Elevating Women in Politics, from Galax to Gainesville

  AUGUST 2021 NEWSLETTER

TO READ IN YOUR BROWSER

A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Greetings, 

This week I have thought a lot about “the journey” that women took to get us to where we are today. On Saturday, I was honored to participate in the final National Women’s History Alliance luncheon, celebrating the work done by Molly MacGregor and countless others who worked with Congress to designate March as Women’s History Month. This week I also attended the women’s equality reception at the Executive Mansion where I reflected on the women’s movement in the midst of the statues and names of legendary women at the Virginia Women’s Monument on Capitol Square. 

I left both of these events with a strong sense of duty and a desire to carry the baton as far and as fast as I can during my leg of the journey. 

The National Women’s Political Caucus-Virginia is committed to increasing women’s political participation. Reflecting on the hard work and the legacy left us by so many women, let us not forget that there was a time when women were not encouraged to engage in politics, when there were fewer women in leadership positions, and policies were designed to keep us at home, dependent on men and without a voice.

Our V-LAW series has been created to make sure we understand the policies which impact us and help us intentionally work to change them. Our four upcoming sessions will ensure that NWPC-VA is on the frontlines of advocating against virtual sexual harassment. 

As NWPC-VA members, I know that many of us have spent decades fighting for women’s issues. I have observed that, while our passion has remained the same whether there was one woman in office or 500, the tactics, strategies, players, and mainstream culture change. You are on the ground getting to know the players and experiencing the cultural changes in your region. When we come together as a statewide caucus, those diverse perspectives make us that much stronger. 

In order to be effective advocates against virtual sexual harassment, we need your voice at the table, sharing and learning with us as we prepare for the 2022 General Assembly session. 

We’ve been passed the baton, and it's firmly in our hands. You can help us run the next leg of our journey by doing your part, influencing your legislators and fighting virtual sexual harassment. I can think of no better issue to resolve before we pass the baton to future generations as they finish our well-run journey. 

Onward,

Krysta Jones

2021-2022 President 

National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia



ANNUAL MEETING


Make sure to join us on September 8th for NWPC-VA’s Annual Meeting at 7:00 p.m.!

We will have opening remarks from NWPC National President Donna Lent. We will be voting on a slate of candidates for board positions, bylaws, and will hear about updates on upcoming events, policy priorities, and discuss how you can be a part of our historic movement to increase women’s political participation in Virginia. 

In case you missed the recent email, the board submits the following information for your consideration.  

1) Bylaws Revisions

The NWPC-VA Bylaws have been revised since our last general meeting.  Please review the proposed changes here.  We will vote on the new version during the meeting.

2) Candidates

The following members are running for office this year. Once elected, their terms will begin in 2022. 

To review the candidates’ biographies, please click here

A recording of the meeting will be sent to all members after the meeting, along with a voting ballot and instructions for completion. The voting period will be open for 10 days.


CANDIDATE SLATE


MEMBERSHIP NEWS


During this building year, we are introducing some changes to make your membership experience as user-friendly as possible. To that end, we are excited to announce that we are transitioning from Action Network to Wild Apricot as our main platform. As you may have noted in our recent email, we will be turning off Action Network, so you MUST re-activate your account in Wild Apricot as soon as possible. 

Our new Wild Apricot interface is intuitive and simple to use. It allows members to quickly access their member info, make updates and changes, and manage renewals. Here’s a quick breakdown:


  • Step 1: Go to the NWPC-VA website at www.nwpc-va.org

  • Step 2: Click on the small “Member Login” icon in the upper right corner of the homepage.

  • Step 3: A popup box will appear requesting your email address and password. Since this is the first time you are signing in, click on "Forgot Password." You will be sent to a new webpage titled “Reset Password” where you will be asked to provide your email.  Click the “I’m not a robot” box. Then click “Submit.”

  • Step 4: You will receive an email from us with the subject line “Choose a new password.” This email will include a link where you can set up your password. Once you set up your new password, you will see a link for HOME. Click on the link. Once you are back on the NWPC-VA homepage, click on the “Member Login” icon in the top right corner. You can now enter your email and password in the popup box.

