroad. She is also a member of the Global Women’s Caucus. She traveled to Virginia last month to meet other ERA Warriors. Click here to read her story about her involvement with ERA.

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March is Women’s History Month. Three Great Ways to Celebrate!

March is Women’s History Month, and we have provided three ways that you can get involved to commemorate women’s history and make an important political impact:

1.    Exercise Your Right to Vote by Participating in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary.

2.    Participate in activities and events on International Women’s Day.

3.    Join us for a Women’s History Month webinar, featuring Ramona Houston, Ph.D., PMP: “Black/Brown Power, Whiteness and Women: The 2020 Election Challenge—Democrats, Be the Light! Save America! (…And the World!)”.

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Chair’s Corner: Why Volunteer with the DA Global Women's Caucus?

By Ann Hesse

As Global Caucus chair, I receive quite a lot of email. But the emails I am always happiest to see in my in-box are the ones that say, “Hi, I’d like to volunteer!”  

So, in order to encourage more of you to go ahead and step up in this crucial election year, I’d like to take a moment to give you all a better idea of what it really means to join our team.

What is a “global” volunteer?

Our Global Women’s Caucus is over five thousand strong, with members in over 100 countries. We have large, active caucus groups in many major cities that plan in-person events at the country and local level.

Because many of our members live far outside of city centers, we also have a vibrant online team that provides support worldwide.  We work to create many remote and online activist opportunities for our far-flung members.

We have several teams which focus on various issues, and they do research, educate our members, write and share articles on our media platforms, develop event tool kits and create online “calls to action.”

These are our teams:

  • Communications
  • Equal Rights Amendment
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Candidate Information
  • Books Abroad Feminist Literature Club
  • Women and Climate

Our goal for 2020 is to raise awareness around all our issues, stress the importance and impact of voting, and to propel a “blue wave” of new leaders who are committed to women’s rights into power on Election Day.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in volunteering for an “in-person” Women’s Caucus group near you, let us know your location, or just ask your local DA leadership to connect you with your nearest Women’s Caucus leader. (If your area has no group yet, consider launching one! We will help you!)

If you’d like to volunteer for one of our global teams, please indicate which teams you have an interest in, and we will put you in touch with the appropriate team leader.

It would also be helpful to know which aspects of our various projects you would most like to work on, and to have a bit of information about your interests, background, location and availability.

A Last Word:

In the face of ever-increasing horror around the world, many of us have found that using our skills and creativity for this good cause is enough to keep that awful feeling of helplessness and pessimism at bay.  We work “for free,” but what we get in return is a priceless feeling of pride, calm and even a good night’s sleep.

All we need now is your fresh ideas, creativity and dedication!  Go ahead and drop us a line!

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Thank you for reading, and as always, stay tuned on our Facebook page for all the latest news.

In solidarity,

Your GWC Team

 


GWC launches Women and Climate Action Team with Paris Event


GWC Chair Ann Hesse traveled to Paris to moderate an event organized by the DA France  Women’s Caucus on January 26. 2020
 This event launches our new Global initiative: 

WOMEN AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Here are some of the issues addressed:

Is Climate Change a gender issue? What is the connection? A UN Report tells us that “Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, and the majority of the world’s poor are women. Women’s unequal participation in decision-making processes and labor markets compound inequalities and often prevent women from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation.”

Three DA France experts addressed climate change and gender questions and wowed the audience.  All three of them are ready to press forward on our GWC initiative.
Our experts:

Alyssa Fischer is a climate & sustainability expert with a focus on urban climate challenges and the inclusion of equity into climate conversations. She presented an overview on urban policies and talk about how perceptions of climate change differ between men and women.

Dr. Cara Maesano is a scientist and researcher in environmental epidemiology and exposure science at INSERM/Sorbonne University, focusing on how the physical environment affects public health. She is part of C40's Women4Climate mentorship program, through which she investigates and educates on issues relating to the health impacts of Climate Change. She provided an overview of health impacts of Climate Change.

Dana Powers is an environment journalist specializing in renewable energy and chairs the Democrats Abroad France Environment Policy Group. She addressed the nexus between gender, population and climate change.

Jean-Pierre LaRochelle filmed this event and we will soon make it available  as part of an educational toolkit for all of us to learn from and enjoy.

