DemDaily: The Leading Message: Women

October 3, 2022 

In one very riled-up room in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC last Friday, some 500 women leaders and supporters let loose about their critical role in the elections and the issues at stake.

Although actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas was a draw, it was the other headliners -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris -- that brought the crowd to its feet.

The occasion was the annual conference of the Women's Leadership Forum (WLF), the Democrat Party's primary vehicle for amplifying women’s voices within the party.

The WLF was founded in 1993 by Hillary Clinton, Tipper Gore, and a number of trailblazers to ensure that women had "a seat at the table" at the DNC and were recognized as a key constituency of the Democratic Party.

The mission was to empower women to not only participate individually in politics, but to take ownership for their contributions to the Party, both personally and financially.

This year's conference was a tribute to how far it has progressed, including inspiring speakers, congressional and policy panels, briefings and presentations.

In accepting the WLF Trailblazer Award, Hillary Clinton pointed out that when the WLF started, there were six women in the Senate and 48 in the House. Now there are 24 in the Senate and 123 in the House.

The day began with a discussion by "Women of the House," featuring Congresswomen Shontel Brown (OH-11), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), and top-targeted Sharice Davids (KS-3), Elaine Luria (VA-2). and Abigail Spanberger (VA-7).

Other prominent speakers included Senators Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow and Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride.

The threat to women's reproductive rights was prevalent throughout the day, including remarks by Planned Parenthood President Alexia McGill Johnson, a panel on "Abortion on the Ballot," and a polling and messaging briefing by renowned pollster Celinda Lake.

In the closing conversation with Jonas and Harris, the Vice President reminded those present of the consequences to their personal freedoms and civil rights if we lose control of the Democratic majority in the Senate and House in the upcoming midterms -- now just five weeks away.

"If there were ever any reason for this group to exist in recent memory, the moment is now," Harris said.

"We have got to do everything we can in the next 39 days to remind people what is at stake in these elections."

Women account for 52% of the voting population and are registering in record numbers across the country in what may be the most consequential election in modern history. Women now account for 60% of all funds donated to the DNC.

The WLF Team: The WLF is led by Director Emma Rosenthal and a Steering Committee including Cynthia Friedman, Virginia McGregor, Regina Montoya, Carol Pensky, Diane Robertson, Diane Robertson and Ursula Terrasi.
Learn More: Women's Leadership Forum
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Kimberly Scott

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