Chair’s Corner – July 2019

Happy Fourth of July! The weather has been lovely from the start of July which makes outdoor picnics and bbqs a perfect way to celebrate our nation’s independence. 

It is also a great time to reflect on the present state of our country and if the actions of our government are in line with our values as citizens of the United States.

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Amazing American Women Picnic

Join us at our July 2017 Social Meeting where we’ll be having a picnic at Hyde Park at 6:30 pm.

We’ll provide a few drinks and snacks; share the solidarity by also bringing more to mingle with fellow members. Remember to also bring a blanket and most importantly your favorite American Woman!

What do we mean?

July is the month where we celebrate our nation’s independence, a time to remember what our forefathers fought for, but what about our foremothers?

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Women: Missing in Action from the 4th of July Speech

By Carol Graham

Carol Graham gives an honest critique of the President’s 4th of July speech and how women, particularly women in the military and Native Women, were excluded.

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Dr. Jennifer Merchant’s Talk: “The Criminalization of Women’s Bodies”

By Carol Moore

DAUKWC member Carol Moore gives a recap of the informative and thought provoking talk by Dr. Jennifer Merchant about how women’s rights are being impacted by the current political climate and how we can become active in ensuring those rights are preserved.

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Member Spotlight: Emily Kulesa

We recently appointed two members to be Co-chairs of the Communications Committee for the Women’s Caucus. We chatted with one of the new Communications Co-Chairs, Emily, about environmental issues, how she became politically active at a young age, and why she always brings back bagels from the US. Here’s what she had to say.

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Member Spotlight: Sadie Kempner

We recently appointed two members to be Co-chairs of the Communications Committee for the Women’s Caucus. We chatted with one of the new Communications Co-Chairs, Sadie, about about her feminist role models, why she joined the Women’s Caucus and what she always brings back from the US. Here’s what she had to say.

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Why We Must Keep Talking About Sexual and Reproductive Justice in Pride Month

by Sadie Kempner 

The DAUK Women’s Caucus are passionately committed to the sexual and reproductive rights under attack from the present administration. If you’ve been reading the news or screaming into the void that is social media, you’ll know how important these rights are for straight cisgender women. But straight cisgender women are by no means the only group whose reproductive rights are on the line here. The LGBTQ+ community also faces alarming sexual and reproductive injustice and needs to be part of the conversation. 

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The Heartbeat Bill and Why It Matters

by Courtney Plummer 

A ‘heartbeat bill’ proposes to ban all abortions once a doctor can detect a ‘heartbeat’ in the womb.  This detection usually happens around six weeks of pregnancy, before many women realize they are pregnant. The heartbeat bill has gained considerable momentum in the US as conservative state legislatures are trying to challenge the issue with the Supreme Court and ultimately secure a reversal of Roe V. Wade.  Many state legislatures have passed this bill and are also introducing a ‘trigger bill’, a bill that would automatically ban abortion once federal law is reversed.  

Here is a current but not complete round-up of where the heartbeat bill stands in various states at the time of publication. 

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Our WC Members Activism Back at Home

WC Leader Sylvia Squire is in the states doing an amazing difference back home. She shared with us as she’d love for you to read what she’s up to! If you are back home and being democratically active let us know as well at comms@womenscaucus.co.uk.

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Top Tips for Greener Living

Little choices we make every day can make a big difference for the planet. Here our members share what they do, tips and ideas for reducing waste, lowering carbon footprint and staying informed about environmental issues. Have your own ideas for helping the planet? We’d love to hear about them in the comments and/or Instagram Challenge.

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Renew, reuse, recycle: A look back at environmental learnings

If 2018 was the year of the Blue Wave, 2019 is the year of the Green Wave, with the environment topping the list of progressive voter concerns as it becomes a defining issue for Democratic lawmakers.

At our meeting later this month, we’ll be taking a look at the Green New Deal and other ideas and policies that have emerged in both the public and private sector to address climate change, protect the environment and ensure a sustainable future. But in the meantime — and in the spirit of recycling — it’s worth taking a look back at some of our rich and thought-provoking resources from last year, when Women’s Caucus members turned out in record numbers to learn, share experiences and take action on the environment.

