Elevating Women in Politics, from Galax to Gainesville


JUNE 2022


In early June, I attended the 20th anniversary gala of Repro Rising Virginia (formerly known as Pro-Choice Virginia) where the keynote speaker, Renee Bracey Sherman–the “Beyonce of Abortion Storytelling”—posed an important question to the hundreds of reproductive freedom warriors in the audience: What are you willing to risk? 

The gala featured many courageous risk takers, including Senator Louise Lucas and Diane Smith. Senator Lucas gave a rousing call to action about protecting the Senate as our brick wall, and Diane Smith provided an inspirational account of her commitment to being a major donor to abortion funds and her support of the work in Texas to provide abortions despite the ban. 

Read the full letter here

Although we are in the midst of a cloud of doom regarding the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Supreme Court decision as I write this, it nonetheless was good to acknowledge the reproductive freedom successes we have had. Most recently, we were able to stop several anti-abortion bills in the 2022 General Assembly session. We know that the work we have done over the years has set up Virginia to be a safe haven for abortions, as well as strengthened our resolve, our message, and commitment to ensuring access to reproductive health care.

Since the event, I have asked myself what I am willing to risk to ensure that all women have the option to make that very difficult decision. Marching is essential, but simply not enough. These changing times require us all to step up and be courageous to protect our most basic rights. Am I willing to run for office and make key policy decisions? Am I willing to drive the practi-cab to provide transportation to those seeking abortion services? Will I make major changes in my personal budget to donate to abortion funds?

As we all determine our roles, NWPC-VA is committed to providing accurate information at a time where misinformation abounds. Unfortunately, telling the truth these days can even be considered a revolutionary and risky act.

We all know that the curtailment of abortion rights is just one example of how our rights are threatened. Our voting rights are already restricted, and more are sure to come. Future generations will look back at this time in history and wonder what we did collectively to turn the tide. We must stand up against these injustices now, and that includes taking risks.

Let’s learn a lesson from our work here in Virginia. Our resolve, our messages and our commitment have brought us this far and will allow us to continuously make progress. Above all, our courage has sustained us, but courage is a lifelong commitment.

What are you willing to risk to ensure our rights are protected?


Krysta Jones, 2021-2022 President

National Women’s Political Caucus-Virginia




As you may know, the 28th Amendment (ERA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Under the tradition of strict scrutiny, laws that distinguish on the basis of sex must be narrowly tailored to fit a compelling governmental interest. The State Law Audit Project is an initiative to review state statutes and administrative code for compliance with the 28th Amendment. AJ Conroy, a longtime ERA activist and advocate with Vote Equality US, is heading up this project. Want to help with the Virginia audit? Contact Lisa Sales with Virginia NOW (president@vanow.org) or A.J. Conroy (ajconroy1837@gmail.com). 

In related matters, the lawsuit filed by the Attorneys General of Nevada and Illinois compelling the Archivist of the United States to certify and publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment is still in D.C. Circuit Court. Oral arguments have just been scheduled for September 28. Check here for updates.

Recently Dr. Colin Greene, the Virginia Department of Health Commissioner, made some alarming comments regarding Black maternal mortality in Virginia and his belief that there is no correlation between it and systemic racism. Read NWPC-VA’s statement here. NWPC-VA will host an online event in the fall with state legislators and some of our partners, addressing implicit bias training and updating members on the Policy Committee’s work on related legislation. Learn more about this issue here

In addition, the Virginia NAACP is in the planning phase to coordinate a faith-based COVID-19 awareness campaign with the Virginia Department of Health to address vaccine hesitancy and increase rates of vaccine rates in BIPOC communities.

On June 24, SCOTUS released its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, overturning the constitutional right to an abortion and sending it to the state to decide.  According to Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion–13 of them likely within the next 30 days.

Currently, it is still legal in Virginia to have an abortion through the first two trimesters of a pregnancy and, in some cases, during the third trimester. After the SCOTUS decision was announced, Governor Youngkin indicated that he wants to introduce legislation to put in place a 15-week ban during the next General Assembly in January 2023, but, with the current makeup of the State Senate, there are not enough votes to pass this ban.  Learn more about abortion rights in Virginia here.

NWPC-VA Member Perspective

Reproductive Rights & Contraception

 by Laurie Buchwald, VP of Records and Southwest Region Member 

Each and every day that I see women in my Blacksburg and Radford OB/GYN Offices, I talk with women about contraception. Whether to prevent pregnancy or to manage a myriad of menstrual cycle related conditions, the conversations result in improved life quality for women. As a woman and a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, I have of course been alarmed by the Supreme Court’s recent decision about abortion. I proudly participated in the Bans Off Our Bodies event in Roanoke in May, and, at the risk of losing a few patients, gladly shared my views in a Roanoke Times article.