If you are interested in volunteering for this team, contact Ann at womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org

Watch the video here:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LavYeFsA5M&feature=youtu.be

Some fun photos from the event:

Two Smart ladies DA France Women’s Caucus Co-chairs Connie Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier





Ann Hesse preparing with guest
Cara Maesano







Pleased  with a successful event and launch for a very important project!

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Global Women's Caucus January 2020 Newsletter

Happy New Year from your Global Women’s Caucus team! This election year is already off to a fast start, and we’ve got all the info you need to get involved in the fight for women’s equality right here. Learn how to host your own event supporting reproductive rights, join GWC members in advocating for climate action, AND find a special treat to keep you motivated for the work ahead -- all in our latest newsletter. 

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Reproductive Rights are Human Rights: A GWC Event Toolkit

The official women’s marches may be over, but in this crucial election year, we must continue “marching for our human rights” all the way to the ballot box in November!

We would like to encourage our members to host their own events around the theme of reproductive rights any time throughout the year.

To make it easy for members to host their own small-scale get-togethers, we have assembled a “do-it-yourself” event toolkit containing guidelines, an agenda and suggested timeline, a slide presentation with video options, discussion questions and more.

All members are invited to choose elements from this collection of ideas to build their own unique events around our theme.

Click here to get inspired!

For help, more suggestions and to share your event info and photos, please contact us at: womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org

 

Ohio Voters: Lobby your Legislators!

The Reproductive Justice Action Team is urging all DA Ohio voters to lobby their legislators to vote against Ohio House Bill 413, which makes abortion a felony crime for both pregnant women and medical professionals who assist. It can be punishable by death and there are essentially no exceptions. The Ohio legislature opened on January 14, so act NOW!!

Email and letter templates to send to Ohio legislators are available HERE

 

VA to be the 38th (and Last Needed) State to Ratify the ERA

On January 15, the Virginia House passed the ERA Bill HJ1 59-41, and the Virginia Senate passed the ERA Bill SJ1 28-12 in a bi-partisan vote. Now either the House needs to pass the Senate bill or the Senate needs to pass the House bill for the ERA to be fully ratified by Virginia. The tentative date for that final vote is January 27, and the support is there, so the official final vote should be a technicality.

DA’s Role in This Historic Amendment

  • 19 – videos created by DA members and sent to the VA Delegates
  • 312 – petitions signed and sent to the VA Delegates
  • 3,816 – DA Virginia voters sent emails about the 2019 primary and general election
  • 7,189 – Callhub calls made last spring to VA voters about the primary
  • 5,429 – Callhub calls made last fall to the VA voters about the general election
  • 5,000 – postcards written and sent to VA voters in Virginia
  • And more – lots of social media posts, calls and emails to promote ERA passage in VA

What’s Next? 

Virginia will fill out the certification that the state ratified the ERA and send it to the U.S. Archivist. Once logged, it will be added to the U.S. Constitution and go into effect two years later. These two years are designed to allow all states and the U.S. Congress to ensure all laws are in compliance with the amended Constitution. Note that there are already court cases filed that might delay things. 

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who has helped with the ERA ratification. We are on the verge of women in the U.S. having equality in our Constitution!!

 

Participate in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary 

The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary runs from March 3 to March 10, 2020 at hundreds of voting centers around the world. Click here for more information on how to vote, criteria and registration.  

DA will also send 21 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, WI this July, and one of them could be you! To learn how to run as a delegate, click here

 

Get Involved: New GWC ‘Women and Climate Action Team’

The GWC is launching a new Women and Climate Action Team. Its overarching goal for 2020 will be to raise awareness around climate-friendly candidates, policies, lifestyles and the special role women can play, and to connect this heightened awareness with the crucial need for Americans living abroad to vote. 

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

All Women’s Caucus members are invited to join our action team and help propel a “blue-green wave” of new leaders into power on election day!

Join us on WebEx for our first online organizational meeting, Saturday February 1 at 9:00 a.m. EST. JOIN HERE

 

Read Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ With Books Abroad 

Together with the Global Black Caucus, the Books Abroad organizers warmly invite you to join us in reading and discussing Toni Morrison’s revolutionary novel “The Bluest Eye.” During our discussion, we will tackle issues of cultural aesthetics, intersections of race and gender, and the ongoing struggle for black female voices to be heard.