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Member Spotlight: Abigail Smith

In honor of Earth Day, WC member Abigail Smith will be leading our April 29 meeting on the environment. This month we chatted with her about why she’s a Democrat, what she’s reading and what she always brings back from the US. Here’s what she had to say.

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Chairs’ Corner: In Like A Lioness

With the start of Women’s History Month, March has come in like a lioness at the Women’s Caucus — but shows no signs of going out like a lamb!

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Stacey Abrams Wants You to Help Put Up a ‘Fair Fight’

The indomitable Stacey Abrams made London a stop on her crusade to end voter suppression last week, calling on US citizens abroad to help her put up a ‘Fair Fight’.

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Member Spotlight: Wen-Wen Lindroth

Our new Member Spotlight series celebrates the diverse and dedicated members of the Women’s Caucus! This month we chatted with Wen-Wen Lindroth, an investment strategist and mom who just might run for president one day.

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Solving Four Centuries of Institutional Racism in Twenty-Eight Days

by Ariadne Schulz

Each February, during Black History Month, my black friends report getting the same, cringeworthy question: “When’s White History Month?”

The answer to that question is that every month is White History Month — because part of institutional racism is erasure.

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ICYMI: The Transformation of the Asian-American Vote

by Wen-Wen Lindroth

Last month, WC member Wen-Wen Lindroth and the DAUK Policy Network & Resolutions Committee organized a fascinating event on shifts in Asian-American identity and voting patterns with Prof. Catherine Liu.

On Monday, March 25th, Dr. Catherine Liu, Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine, spoke to DAUK about the evolution and current state of the Asian American electorate. Hosted by the PNR identities policy group, Prof. Liu presented her forthcoming paper: “Class AND Race: Asian Americans by the Numbers: The Political Transformation of an American Demographic.”

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Say Yes to Asking for Consent: A Terrace House Story

by Laura Donahue

Whether if it’s to give someone a hug, kiss, or simply if you can pet their cat, asking for consent is always important. A lot of people worry it’ll ruin the moment or that it’s unattractive. But you know what’s worse? Crossing someone’s boundaries and making them feel like crap.

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Fifty Shades of Feminism

Feminism — it’s a word that both unites and divides; inspires and instigates. It’s an ideology that some embrace, some reject and others are still trying on for size. It’s something that’s meant different things to different people at different times, so we wanted to know: what does feminism mean to you? Here’s our members had to say:

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It’s still our ERA!

by Carol Moore

Last month, Virginia came close to becoming the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee gender equality under the law. Disappointingly (if unsurprisingly), four Republican legislators stopped a bill, approved in Virginia’s State Senate, from passing out of committee to a vote on the House floor.  

In addition, bills have been introduced in 11 of the 13 state legislatures that have not yet ratified the ERA.

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The March That Meant Much More

bJoining the Women’s March, held in London on January 19, was more than an exciting experience. It signified the coming together of diverse voices seeking the same progress and I count myself fortunate to be a part of this movement.

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DNC Chair Tom Perez Praises D.A. for Record Overseas Turnout in Midterms

by Meghan Feeks

‘When we have unity of purpose, that’s how we win’

In an upbeat address in London last week, Democratic National Committee(DNC) Chairman Tom Perez saluted Democrats Abroad for mobilizing record numbers of overseas votersin the midterms, which saw a blue wave sweep the nation up and down the ballot.

But he also warned that “our democracy is still on fire,”and called upon overseas Democrats to continue being “first responders” in the fight for American values.

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Have You Heard About the Exciting News About the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)?

CLICK HERE to add your support

IT’S BACK!!  VIRGINIA could be the state to get it over the finish line.

by Shari Temple – DA ERA Project Coordinator

For those of you who have not been following the progress of this amendment that failed to get through Congress in 1977, here’s a brief history: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment and other matters including equal rights to be heard in courts of justice.

