Two Weeks after the Democratic National Convention and We’re Still Talking about These Women.
From my seat at the Democratic National Convention, one thing was very clear:
Women are on the forefront of change this election cycle.
Not only did Hillary Clinton make history, but night after night, speech after speech, women speakers shined light on the hopes and concerns of families everywhere.
Delegates quieted as the Mothers of the Movement spoke of their loss and the need to stop the killing on our streets. Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America championed women’s reproductive rights. Survivor Ima Matul spoke on behalf of the voiceless by bringing the issue of human trafficking out of the shadows. And who could forget First Lady Michelle Obama speaking about the impact of role models on our children?
Without women on the stage, would men be talking about the issues that matter to us? Case in point: The lack of women’s voices at the Republican National Convention (and in elected office). Less than 30% of speakers in Cleveland were women, and women and families were, for the most part, left off the agenda.
From the grassroots to the Governor’s chair, women change the conversation.
One of my favorite aspects of every Democratic convention is how the party showcases women who are leaders in their communities. This year was no exception.
If you missed them, be sure to watch these speeches by:
Stacey Abrams, Georgia House Minority Leader
Stacey Abrams is the State Representative for the 89th House District in Georgia and House Minority Leader in the state’s General Assembly. She is also the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly, and is the first African-American to lead the Georgia House of Representatives. In April 2014, Abrams received the inaugural Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award from EMILY’s List.
Crisanta Duran, Colorado House Majority Leader
Crisanta Duran is the Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives. She was chairwoman of the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee before being elected to the caucus leadership. Prior to being elected to the Colorado House, Duran was an attorney with a local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota State Representative
Peggy Flanagan is a member of the Minnesota State House of Representatives. She also served as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. Prior to her election to the State House, Flanagan served on the Minneapolis School Board: she was the youngest person ever elected, and the first American Indian elected.
Kristen Kavanaugh, U.S. Marine Corp Veteran
Kristen Kavanaugh spent five years in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from the United States Naval Academy. After earning a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California, Kavanaugh co-founded the Military Acceptance Project, an organization that promotes acceptance of marginalized populations within the military.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Congresswoman
Michelle Lujan Grisham is currently serving her second term representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. Prior to being elected to Congress, Lujan Grisham served as both the Secretary of Health and Secretary of Aging & Long-Term Services in New Mexico. She was also a Bernalillo County Commissioner.
Sarah McBride, LGBT Rights Activist
Sarah McBride is the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. A Delaware native, she also serves on the Board of Directors of Equality Delaware, and helped to lead the successful campaign to add gender identity and expression to her state’s nondiscrimination and hate-crime laws. McBride made history when she became the first out transgender woman to intern at the White House.
Anastasia Somoza, Disability Rights Advocate
Anastasia Somoza has been a disability rights advocate since she was 9 years old. Somoza, who lives with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, currently works at the Shield Institute, an organization that focuses on providing assistance to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Somoza is also partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative to stop the abandonment of children with disabilities in China.
Pat Spearman, Nevada State Senator
Pat Spearman is currently serving in the Nevada State Senate. Spearman spend 24 years in the United States Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel to pursue her passion for education. She also served one term as President of the San Marcos, TX Independent School District Board and then served as a lecturer at the University of Louisville. She is the openly gay woman to ever serve in the Nevada Legislature.
Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, Michigan
Karen Weaver is the mayor of Flint, Michigan. Tasked with the leadership of Flint during a time when the city is facing severe problems with its water supply, Weaver is Flint’s first female mayor. She also currently serves as a member of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s executive committee.