Elevating Women in Politics, from Galax to Gainesville



Dear NWPC-VA Members,

NWPC-VA is excited to announce that we have joined the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance (VREA) with grassroots organizations such as Birth in Color RVA, ACLU of Virginia, REPRO Rising Virginia, Virginia NOW, Planned Parenthood Virginia, and others. This collaboration is an opportunity for our members to do hands-on work to protect abortion rights in Virginia. 

On September 7, the General Assembly will reconvene for a special session. It is widely believed that Governor Youngkin will call for a 15-week abortion ban bill to be considered in the House of Delegates. 

VREA has declared September 7 to be a Day of Action in Richmond, and September 8 and 9, Days of Virtual Action. As part of the coalition, NWPC-VA stands with VREA’s calls to action and encourages members to defend our reproductive rights in the commonwealth. As VREA stated, “The purpose of the calls to action is to mobilize our volunteers to fight back against the 15-week ban while also building power statewide that can help defeat the bill.” 

NWPC-VA Board of Directors


The lastest reproductive rights policy news is our collaboration in VREA. In preparation for the September 7 special session of the General Assembly, we ask you to participate in as many of the following calls to action as you are able.


  1. Join our Virtual Testimony Writing Party on Aug. 30. In preparation for the special session, VREA will hold an educational webinar and testimony writing party at 6:00 p.m. The webinar includes a discussion about abortion bans and the impacts of bans on Black, Brown and immigrant communities by the Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Virginia. The testimony written during this time will be read at hearings by volunteers and will be submitted for the record. This is a way for volunteers who can’t make it to Richmond to get a chance to make sure their voices are heard. Details and sign-up here.

  2. People’s Hearing on the Capitol Steps on Sept. 7. Gather at the Capitol at 10:00 a.m. and be prepared to read and listen to testimony. VREA aims to provide a space where volunteers can read their testimony to the public whether or not House leadership allows people to speak about the bill. Transportation is available from the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads areas. To sign up, register here.

  3. Greet Legislators on Sept. 7. Following the People’s Hearing, we will greet legislators with fliers urging them to vote NO on the 15-week ban. Plan to line up on Bank St. To sign up, register here.

  4. Virtual Actions on September 8 and 9Activists are encouraged to call and email their legislators. Posting on social media is an additional way of acting. VREA will also be hosting a virtual watch party of the hearing and floor vote; watch NWPC-VA socials for that info.

Learn more about VREA’s coalition and what we have planned here

During General Assembly 2022, NWPC-VA worked with Dora Muhammad from Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy on SB456 and HB1105: bills requiring implicit bias training for healthcare professionals. During that session, the bills were passed by. In the Senate, it was recommended that a taskforce be formed to study the need for implicit bias training in the commonwealth. NWPC-VA has been invited to listen in on those conversations with the taskforce and is especially interested in addressing the Black maternal mortality crisis 

One of the major hurdles facing the bills this year is that one of the recommendations was to require implicit bias training only for the physicians, not any other personnel. We did not consider this to be an acceptable recommendation as nurses and other bedside providers are the individuals who communicate to the physicians what is happening to the mother during labor and after labor.  

A second issue is that there was a sunset clause in the bill. Once the training has been completed, there would be no future requirements for recertification or additional professional development. 

Earlier this month, NWPC-VA hosted What We Owe Black Mothers with legislators and grassroots organizations, discussing Black maternal mortality rates in Virginia; watch here to learn more.

As we all know, the Equal Rights Amendment has been fully ratified (YAY, Virginia!). It is awaiting publication by the new Archivist of the United States. There was a snag in 2020 when, shortly before Virginia became the 38th and final state to ratify, the Office of Legal Counsel under the Trump Administration issued a memo stating that the Archivist at the time, David Ferriero, should not publish the ERA because the deadline for ratification had passed. There is a current lawsuit pending in the D.C. Circuit Court regarding that decision. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Ferriero retired in April of this year, and President Joe Biden recently nominated Dr. Colleen Shogan to fill the role. She is a political scientist withan impressive public service background. What we love most of all is that Dr. Shogan serves as Chair of the Board of Directors at the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation, designated by Congress to build the first Washington, D.C. memorial dedicated to the early movement for women’s equality. If approved by the Senate, she would become the first woman in the permanent role of Archivist. Her Senate confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled. 