From 1971 to 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. With wide, bipartisan support (including that of both major political parties, both houses of Congress, and Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter) the ERA seemed destined for ratification until Phyllis Schafly mobilized conservative women in opposition, arguing that the ERA would disadvantage housewives and cause women to be drafted into the military.

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Let’s get smart about healthcare reform: A nurse’s prescription

By Elizabeth Crocker, RN, MSc

I’m betting the farm that all of us believe that we control our own destiny. But how do we control our healthcare — how we access it, use it and benefit from it?

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Feminist Takeover at Miss America

By Carol Graham

During the 1992 presidential campaign I was shocked by the vitriol aimed at Hillary Clinton by other women. But when she fought back speaking candidly (and somewhat testily) regarding her decision  to pursue a career instead of ‘baking cookies’, the defense strategy of the Clinton campaign managers was equally shocking. Read More

5 Ways to Join the Fight for Women’s Health

By Meghan Feeks

With the endless stream of bad news for women’s health and reproductive rights these days, it’s easy to feel like you accidentally stumbled onto the set of The Handmaid’s Tale. Read More

DA Spain Leads International Mobilization against Trump’s Immigration Policy

Milan, 9 June 2018

On 26 May, news broke out of the US on the Trump Administration’s unprecedented “zero tolerance” policy, inhumanely detaining and separating immigrant children from their parents at the US border, sparking a wave of protests in at least 30 cities across the North American continent.

International protests and petitions quickly followed suit. Groups in London, Spain, Denmark, France, Switzerland, and Germany took swift action in solidarity with this movement. Spain was home to the first protests with overseas American citizens, holding demonstrations on 27 May and 1 June in Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona. London’s protest at the US Embassy occurred in solidarity with the Families Belong Together sister marches in the states on June 30th. Read More

Being an LGBTQ+ ally starts with the choices we make every day

In a brightly lit classroom, we sat in groups of four clutching handwritten index cards in our hands. Having learned a few basic things about our partners — their names, where they were from and their favorite color, for example — we were asked to introduce them to the group, using the unusual grammatical rules printed on our cards.

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Women Who Run: Katie Hogan, Organizing for Action

By Meghan Feeks

Women are running for office in record numbers this year, but campaigns aren’t the only things they’re running. Fueled by outrage with the Trump Administration and passion for progressive issues, women are also leading grassroots efforts around the country (and world!) to mobilize voters, organize communities and advocate for causes they care about.

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Because of Her

This month’s theme is close to the heart of our Co-Chair, Kate Van Dermark. Let her tell you why. Read More

She Should Run: Winner of May’s Member Spotlight

Last month, we asked DAUK Women’s Caucus members to tell us about their favorite woman who is (or should be!) running for office in the United States. This month’s winning submission is… Read More

Stacey vs. Stacey: The GA Gubernatorial Primaries

Women’s Caucus member Alyssa Blachez gives us a detailed look at the Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial primaries featuring the two Staceys: Abrams and Evans. Now that Stacey Abrams has won the primary, this presentation can be used as a resource to learn more about why you should support her candidacy and vote Democratic in Georgia in November 2018!

Georgia Gubernatorial Primary: A close look at the two Staceys

When women win elections, women win

By Meghan Feeks

The past month has been huge for Democratic women. Primaries in 20 states and a runoff in Texas have advanced women to the general election throughout the country, bringing the total number of female Democratic nominees for Senate, House and governor to 106 as of June 13 (Republicans have nominated another 27).

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LGTBQ+ Pride Series: Jason Jones Reception

On March 24, the LGBTQ+ Caucus launched its first Pride Month Series, a sequence of events marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and celebrating Pride, with a reception hosting Jason Jones, an inspiring LGBTQ activist from Trinidad and Tobago. Jones recently won an historic court case against his national government to overturn two colonial-era anti-LGBTQ laws that have been used for centuries to oppress the LGBTQ community.

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11 ways U.S. expats can help rock the midterms

By Meghan Feeks

It ain’t easy being “blue” these days, but things are definitely looking up. Special and state elections have brought Democrats to power in key states, and the latest polls have Democrats holding a double-digit lead over Republicans for the 2018 midterms. Read More