Read the full piece here

The push by certain state governors to ban the IUD (intrauterine device) and Plan B / Emergency Contraception, which is NOT an abortifacient, is equally alarming. The various forms of IUD and other forms of contraception have been lifesavers for so many women in relieving the physical and emotional health complications that can be associated with menstruation. It is unbelievable to me that in an effort to be “pro-life” (what many call “pro-birth”) there is an effort to ban forms of contraception that are greater than 99% effective at preventing unintended pregnancy, as well as improving the quality of women’s lives. Many women suffer from heavy flow, significant pain, PMS, acne, menstrual migraines, and the exacerbation of mental and physical health conditions. I prescribe contraception to women who are not even sexually active strictly to improve life quality.

The IUD and the subdermal implant are more than 99% effective, the injection is 94% effective, and the use of the combination of estrogen and progesterone in the daily pill, the weekly patch, and the monthly vaginal ring are, with perfect use, greater than 91% effective. Each of these hormonal methods, which give the woman highly effective contraception, also offer management of a variety of menstrual related complications.

Other barriers exist as well. Some church employers claim religious exemption, and some pharmacists refuse to dispense based on personal belief. No matter the barrier, women are forced to seek alternatives: running from pharmacy to pharmacy or paying higher costs just because of an individual’s or employer’s personal beliefs. Now we have the threat of legislative barriers as well. Their concerns have compelled patients to return to the office well before their current method expires just to have a new one inserted or prescribed out of fear that it will soon be banned.

Women should talk to their healthcare provider about any concerns that they may have and by all means, they should contact their legislators about the contraceptive and not-contraceptive benefits of the method they have chosen.



Digital Defense Fund: Share This Guide to Privacy

This guide is organized into different security-related threats including but not limited to tech companies like Facebook and Google storing information about your pregnancy/abortion and your phone company keeping copies of your browsing history or texts about your abortion. More information at Guide to Abortion Privacy — Digital Defense Fund.

Green New Deal Network: Take Action for Clean Air

Under West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, SCOTUS could decide whether the EPA has the ability to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. In other words, the case challenges the EPA’s power to do its job. As of the time of writing, no ruling has been released. To receive information about how to take action in the coming days, use this tool by the Green New Deal Network.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia: Defend Reproductive Freedom

Regardless of where you live, you can help to ensure that access to health care doesn’t depend on your zip code. Reach out to one of our organizers.

Repro Rising Virginia: Defend Reproductive Freedom

Share information about abortion resources in your community including self-managed abortion. Tell your friends to go to http://NeedAbortion.org or http://INeedAnA.com or http://PlanCPills.com.

Virginia Abortion Funds: Donate

With abortion access being curtalied in many states near Virginia, abortion providers in the Commonwealth will most likely be inundated with both in-and out of state patients. Please consider a one time or recurring donation to one of the organizations below to help them provide care. 



The following positions on the Board of Directors are open for nominations: President, VP of Communications, VP of Records, and VP of Finance.  The elections will be held at our September meeting, with each 2 year term beginning in 2023. Please contact us with nominations


It’s June and that means it’s time for our quarterly board updates. Review the news from each committee and region below. Check our Upcoming Events section for the dates and times of regular Zoom meetings.



The Comms Team has been very busy this past month!  We put out a very informative newsletter at the end of May. We’ve been giving both NWPC-VA membership and the public information on redistricting and the upcoming election dates (since we are election lovers here in Virginia). We’ve also been posting about the redistricting court case, which is still winding its way through the Eastern District of Virginia Federal Court. We’ve started putting more video on our feeds, with the help of Comms Team member Ali Cheff, who is hilarious and a natural in front of the camera (She makes a mean eggplant parm, too.). The Comms Team did a series of informational social media posts on The Turnaway Study, a 10-year project looking at the effects of having- and being denied- an abortion. Read about this fascinating research here, and share it! It’s critical that we all have conversations with our circles about what we are facing in a post-Roe world. 

We also covered our celebration of passing the Unsolicited Lewds Bill with members of the Bumble team, as well as the state legislators who made it happen. It was great to help bring about a legislative win just two years into our existence!

Finally, get ready to see MORE merch, MORE in-person photos, and just… MORE!

We have fun on the Comms Team, because why not? Care to join? We’d love to have you! 

Contact Jennifer here: va.nwpc.communications@gmail.com



The Development Committee needs you to help us elevate women in politics from Galax to Gainesville. We’re reaching out in our communities with two planned event series. Keep an eye out in late July and August for the first one. Regional Representatives from the Tidewater and Central Regions are planning an event with legislators and sister organizations that are working on legislation that protects the maternal health of women in Virginia. 