  • Step 5: Agree to terms of use and click "Continue."

  • Step 6: You will be taken to the homepage. Go back up to “Member Login” at the top right and click on “View Profile.”

  • Step 7: You will then be taken to your “Profile” page where you can edit your information. Click on the “Edit Profile” box. Please update your address, phone number, birthday, and upload a photo. Also, please identify your region within the state.

  • Step 8: Save your work.

  • Step 9: That’s it. Easy Peasy.


Questions? Let us know how we can help at va.nwpc@gmail.com.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION RECAP


Virginia’s lawmakers convened earlier this month for a special session. Here’s a quick recap of bills of interest to NWPC-VA.



IT’S STILL ELECTION SEASON!


We are so excited to present NWPC-VA’s second round of endorsed candidates for the 2021 General Election! If elected, Hala Ayala would be the first woman and the first woman of color elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor of Virginia! Of the 35 endorsed candidates for delegate, 21 are incumbents and 14 are challengers. Their success in November will bring us much closer to our goal of having women in half of the seats at the table! 

We ask all members to work together to get these women across the finish line. Check our Facebook page, National Women’s Political Caucus-Virginia, and our social media for campaign website links and ways you can propel these women across the finish line!

Click to meet Our New Endorsed Candidates

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Communications Committee

Hi, I am Jennifer Gaylor, VP of the Communications Committee. Have you all heard? IT’S ELECTION SEASON! This is why we choose to love Virginia: we get a chance each year to make a change and continue to propel Virginia into the future. Look for lots of information about voting, ways to help our endorsed candidates, our upcoming V-LAW series, and more! Follow us on all the socials, tell your friends, and get involved!

Endorsements Committee

Hi, I’m Candy Graham. Many thanks to all who participated in our second round of endorsements for the 2021 General Election. It’s very gratifying to be endorsing women for office  with whom we have worked for years at both the state and local levels. These candidates promote the key issues for which the NWPC-VA advocates, including but not limited to the Equal Rights Amendment, reproductive rights, childcare and healthcare equity, environmental justice, criminal justice reform, and education equity. Please view our endorsement video above to see these fantastic candidates. To join this committee, email us at va.nwpc@gmail.com. 

Development Committee

Hi! I’m Jess Kujala from Events and Development. We are looking forward to our inaugural V-LAW series next week! Please join us as we listen and learn from survivors of virtual sexual harassment along with experts in the field during our first virtual session on September 9th. See the Upcoming Events section for more details and to sign up. 

We are also looking for members to help us craft our Young Women’s Leadership Training. It is our responsibility to help the next generation of leaders start their careers off strong, so they can have a substantial impact on the world they will inherit. If you are interested in helping to develop this program or have any questions or ideas for future events, email me at-va.nwpc@gmail.com. We can’t wait to hear from you! 

Finance Committee

Hello there. My name is Robbin Warner and I’m the VP of Finance. The Finance Committee keeps track of our money: where it comes from, how it’s managed, and where it goes. You may be thinking that this isn’t an interesting, sexy, or outright fun committee. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When it comes to “Show Me the Money,” this committee has it all. How so? Join this committee and find out. Contact Robbin at va.nwpc@gmail.com.


Membership Committee 

Hi, I’m Robin Whitley, the VP of Membership. We are glad to have you. The membership committee and I are available if you have questions about ways you can get involved or have ideas you’d like to share. Watch your inbox for news about our upcoming membership drive. Reach out at va.nwpc@gmail.com. And don’t forget to update your account via our website: www.nwpc-va.org!


Policy Committee  

Hi, I am Tonja Roberts, VP of the Policy Committee. We’ve had our eyes on recent developments from the General Assembly’s special summer session (See the session recap in the previous section.). To assist us in drafting legislation for GA 2022, we circulated a survey regarding specific interest areas amongst committee members, and we hope to expand that to the general membership soon. If you have a strong interest in identifying issues, drafting solutions, and advocating for positive change, then join the Policy Committee! Contact me at va.nwpc@gmail.com and put “Policy Committee” in the subject heading.