We invite our members to contact Chuck Shumer to schedule Dr. Shogan’s hearing as soon as possible. And we urge President Biden to instruct her to publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment once and for all. As he stated earlier this year, on the second anniversary of Virginia’s ratification: “I once again want to express my support for the ERA loudly and clearly. I have been a strong supporter of the ERA ever since I first ran for the Senate as a 29-year-old. We must recognize the clear will of the American people and definitively enshrine the principle of gender equality in the Constitution. It is long past time that we put all doubt to rest.”

Check out Vote Equality on their calls to action on this issue as well. 


By Denise Murden, Tidewater Region Member

Governor Youngkin’s efforts to establish new college-affiliated “lab schools” in Virginia received nationwide media attention after $100 million was inserted in Virginia’s budget for this purpose. The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed on July 4 that lauded the governor’s efforts to establish lab schools, ease restrictions on establishing charter schools, and permit per-pupil funding to follow students who leave the public school system for charter schools. Our sister organization, AAUW-VA, a long-time advocate for women and for equity in education, sent the following response to the newspaper. 

“Virginians cannot afford to have tax dollars diverted to experimental education for the few in ‘lab schools’ until all our children in public schools have the facilities and resources they need. Despite our state’s wealth, Virginia’s K-12 public schools have serious infrastructure problems, and its teachers are among the poorest paid in the nation. Diverting scarce funds into these experiments will not solve the immediate funding crisis or fix the commonwealth’s education system. Virginia’s parents were not clamoring for charter schools before or after Governor Youngkin’s election. Analyses show there was no surge in parent-age voters mobilized by the governor’s agenda. The debate around schools in Virginia has been about how much parents should influence what their children are learning in their local public schools, not about having expanded choices of where their children are educated. Furthermore, after funds were approved during budget negotiations when enabling legislation failed to pass in the General Assembly, 10 of the 15 universities eligible to set up lab schools publicly stated they have no interest in participating. Should the Governor continue to pursue his agenda of having per-pupil funding follow students out of the public school system, Virginians will soon realize that local schools cannot simply employ fewer teachers or bus drivers to fill the created funding gap in an already underfunded system. Because a high-quality public school system is the basis for a functioning democracy."

NWPC-VA, AAUW-VA and other grassroots organizations should continue to oppose all efforts to weaken Virginia’s public schools through the diversion of tax dollars. We must continue to push against all efforts to weaken Virginia’s already struggling public school system and vote for candidates who understand that public education is the basis of a well-functioning democracy.


NWPC-VA’s VP of Records, Laurie Buchwald, was in Northern Virginia last month for the National NWPC Meeting. She shares her impressions below.

“I was glad to be able to have joined the National NWPC Annual Meeting at the end of July in Alexandria. What struck me about the weekend was the total diversity in age, race, and locality of origin. I was definitely in the minority as a 60+ Caucasian woman. So refreshing! I was surrounded by young, energetic, diverse women, some running for office, several already elected. Each spoke about wanting to be an advocate for those in need and for the values we all believe in. I was struck by their fearlessness and determination.

I also very much enjoyed meeting board members from around the country and learning of their commitment to NWPC and electing women. It was fun to be surrounded by all of the energy and passion!”

 Check out NWPC National’s slate of endorsed candidates running in the Midterm Elections and help put more pro-choice women in Congress. Through September 3, a generous donor will be matching NWPC’s Parity PAC donations. All contributions go directly to endorsed candidates. 


Community Service Boards & the 988 Crisis Lifeline

What can Virginians do if they or someone they love has a behavioral health crisis? If someone seeks a new patient appointment in the private sector, they may have to wait weeks for an appointment. If they are uninsured, as are 20% of Virginia adults with income under 138% of the poverty line, they may not be able to afford an appointment.

That’s where Community Service Boards (CSBs) can help. They provide mental health, developmental and substance abuse services to the public. The new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers confidential clinical intervention over the phone, and if requested, access to crisis services offered by their local CSB.