 Then, this fall NWPC-VA is launching the second one: "Get in Where You Fit In" tabling events. Tabling will take place at local libraries, farmers markets, and high traffic public spaces. Members will be asked to sign up to table for a minimum of 2 hours and will be provided with all the materials needed.  If you are interested in either opportunity, please reach out to Jessica.Kujala@gmail.com or va.nwpc.development@gmail.com. Together we will make sure that every community is aware that NWPC-VA is working for the women and families in Virginia.


The Endorsements Team has been working hard these past months to get all our ducks in a row. The main goal was to review the current application process to create a new online application for candidates. Debora Snarr and Candace Graham have been working together on this project so we can go paperless. Thank you as well to Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield, Charlotte Gibson, and Jess Kujala for providing great feedback during this time! As the new VP of Endorsements, I feel very fortunate to be part of this seasoned group of lovely, passionate women who care so much about our mission of supporting women candidates. We hope to have the online application go live by the end of June 2022! Want to pitch in? Email Katherine atva.nwpc.endorsements@gmail.com.


Greetings from the Finance Committee. As VP of Finance, I’ve been collecting membership dues and keeping our balance sheet healthy. You can contribute to our mission of electing more women candidates and supporting much needed women-centered legislation by shopping at our Merch Store, stocked with T-shirts, tote bags, and mugs. Come shop with us. Questions? Contact Robbin at va.nwpc.finance@gmail.com


We are excited to partner with the Events Committee for the “Get In Where You Fit in” tabling events coming this fall! We will be at all kinds of events around the commonwealth to spread the word about becoming a member of NWPC-VA.  Do you have some time to share a table? Or some friends who need to get in? Let us know at va.nwpc.membership@gmail.com


Hello! NWPC-VA’s Policy Committee is working on a fall implicit bias training with some focus on disparities with women and healthcare. We are also researching possible ways to lift up quality, equitable childcare. Any member with expertise or interest in either of these areas or in our other areas of focus (criminal justice reform, education, environmental justice, the ERA, and reproductive rights), please contact Tonja Roberts: va.nwpc.policy@gmail.com 


Hello, I'm Laurie Buchwald, the VP of Records. I’ve been taking minutes at NWPC-VA board meetings as well as collecting and archiving 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.records@gmail.com



The Central Region of NWPC-Virginia plans to meet online the second Wednesday of each month, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. The next scheduled meeting is July 13. If you have not registered in advance for monthly meetings, please go to our link and sign up. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining these recurring meetings. You will only need to register once. Hope to see you soon!


The next meeting in the Northern Virginia region will be in-person on July 12 at 7:00 p.m.—location TBD. We are excited to be speaking with former Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and Virginia NOW president Lisa Sales on the topic of “Building A New Table, Together.” Questions for Karen Campblin? Email her here: va.nwpc.northern@gmail.com. 


Northwest Region members met on June 7 in Harrisonburg. Our meeting reunited many who had not been together since carrying the Shenandoah Valley banner and participating in the Celebrate!38 parade on March 8, 2020. For two hours we engaged in conversations and updates from committee members sparking further discussion. We talked about what we have already accomplished and where we want to go as an organization. In addition, our conversations helped revive us, feeling shaken from the challenges at hand. We benefited so much from taking a pause and being together. In the Northwest Region, we will start with quarterly in-person meetings, the next will be in September. During the interim period, my hope is to have everyone stay involved in committees and schedule small group events to introduce potential members to NWPC. In the fall we can add in monthly Zoom meetings. Questions?  Contact Holly here: va.nwpc.northwestrep@gmail.com.


The next regional meeting for Tidewater members will be on August 1. President Krysta Jones is planning on facilitating a conversation with some legislators from the region. Questions? Interested in helping out? Email Krysta here: va.nwpc.president@gmail.com. 


We are still looking for a Southwest regional representative. Please refer to our regional map for details on the Southwest region. Get in touch at va.nwpc@gmail.com if you are interested! 



To close out Pride Month we’d like to highlight two Virginia legislators who have broken ground, each in their own way: Del. Danica Roem, the first out transgender person elected to state office (in 2017, reelected in 2019 and 2021), and Del. Dawn Adams, the first openly lesbian member of the Virginia General Assembly. 

Learn more here about their work.

Delegate Roem represents House District 13 in Northern Virginia. After successfully challenging the incumbent delegate who championed laws discriminating against transgender citizens, Roem turned her attention to targeting issues that affected the residents of HD13. She has worked across the aisle to address transportation issues, specifically fixing Route 28 in Prince William County. She succeeded in getting several bills passed since 2017 addressing the traffic issues. Roem is also passionate about education issues, most notably making sure that every child in school has access to free or reduced price meals and that no child could be shamed or excluded for having school meal debt. This past spring, Roem announced her candidacy for the newly drawn 30th State Senate District in Northern Virginia.