Records Committee

Hello, I'm Laurie Buchwald, the VP of Records. I collect and archive NWPC-VA's important documents, photos, and media. If you'd like to know more or if you'd like to submit materials for our records, please contact me at va.nwpc@gmail.com.

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES 


The NWPC-VA divides Virginia into four regions with one Regional Representative per area. Each will serve a one-year term. Our current representatives are:

  • Central: Kati Hornung

  • Northern: Karen Campblin

  • Tidewater: Leelynn Brady

  • West/Southwest: Deb Snarr

We look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting on September 8.  If you have any questions for us in the meantime, please email us at va.nwpc@gmail.com, with your region in the subject line.

UPCOMING EVENTS & DATES TO WATCH


SEPTEMBER

September 2, 1 p.m.: Virginia Redistricting Commission Virtual Meeting

This year is the first time a new 16-member bipartisan commission, composed of eight citizens and eight state legislators, will redraw the boundaries of districts that elect congressional and legislative representatives in the commonwealth. The commission held its first in-person meeting in July and four subsequent meetings in August. At the August 23 meeting, the panel voted 12-4 to use a blank slate to draw new maps, instead of starting with the existing ones. They also voted to keep cities and counties together as much as possible. The next meeting will be a virtual meeting held on Thursday, September 2. The commission plans another round of public hearings to solicit comments once it draws its proposed maps for legislative and congressional boundaries. The tentative schedule is noted later in the calendar.


September 2, 5 p.m.

In It for the Long Haul: A Conversation with AWA

Join the Appalachian Women of Action for a conversation about staying on course to make a difference. Register here.


September 8, 7 p.m.: NWPC-VA’s Annual State Business Meeting

Our annual meeting will be held via Zoom this year. We will have opening remarks from NWPC National president Donna Lent and will be voting on a slate of candidates for board positions and bylaws. You will hear about updates on upcoming events, policy priorities, and discuss how you can be a part of our historic movement to increase women’s political participation in Virginia. Register here.


September 9: VLAW Kick-Off

NWPC-VA invites you to bring a friend as we kick off our Virginia Legislative Agenda for Women (V-LAW). NWPC-VA begins its 2021 V-LAW series on Thursday September 9 at 6 p.m. Participants will hear from survivors of virtual sexual harassment, as well as legal experts about the ramifications of how Virginia law fails these survivors.

It takes all of us to change the law. Save these dates—Sept. 23, Sept. 30, and Oct. 7—and join usfor this empowering series! Go to www.nwpc-va.org/V-LAWto register and see more information about the other sessions in the series.

September 17: First Day of In-Person Voting

September 17 is the first day of in-person early voting at your  local voter registration office for the November General Election.


September 20-25: Virginia Redistricting Commission Hearings

The commission plans another round of public hearings to solicit comments once it draws  its proposed maps for legislative and congressional boundaries. Here is the tentative schedule: a) in-person hearings: West Central Region, September 20; Eastern Region, September 20; Southwest Region, September 24 (Abingdon or Wytheville); Valley Region,  September 24 (Staunton or Harrisonburg); b) virtual hearings: Southside Region, September 21; Hampton Roads Region, September 22; Northern Region, September 23; Central Region, September 25. For updates, please check their website: https://virginiaredistricting.org.


OCTOBER

October 7, 6 p.m.: VLAW Continues

NWPC-VA’s Virginia Legislative Agenda for Women (V-LAW) series concludes in this session.  Join Virginia Lawmakers, grassroots organizations and NWPC-VA members and guests at the table to review the legislation our teams have been working on.  We’ll name the Legislative V-LAW CHAMPION, whose work will be at the forefront of NWPC-VA’s policy goals for 2022. Go to www.nwpc-va.org/V-LAW to register.

October 12: Deadline to Register to Vote

October 12 is the deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration.


October 30, 5 p.m.: Last Day of In-Person Early Voting

October 30 is the last day to vote in-person at your local voter registration office.