We look forward to celebrating both the incredible work and woman with you on Sunday, February 9 at 7:30 a.m. EST/1:30 p.m. CET on WebEx.

RSVP HERE.

 

Start the Year off with the GWC ‘We Can Do It’  Playlist

Smashing the patriarchy is not an easy task, but with women working together and sharing our strongest tunes, WE CAN DO IT!

As we head into the new year and prepare ourselves battles that lay ahead, GWC team leaders have put together a playlist of our most motivating songs to pick us up when we’re feeling down our personal favorites! 

Access the playlist on Spotify here

 

Flipping the conversation: From why she can’t to why she can

The he-said-she-said debate between Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders surrounding the last Democratic debate has put the question of whether a woman can be elected president of the United States on the national stage.

In a presidential primary that has been hyper-focused on the question of electability, it is not altogether surprising that this question would come up – though it is surely disappointing for those who dare hope that votes today get cast based on a candidate’s policy proposals rather than his or her gender.

Read more . . .

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Thank you for reading, and as always, stay tuned on our Facebook page for all the latest news.

In solidarity,

Your GWC Team

http://www.democratsabroad.org/wc

womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org

Ann Hesse, Chair, Global Women's Caucus
Laura Depta, GWC Newsletter Editor-in-Chief


Reproductive Justice Action Team

The Reproductive Rights Action Team has changed its name to Reproductive Justice Action Team which is defined as "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities," (SisterSong Women of Color reproductive collective). It thus encompasses a larger agenda including all health issues surrounding reproductive rights and in particular rights of minority women.


Heartbeat Bill

The State of “heartbeat” laws can be found in this link and it is horrifying!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartbeat_bill#Summary_table


Ohio Voters - Lobby your Legislators!

The Reproductive Justice Action Team is sending letters to all DA Ohio voters to urge them to lobby their legislators to vote against Ohio House Bill 413 which makes abortion a felony crime for both the pregnant women and medical professionals who assist. It can be  punishable by death and there are essentially no exceptions. Please read the these documents - click on the images to open the files.

 

 


Equal Means Equal files ERA Lawsuit

Equal Means Equal filed a lawsuit on January 7, 2020 that the deadline in 1972 ERA was unconstitutional.

Read the report on Bloomberg Law here: Equal Rights Amendment Backers Sue to Void Deadline

Let the GOOD guys win!!


Global Women's Caucus December 2019 Newsletter

Greetings from your Global Women’s Caucus team! It’s hard to believe another year is almost over and that in just ten short months, we will be in the middle of the most important election of our lives. This newsletter is chock full of ways to get involved in 2020 — fighting for reproductive rights, discussing important issues, and helping the Equal Rights Amendment finally become a reality. Happy reading and happy holidays!

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March, Organize & Volunteer for Reproductive Rights in 2020!

January is Women’s Rights Month! And the Reproductive Rights Action Team has been very busy. Here’s what’s coming up in the new year:

The fourth Women’s March will take place on January 18, 2020. This year’s theme will be “March for our Human Rights.” GWC can think of no more fundamental human right than to have sovereignty over one’s own body. We encourage members to participate in marches that will take place around the world and/or plan group meetings around the theme of reproductive rights throughout January and beyond!

To help you organize your own events, we have put together a GWC Reproductive Rights Event Toolkit. All members are invited to choose elements from this collection of activity and event ideas to build their own unique events around our theme. All you have to do is click, get inspired, and organize! And please do share your event photos with us at womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org.

We are also organizing a letter-writing campaign to fight for our reproductive freedom. In January, we will send to Ohio and PA DA members a template letter to send to their state legislators to oppose bills that restrict our ability to control our bodies. In February, we will do the same for Florida DA members. We want to do this on a rolling basis for those states that are putting women’s reproductive health in danger.

AND we need more volunteers! Join our team and help us defend our rights. If you are interested, send an email to sallisaswartz@gmail.com.


ERA UPDATE: ALL EYES ON VIRGINIA

It’s looking good for Virginia to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in early 2020. In doing so, it would become the 38th and final state needed to fully ratify the ERA for the U.S. Constitution. The VA state legislative session opens on January 8, and bills have already been pre-submitted for both the House (HJ1) and Senate (SJ1). Hopefully, it is a done deal by our next newsletter!