Delegate Adams is a nurse practitioner representing the 68th district, outside of Richmond. Del. Adams was first elected in 2017 and reelected in 2019 and 2021. Her vast experience in the healthcare field has informed her work on improving healthcare access and improving health outcomes for all Virginians, which in turn has led her to numerous bipartisan legislative wins during her time in the General Assembly. Her other main priorities include improving air and water quality through environmental reform, supporting our education system by increasing teacher pay, providing free and low cost community college for low income Virginians enrolling in high demand disciplines, and supporting workers by voting to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2026.

Both Del. Roem and Del. Adams broke barriers to win their seats. But they did not stop there. They put their heads down and got to work, because that is what their constituents deserved, and that is what they were elected to do.

Happy Pride to both of these amazing women!



The NWPC National Annual Meeting

Each year, the National Women’s Political Caucus hosts an annual meeting in a different city for its caucus board members around the country. The last in-person meeting was in St. Louis in 2018.  After a three- year COVID hiatus, NWPC National will be holding its annual meeting in Alexandria, Virginia on July 21-24. This year, the caucus board members will participate in various activities throughout the weekend, starting with Lobby Day on Thursday, training sessions on Saturday, and wrapping up Sunday with a meeting of the Leadership, Development, Education, and Research Fund.

Members of NWPC and the public who are interested in running for office are invited to a campaign training on Friday morning, led by NWPC executive board members, covering all the ins and outs of running for office.  Register here.

Watch for summaries of the weekend in future NWPC-VA social media and member emails.




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

Register Here

July 12, 4:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Endorsements Monthly Meeting (Online)

Register Here

July 13, 7p.m.: NWPC-VA Central Region Monthly Meeting (Online)

Register Here

July 19, 4:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Events and Development Committee Monthly Meeting (Online)

Register Here

July 31, 6:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Policy Committee Monthly Meeting (Online)

Register Here

July 19, 6:00pm: Center for Common Ground & Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation’s Becoming an Effective Advocate Training (Online)

As citizens, it's our constitutional right to petition our elected representatives to support, introduce, or oppose legislation. In this training, led by policy strategist Andrea Miller, you will learn that lobbying (or petitioning) is both an art and science with the following goals: turning no into maybe; turning maybe into yes; turning yes into let me help you build support. During this 90-minute training session, we will cover the art and science of lobbying; stages of passing a bill, online legislative tools, lobby meeting do's; and advocacy power tools. 

Register Here

July 22, 6:30 p.m.: NWPC’s Annual Meeting Reception (In-Person)

To celebrate the annual gathering of NWPC chapters in Washington, DC, NWPC-VA is hosting a reception, open to all members, at the home of Rep. Don Beyer in Alexandria.  Please RSVP by July 10 to va.nwpc.president@gmail.com.


August 1, 8:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Tidewater Region Monthly Meeting (Online)

Register Here

August 31-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. Visit the exhibition at the Middletown campus at 173 Skirmisher Ln, Middletown, VA 22645.Check here for updates.


September 6, time TBD: Northwest Region Meeting (In-Person)

The Northwest Region plans to start with quarterly in-person meetings, beginning in September. During the interim period, the hope is to have everyone stay involved in committees and schedule small group events to introduce potential members to NWPC-VA. Supplemental monthly Zoom meetings will be added this fall. Questions? Contact Holly Huddle at va.nwpc.northwesternrep@gmail.com.

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 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 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.


Did you miss the first meeting of our Salon Series? 

Catch up with the video via YouTube https://youtu.be/EQ6hQ3pNcTQ OR check it out from our website here https://nwpc-va.org/past. Don’t forget to join us in September!



Portrait of Rep. Patsy Mink Unveiled at US Capitol

New York-based painter Sharon Sprung’s portrait of Rep. Patsy Mink, the first woman of color and first Asian American woman elected to Congress, was unveiled in the US Capitol earlier this month. Mink was honored on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, landmark equality legislation which she championed.

HBO Documentary The Janes Explores Life Before Roe v. Wade

Directed by Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes, this documentary reveals the stories of a group of women activists in Chicago, Illinois in the 1960s and 70s. Using code names, blindfolds and safe houses, they built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions calling themselves Jane.Watch the trailer and film here. Read an interview with the filmmakers at Vox.com.



Members: It’s time to Get In Where You Fit In! Our June committee spotlight is the membership committee. They meet virtually the first Wednesday of every month. Membership holds membership drives, works with the Events Committee, and soon will be undertaking in person tabling events around the commonwealth. Feel like you could be a great asset to this committee? SO DO WE! Contact Robin Whitley to join va.nwpc.membership@gmail.com


Show the world your sassy NWPC-VA style!

Order mugs, T-shirts, and more.


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