The first race I ever managed was to elect a woman president. That race was my own--for Butte High School class president. I ran many times, and I lost many times. So, my junior year I decided that I should run for student body president, because it wasn’t just my class voting but the entire school.
I set out my campaign plan, which solely targeted the freshmen and sophomore vote. And I even got the younger sister of my opponent to join my campaign. I won--and I learned my first campaign lesson: never underestimate the power of women. It was then I realized that sisterhood is about so much more than who you’re related to. It’s about working together to achieve something great.
As the president of EMILY’s List, I get to see that other kind of sisterhood at work every day. Our community of two million women and good men across the country work to elect more than 600 progressive women to offices up and down the ballot. In the past 28 years EMILY’s List has become the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, and in that time we’ve done extensive research on women’s leadership and women’s priorities.
Jan. 08, 2013 - USA, Washington DC., The White House Image: ©
(Image: © Brian Cahn/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Then two weeks ago, EMILY’s List launched the Madam President campaign to put a woman in the White House, and I saw that this sisterhood was bigger than I ever could have imagined.
Sixty thousand people from coast to coast have already gotten involved. And it’s not just people who live and breathe electoral politics. Americans who have never been all that excited about these issues are hearing about Madam President in their living rooms from their favorite morning talk show, and reading about it in Glamourand Cosmopolitan. And they’re telling us that they want to create a future for their daughters and granddaughters where electing a woman president is part of our national story.
We knew igniting a movement like this was possible because in 2012 the American people sent us a message – they elected more women to Congress than ever before, shattering glass ceilings across the nation.
And our recent poll of likely 2016 voters in battleground states proves without a doubt that the American people are ready for a female chief executive. Ninety percent of the people we polled say they would vote for a women president and 75 percent say that a woman president would be a good thing for the country. Of those surveyed, more thought that a female president likely to put families ahead of politics and end partisan bickering.
Women leaders have fought – and fought hard – to take a place at the table and make laws that improve the lives of American women and families. They’ve fought for policies like the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay for equal work, just to name a few. Women leaders are the reason we have laws like Title IX that ended gender discrimination in education. The impact is undeniable. And because of this we know, our community knows, and countless Americans across the country know, that now is the time for a woman to be at the head of the table.
We have a deep bench of incredible women leaders who can help make this dream a reality. From cabinet secretaries and Senators to the many woman governors we’ll have after 2014 – there are numerous women who are ready to take on the challenge of leading our nation.
And long after we’ve elected the first woman president, we’re going to keep electing even more American women – building a pipeline of state legislators and members of Congress, mayors and governors and senators, who will work their way up the ranks and be the 2nd and 10th woman presidents.
When a woman runs for president, she will hear this one thing loud and clear from millions of women and men: We stand with you--and we believe you can win.
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