What’s Next Once VA Ratifies
Once Virginia ratifies the ERA, it will be sent to the National Archives and immediately become part of the Constitution. The amendment does have a two-year phase-in to give states and Congress time to modify any laws that may violate the amendment. HOWEVER, we should expect some court battles. There are still many who oppose the amendment. Opponents argue that the deadline for ratification was 1982, and there are five states that have tried to rescind their ratification. However, the 1982 deadline was in the preamble and not in the amendment itself, and there are court rulings already giving precedent that recension is not possible for amendments.

How You Can Help
Please write or call your U.S. Senators and ask them to support the bill removing the deadline from the Equal Rights Amendment – bill SJRes 6. You can also share why it is important for women to have equal rights explicitly in the U.S. Constitution. Click here for how to contact your Senators.

You can also write to Nancy Pelosi, asking her to call for a floor vote on bill HJRes 79 that removes the deadline from the Equal Rights Amendment. Just one sentence is fine. It would be great to get that passed this year, and it already has the needed support to pass.

Get Involved: Host a Kitchen Table Talk!

Kitchen Table Talks are small group events held by Democrats Abroad members to talk about policy issues that matter to Americans abroad. Your Talk's feedback helps shape the 2020 Democrats Abroad Platform.

Our Global Women’s Caucus leaders would especially like to know your thoughts on women’s reproductive health, gender equality, and more. Your input will help us to shape a platform that really reflects the beliefs of all our women’s caucus members!

Explore some of the issues we're talking about — choose a general category to get started. Interested in moderating a talk? It’s easy!

CLICK HERE to read more about our Kitchen Table Talk Tool Kit.

Or DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Read Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ with Books Abroad

Together with the Global Black Caucus, the Books Abroad organizers warmly invite you to join us in reading and discussing Toni Morrison’s revolutionary novel “The Bluest Eye.” During our discussion, we will tackle issues of cultural aesthetics, intersections of race and gender, and the ongoing struggle for black female voices to be heard.

We look forward to celebrating both the incredible work and woman with you on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at 7:30 a.m. EST/1:30 p.m. CET on WebEx.

RSVP HERE.

Thank you for reading, and as always, stay tuned on our Facebook page for all the latest news.

In solidarity,

Your GWC Team

Ann Hesse, Chair, Global Women's Caucus
Laura Depta, GWC Newsletter Editor-in-Chief

Global Women's Caucus
womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org
http://www.democratsabroad.org/wc

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Q&A: Global GOTV Team Leads Talk 2019 Election Results

Heidi Burch

Heidi Burch volunteered as the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Coordinator and Volunteer Director for DA Canada and  joined the global GOTV team in 2016.  Eileen Weinberg became the Switzerland Country Coordinator in 2016, and then joined Heidi as Global Co-Chair in 2017.

Following Election Day 2019, both spoke with the Global Women's Caucus about the GOTV team’s work, reaction to the recent election results, plans to Get Out the Vote in 2020, and more! 

GWC: What is the GOTV team and what does it do?

Heidi Burch: The GOTV Team’s “core mission” is to get U.S. citizens who are living outside the U.S.  (either permanently or temporarily) to vote in U.S. elections — and to vote for Democrats! 

To do that, we engage in outreach to let them know that you can vote from overseas and provide them with the tools to register to vote and request their ballot. We do outreach via emails to DA members, phonebank DA members, post information about upcoming elections on social media, keep GOTV Coordinators and Country Committees up to date on GOTV issues, and help local teams with voter registration events for all U.S. citizens.

To facilitate voting, we help maintain the information and FAQs on www.votefromabroad.org, respond to voter questions on the Voter Help Desk, provide training materials to phonebanking volunteers and to voter registration volunteers, research election deadlines and specific requirements for overseas voters and also research issues with specific import to overseas voters, such as which states allow overseas voters to vote in state and local elections.


GWC: When and why did you join the GOTV team?

Eileen Weinberg

Eileen Weinberg: Quite soon after I started to volunteer with Democrats Abroad, I became really compelled by the significance of promoting the right to vote. I never encountered difficulties voting from abroad, but when I learned about other experiences, I realized I could make an impact. For me, voting, helping others to vote, and expanding overseas voter turnout are intrinsically important objectives.

GWC: What motivates you to do your important work?

