Elevating Women in Politics, from Galax to Gainesville

A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT                         November 2021

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

Hey yo, I'm just like my country

I'm young, scrappy and hungry

And I'm not throwin’ away my shot!

--Hamilton

For the last few days I have had “My Shot” from Hamilton on replay, and the words have really resonated with me. If you are anything like me, you have been devouring news articles and post mortems about the election and wondering what you might have done differently. There is so much on the line in terms of policies that advance the status of women. We can’t afford to sit back and “throw away our shot.”

I know it probably isn't very comforting to hear that the pendulum swings, or this is just how our system is designed to work. I will, however, remind us all that we have to remember the long game and view 2021 as one step on our journey to reach the sustained progress that we want in Virginia.

My hope is that during the journey we will learn from our setbacks and become stronger in the process. So, how does that manifest in our daily lives?

It's extremely important that we all become accustomed to listening to others' viewpoints and their strategies (not tolerate or adopt) if we are ideologically opposed, but just listen and learn. 

For example, we may not always agree with the policy that an advocacy group is promoting, but if we focus solely on how abhorrent we believe their views are, we are not able to learn from their strategy. In terms of looking at the long game, I think this is a big mistake. We have to be realistic about our shortcomings, adjust quickly, and get back on track. You never know: we may even find common ground on some issues. When true and authentic conversation happens, without extreme words and actions, that’s when deep collaboration can happen, which is more likely to stand the test of time, political leaders, and elections.  

Another way to get back on track is to continue our community engagement and bring other women along with us. NWPC-VA recently hosted a conversation with Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson and Jen Myronuk, NWPC’s lead for our Appoint Women Program, to discuss how to secure federal and state appointments. There is so much value in serving on boards, commissions, and in an administration. We have the opportunity to serve, network, build our resume, and share our expertise. For many, this can also be a starting point for a career in electoral politics. Increasing the number of women in appointed positions is a critical part of our long game strategy. 

Ladies of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia, this is our shot. The country is looking at us and what we do to get Virginia back on track. I challenge you to slow down, listen, and learn from all sources, so we can make true progress in Virginia. 

Onward,

Krysta Jones, 2021-2022 President

National Women’s Political Caucus-Virginia




VIRGINIA WOMEN CANDIDATES MAKE HISTORY AGAIN

Congratulations to all of the NWPC-VA endorsed candidates and the campaigns they ran this year! The tireless work you and your supporters put in is inspiring. A record number of 72 women (49D, 23R) ran in the general election for seats in the House of Delegates this year. The previous record was 62, set in 2019. We look forward to working with the State Legislature in 2022 to advance bills that uplift Virginia women and families.

Congratulations too to Lieutenant Governor-Elect Winsome Sears, the first Black woman to hold a statewide office.  An historic victory!

WATCH #WOMENLEAD: APPOINTMENTS

On November 15, Kelly Thomasson, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and NWPC-VA member Jen Myronuk joined us for the seminar Appoint Women, a conversation on navigating and securing a state level appointment in Virginia. A big thank you to both of them for sharing their experiences and insight. A recording of the session seminar can be viewed here.

 

Congratulations to Michelle Kallen, who this past week was named Virginia’s first female Solicitor General and will lead the first all-female Solicitor General team in Virginia history! The Office of Solicitor General represents the Commonwealth in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and federal circuit courts in non-capital cases that call into question the constitutionality of a state statute or that bear on sensitive policies of the Commonwealth. The Solicitor General’s Office also assists other divisions of the Office of Attorney General with constitutional and appellate issues. Under this powerful title, Solicitor General Kallen will file the Virginia v. Ferriero brief which compels the National Archivist (David Ferriero) to recognize the 28th Amendment (Equal Rights Amendment) in the U.S. Constitution.  She will file the brief on January 3 before she is transitioned out of office when the new administration begins on January 15. 

Curious?  Inspired?  There are multiple opportunities for you to contribute on a state board, commission, or in the administration. View the full list, as well as current openings, here: www.commonwealth.virginia.gov


 
 

CALLS TO ACTION

 
  • Join the NWPC Equity and Diversity Affirmative Action Task Force: With our commitment to a diverse and supportive organization, we are asking for a small group of women to create an equity and diversity affirmative action plan. Interested persons may reach out to Deb Snarr, our National Representative, by December 15. The first meeting will be virtual and is scheduled for December 18. As this is not a standing committee, rather a task force to create a document, expect 2 meetings a month for 3 months. Email Deb at va.nwpc@gmail.com.
 
  • Get Ready for GA 2022: Virginia Unsolicited Lewds Bill: Check out our ADVOCACY TOOLKIT to see how you can help push the Unsolicited Lewds Bill over the finish line! We’ll be publishing more calls to action in the weeks to come as we gear up for General Assembly 2022.
 
  • Advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment/28th Amendment: Time to sharpen your pencils and join our friends at the ERA NC Alliance to send postcards and letters to Christopher Schroeder, who has been appointed to lead the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. This gives him the authority to direct his team to revoke the 2020 memo that prohibited the National Archivist from certifying and publishing the ERA, despite the amendment meeting constitutional requirements when Virginia became the 38th and final state needed to ratify on January 27, 2020. Please take two minutes to write a notecard to urge Mr. Schroeder to rescind this memo, and encourage your friends to do the same!


    • Advocate for the federal Build Back Better Act: On November 19, the House of Representatives passed the Biden Administration’s $1.75 trillion spending package, the Build Back Better Act.  With historic levels of funding for the care economy, the House bill:
    1. lowers the cost of child care so working families don’t pay more than 7% of their income on care for their youngest children

    2. provides universal preschool for every 3-and 4-year old in America and increases Pell Grants for working families and apprenticeship programs for education beyond high school

    3. lowers the costs of elder care, health care, and housing


    The Senate has promised to revise elements of the bill. Contact Senator Warner and Senator Kaine to lobby for the above-mentioned items to remain in the upper house’s version.

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 at 7:00 P.M.: Netizens Screening

    NWPC-VA is honored to screen Netizens, a documentary about virtual harassment from director Cynthia Lowen, to complement our V-LAW series. The film depicts the many forms digital abuse can take and challenges the notion cyber harassment is only online, showing the repercussions on targets' lives. Join us for this virtual screening. Watch the trailer here:https://www.netizensfilm.com.


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