CALLS TO ACTION 

 

Title IX / #EdActNow

Student survivors can’t wait another year with DeVos’ harmful Title IX rule in place. The Biden administration announced plans to undo the Trump Administration’s attack on student survivors and create a Title IX rule that supports the rights of all students--but not until May 2022.  Students are about to enter a double redzone where more than 50% of all sexual assaults will occur between the day first year students arrive on campus until the day students depart for Thanksgiving Break. This fall, with schools shifting from remote learning back to in-person classes, experts predict that sophomores--who have not yet stepped on campus--will experience college as freshmen do, which means that the population of those at risk will double. Sign this petition to demand that the US DoE issue the proposed changes to Title IX by Oct. 1.  And spread the word.  https://www.edactnow.org 

 

Fight Voter Suppression

Concerned about voter suppression? Here are a few ways to advocate for voting rights.

  • Support democracy reform with the federal For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. 

After passing the House in March, S. 1 was blocked from debate by a Republican filibuster in June, essentially killing that bill for now. The legislation is intended to protect and expand voting rights. The Senate Rules Committee will hold a number of hearings on voting rights and elections spotlighting voting in the battleground state of Georgia — including a possible field trip to the state itself. The Senate could also rework the bill into smaller, stand-alone bills, while trying to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome another filibuster.  

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed the House, with the 219-212 vote going along party lines, on August 24.  The bill is likely to come to the Senate floor later this year. However, its future is uncertain without filibuster reform.

The Biden-Harris administration has stated its intention to continue pushing for voting reforms.

What can YOU do? If you have a Democrat representative, thank him or her for passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Call Senators Warner and Kaine and voice your support for ending the filibuster. Updates and a call script can be found here: https://5calls.org/issue/for-the-people-act-hr1-s1.  

  • Participate in a postcard, texting, or phone banking campaign sponsored by the nonpartisan Center for Common Ground’s Reclaim Our Vote Project, designed to empower under-represented voters to fully participate in elections. Investigate further on their website.

 

Advocate for Birth Control Access and Reproductive Rights

Our friends NARAL Virginia and Virginia NOW have been warning us that birth control is the target of the next wave of misogynistic vitriol and attempts to control women. GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin is most likely among those who would like to take away our basic human rights to decide what to do with our bodies and our futures. He has criticized the expansion of Medicaid for 550,000 Virginians, which includes access to birth control, and been evasive about his position on reproductive rights (See the Virginia Mercury for details.). States, like Virginia, that have participated in the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion have experienced improvements in maternal and infant mortality and decreases in uninsured rates and have decreased racial inequities for these measures. Spread the word about Youngkin’s positions on the issues (or lack thereof) and work to support NWPC-VA’s endorsed candidates this election season. Healthcare and reproductive rights are on the ballot! 


Donate to Abortion Funds 

In May, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. This case deals with the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortion after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. With the privacy stipulated in Roe v Wade now under threat, abortion rights in this country will face the gravest challenge in years over the next few months (See the Center for Reproductive Rights for the latest news: https://reproductiverights.org). NOW is the time to donate to these much-needed funds so that no matter where a woman lives, she can access safe reproductive care. https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/#funds-list


KNOW MORE, DO MORE

The National Women’s Political Caucus - Virginia (NWPC-VA) mission is to:

* Increase women's participation in the political process

* Increase the number of women in elected and appointed positions

* Support candidates who will prioritize women's issues and who will employ women in decision-making roles in their campaign and office staffs

* Work for the repeal of discriminatory laws, especially laws that discriminate on the basis of gender

* Draft and support legislation that complies with the principles of human equality and that concerns the needs of women

In pursuit of these goals, NWPC-VA is dedicated to eradicating bias, both explicit and implicit, in all its forms, including but not limited to sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, ageism, violence, socioeconomic status, ableism, sexual orientation, gender identification, political ideology, national origin, ethnicity, and discrimination on the basis of religion. Furthermore, NWPC-VA is dedicated to ensuring reproductive freedom. 



NATIONAL WOMEN’S POLITICAL CAUCUS-VIRGINIA



To submit information and event listings for future newsletters and social media mentions, please email us at va.nwpc@gmail.com.



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