Heidi: The tremendous need to elect Democrats to reverse the damage that Trump and the Republicans are doing to the U.S. and to the world!

Eileen: I see the situation in the world as a result of people feeling disconnected, angry, or desperate because they feel like they don’t have a voice, that government does not represent them. Voter turnout is the key to representational Democracy. Every politician knows exactly which part of their constituency votes, and when less than half of a district turns out for an election, it’s not hard to see why few seem to care about serving the public; when less that seven percent of voting-age Americans abroad vote, our needs are easy to dismiss.

It’s about participation too, we can’t expect others to serve us if we are not contributing. It will take time before every citizen will be able to see themselves in the politicians we elect, but the process begins by each of us insisting on our democratic involvement at the grassroots. Working with DA is my participation in our democracy, it’s real grassroots organizing, and it’s a great experience and education.

At the end of the day, it feels really good to help another person get through the confusing forms and contradictory instructions to discover how easy it is to vote by absentee ballot. Few things we get to do have such a direct and tangible result. 


GWC: How did you feel when you learned the VA legislature flipped?

Heidi: I was thrilled! I know how hard all of us worked — particularly the phonebanking volunteers — to Get Out the Vote for all the 2019 state elections, and it was so gratifying to see such a huge payoff. The one-vote loss of the ERA back in the spring of 2019 was so tough, but it was also a great motivator as VA was so close. And more to home, I'm originally from Washington DC, so it's been wonderful to see VA evolve over the years to now being a blue state!

Eileen: Hopeful. Despite all the negativity, polarization, corruption, and lying, the people as a whole can still get it right.

GWC: What are you most proud of with your work so far, and what makes you hopeful for 2020?

Heidi: I think I'm most proud of how we've tried to set up a really good roadmap for people to follow to learn “how to GOTV” and to get them GOTV information.

When new volunteers sign up, there are phonebanking and voter registration trainings as well as checklists for CCs to do voter registration events, a Voting Blog with current information on www.democratsabroad.org/voting, research materials and copies of all materials we sent to voters on the GOTV Wiki page and a central email for GOTV questions (gotv@democratsabroad.org). 

What makes me hopeful for 2020 is the outpouring of support for voting. For months now, people have been contacting us to say they  are desperate to vote in the 2020 elections and also that they want to volunteer to help others vote.

Eileen: We tried hard to listen. What were the problems voters encountered repeatedly, what were the resources DA volunteers wanted? All the information we distilled and repackaged in charts and posts and emails, it was us responding to requests, concerns and ideas from DA leaders and members globally. The feedback we got has been so positive. It not only confirmed that we were responding effectively, but receiving so much thanks is incredibly motivating to keep doing more.

I joked around with friends about the amount of work we were doing in the lead up to the 2018 election. I would say that I was only trying to keep up with the pace set by Heidi. It was and remains true. DA’s volunteers are some of the best people I’ve ever worked with, and it’s not surprising that we help each other deliver and keep focus on our goals.
 

GWC: What do you have planned to get out the vote in 2020?

Heidi: More outreach to U.S. overseas voters! We want to make sure www.votefromabroad.org has the most up-to-date information for overseas voters and is as user-friendly as possible. We also want to  post election information pertinent to overseas voters on DA's and VFA's Facebook pages, send emails to DA members reminding them to send in their FPCA forms to get their 2020 ballots, help train volunteers to work on voter registration events and phonebanking, phonebank all DA members (as many times as possible!), answer questions about voting, and do everything we can to help overseas voters get their ballots and vote!

Eileen: Well, all of the same and more of it. We’ll aim to repeat the successes of 2018, still listening to concerns and feedback, and hopefully we will hear some new ideas. Growing the GOTV volunteer team early in the year will unquestionably have a positive impact on how much we can accomplish. Voting is a numbers game. 


GWC: How can DA and GWC members get involved?

Heidi: Volunteer to help get out the vote! Some ways to get started are: 

  • Phonebanking is our most effective way to reach DA members. It's free to you, and you can do it when it's convenient for you. Go to www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking for training materials and sign-up instructions.
  • Help with voter registration events in your area. You can find training materials and instructions for setting up a voter registration event on the GOTV Wiki page
  • Social Media: If you're comfortable with social media, we’d love to have your help crafting posts with voting information for overseas voters.  

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact gotv@democratsabroad.org.  

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