Are you excited to make a difference with us this Tuesday at Senator Toomey’s office at 200 CHESTNUT STREET in PHILADELPHIA?
March is Women’s History Month! To celebrate, this week we’ll be focusing on the importance of representation of women in our political system. We will be joined by Anne Wakabayashi, Executive Director of Emerge PA, and Melissa Robbins of NOW (National Organization of Women) who will talk about importance of women running for office and having representation in our political system.
GOAL: In addition to targeting immigrants, POC, and other minority and traditionally disadvantaged groups through policy and actions, the Trump administration has also set out to undermine women’s rights: from rescinding the requirement in Barack Obama’s healthcare law that employers provide contraception coverage, to rolling back a rule designed to close the gender pay gap. The only way this changes is if we elect representatives who truly represent their constituency, which is why it is of critical importance that women run for office and hold seats.
TOPIC: From engaging in hiring and protecting abusers, to appointing judges with horrific records on sexual abuse and harassment, to actions like paring down information in an annual report on global human rights which discuss women’s reproductive rights and discrimination, to undermining abortion rights the Trump administration has proven that it is the most anti-woman administration and president in US history. However, while these most recent attacks on women’s rights have grabbed our attention, the root of the problem is systemic: lack of representation of women in politics.
Despite making up over 50% of the general population, women are vastly underrepresented in our political system. Per the Center for American Women and Politics, currently, women hold only 19.8% of the seats in the U.S. Congress, they hold only 22.8% of statewide elective executive offices, represent only 25.3% of state legislators, and out of 100 major cities only 20 are represented by women. Representation for women of color is even scarcer, with only 35.8% of the women currently serving in Congress being women of color, only 11.3% of statewide elective executive offices being held by women of color, and only 6.1% of the total 7,383 state legislators being women of color. Only 8 of the 20 women serving as mayors of major cities are women of color, and there is currently only one woman of color serving as a Senate president or House speaker. This lack of representation is tied directly to policy: for example,issues of particular importance to women were more likely to be introduced by women legislators than by men. Without women at the political table, they are left out of policy discussions and decisions which directly impact their lives.
BRING: A letter describing why representation of women is of crucial importance to have in our political system and ask Senator Toomey to support legislation that supports women’s issues. Letters in envelopes will not be accepted by the Senator’s office.
In addition to bringing a letter to or calling Senator Toomey this week, we are also sharing ways in which you can help support the goal of more women representation in our political system and champion pressing women’s issues:
• You can support one or more of NOW’s current action priorities: (1) End the Criminalization of Trauma; (2) Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; (3) Mobilize for Reproductive Justice; (4) Advance Voting Rights; and (5) Protect Immigrant Rights.
• You can nominate yourself or a Democratic woman for Emerge PA’s candidate training program
• As women of color in particular suffer from a lack of representation in elected leadership within our political system, we strongly encourage our supporters to seek out and lend their support to groups like Higher Heights: an organization whose mission is to elevate Black women’s voices to shape and advance progressive policies and politics.
Thank you so much for supporting our efforts to make our representatives listen to our concerns. We’re so happy to have you on board!
We look forward to seeing you Tuesday!