But a 2019 JLARC report found that the services available vary greatly from CSB to CSB. That’s what the Virginia Behavioral Health Commission is currently working to improve. According to a staff member for the Behavioral Health Commission, the goal “has been to reform the system so that care is available regardless of someone’s zip code.” Virginia has made some substantial gains in creating parity between behavioral health and all other types of health services, but we would never tolerate our emergency medical services to be dependent on your zip code, and we should not tolerate this inequality in behavioral health access to continue any longer.

You can follow the work of the Behavioral Health Commission here. Their next meeting is September 20.




August 24-September 12: Vote Equality US Artists4ERA Exhibit at Laurel Ridge Community College/Middletown (In-Person)

The Artists4ERA collection educates Americans of the “done but not published” status of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The art depicts diverse groups and communities, including LGBTQIA+, Black women, women of color, and indigenous peoples so all Americans see themselves in our 28th Amendment (Equal Rights). With the help of notable artists like Shepard Fairey, Chuck Sperry and Tracie Ching, the collection includes updated visuals for a 21st century gender equality movement. Laurel Ridge is located at 173 Skirmisher Lane Middletown, VA 22645. Check here for updates.

August 30, 6:00 p.m.: VREA Abortion Ban Panel & Testimony Writing Party (Online)

The General Assembly meets on September 7 in special session and we expect Governor Youngkin to put forward an abortion ban. In preparation, join the VREA and the Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Virginia for a virtual panel discussion about abortion bans and the impacts of bans on Black, Brown and immigrant communities. 



September 5, 8:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Tidewater Region Monthly Meeting (Online)


September 7, 6:30 p.m.: NWPC-VA Membership Monthly Meeting (Online)



September 7, 10:00 a.m.: Defend Reproductive Rights at the General Assembly with VREA (In-Person)

The General Assembly meets on September 7 in special session and we expect Governor Youngkin to put forward an abortion ban. Sign up for a Day of Action in Richmond here. Details can be found in the reproductive rights policy update section.

September 8 & 9:  Defend Reproductive Rights at the General Assembly with VREA (Online)

As a follow up to the special session on September 7, members are encouraged to contact their legislators and ask them to vote NO on any abortion ban. Check NWPC-VA socials and VREA’s Instagram account for updates.

September 13, 4:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Endorsements Monthly Meeting (Online)


September 13, 7:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Annual Meeting (Online)

It’s time for NWPC-VA’s annual meeting! Join us to discuss the open board positions. We also will have an excellent panel to discuss the issues women face in rural Virginia and what we all can do to address them. Register HERE.

September 13-September 24: Vote Equality US Artists4ERA Exhibit at Germanna Community College (In-Person)

The Artists4ERA exhibition continues in September at Germanna Community College, 10000 Germanna Point Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22408. Check here for updates.

September 14, 7:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Central Region Monthly Meeting (Online)


September 16-18: Network NOVA’s Women's Summit in Virginia Beach

NWPC-VA will be tabling again–this time at the beach! Tidewater members, bring a friend and come out and see us. Information and tickets here.

September 21, 6:00 p.m.: Salon Series in September (Online)

Mark your calendars now for Wednesday, September 21! The next book in our Salon Series takes us back in time to the individuals who led one of the largest and longest movements in American History.  The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World by Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts will remind us of the strategies, stunts, and optics that seem oddly familiar today. Together we will be inspired to continue our mission with NWPC-VA and fight for the women in Virginia. Register here.

September 27, 6-8:00 p.m.: Northwest Region Quarterly Meeting (In-Person)  

Northwest Region! Come together at Winchester Brew Works; 320 N. Cameron Street; Winchester 22601. Bring a friend or two as we discuss issues in our region. Questions? Contact Holly Huddle at va.nwpc.northwesternrep@gmail.com.

September 25- October 3:Vote Equality US Artists4ERA Exhibit-Laurel Ridge Community College/Fauquier (In-Person)

The Artists4ERA exhibition continues at Laurel Ridge Community College/Fauquier Campus, 6480 College St, Warrenton, VA 20187. Check here for updates.


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