A Day in the Windy City – and We Were Blown Away
EMILY's List hit the road for our second Majority Council regional conference, this time in Chicago. Nine of our candidates were in attendance - Val Demings, Cheri Bustos, Tarryl Clark, Lois Frankel, Kelda Roys, Joyce Beatty, Joyce Healy-Abrams, Sharen Neuhardt, and Betty Sutton. We were also lucky to be joined by Rep. Gwen Moore and Keynote speaker, Gloria Feldt.
Everyone was in attendance to answer one question: WHY 2012. WHY 2012 is Women’s Historic Year 2012.This year marks an historic opportunity to change how Washington works by electing Democratic women who stand up to the right, get things done, and build a more progressive America. There are more women running for Senate than ever before -- and every EMILY's List challenger is poised to become the first woman to represent her state in the Senate. The growing momentum of women winning special elections and an ever-expanding House field means the march to a Democratic takeover of the House is being led by women candidates. And the EMILY's List community is larger and more engaged than ever.
“If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the menu,” Congresswoman Betty Sutton told the crowd during breakfast. She kicked off the theme of the day – getting more women a seat the table by running and being elected to office. Congresswoman Gwen Moore agreed, “Congress is a male-oriented institution, and the only way to change it is to elect more women.”
After WOMEN VOTE! and political briefings, Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, addressed the audience, saying, “It’s way too late to fight back. It’s time to fight forward.”
She acknowledged our amazing nine candidates in attendance, “We don’t just need women who fight against bad legislation, but women who fight for a pro-women agenda.” And finally, challenging the whole audience as she concluded, “It’s not enough for women to have the power to choose. Now, we must choose power. Will you?”
It was an inspiring day, listening to our candidates talk about how invaluable the EMILY’s List community has been for them. Lois Frankel really summed up the theme of the day, “I’m really optimistic that women can change the face of government in many ways.”
Interested in joining us for future Majority Council regional conferences? We still have two more – in San Francisco on August 23, and in New York on September 20. Find out how you can attend!
Check out some of our pictures from Chicago below, and catch up on tweets and other quotes from the day on our Storify summary.