Source: Washington Post – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
A group of strong, fearless women has captivated the country. They have stared down their opponents, overcome setbacks and won a series of thrilling victories. In times of division and despair, they have united and inspired millions.
That description applies to the U.S. women’s national soccer team, which won its second-straight World Cup on Sunday (proving again that they deserve pay equal to their male counterparts). But the same could be said of progressive women in the Trump era. They have marched in the streets, run for office in record numbers and brought energy and ideas to the Democratic presidential race. They, too, have inspired millions of Americans — and their power is growing by the day.
Now, a new activist group, Supermajority, is working to harness that power and to help it multiply. Launched in the spring, the group is being spearheaded by former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, National Domestic Workers Alliance executive director Ai-jen Poo and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza. Drawing on their collective experience leading movements for reproductive, economic and racial justice, the trio is working to build Supermajority into what they envision as “a home for women’s activism” across race, class and generation.
Ahead of the 2020 election, the group is focused on building an inclusive community, developing a gender equity agenda and mobilizing that community to turn out and vote. It is working to create a massive online community to connect and provide resources for female activists nationwide. To help achieve that goal, Supermajority has formed a partnership with Pantsuit Nation, a Facebook group with more than 3.5 million female members. It is teaching the basics of grass-roots organizing to a new generation of women, holding local training sessions over the summer in Austin, Denver, Detroit and Portland, Maine. The group is also working to build energy around what its leaders call a “Women’s New Deal,” a comprehensive agenda to close the persistent pay gap, lower escalating child-care costs, address the need for family leave and bring change to a government that too often fails women. The goal is to create a bold platform that advances the debate over “women’s issues,” much in the way the Green New Deal has for climate change.
Supermajority joins an impressive roster of women-led groups to emerge since the 2016 election, including Women’s March, Run for Something and Indivisible. Of course, established organizations that have fought for decades for women’s rights and representation remain indispensable. Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America continue to lead the battle against extreme abortion bans that Republican lawmakers are pushing in states across the country, while Emily’s List is ramping up its efforts to recruit and elect more women to office — including a new initiative focused on state legislatures.
Given this impressive roster of groups, some might question the need for another women’s advocacy group. But Supermajority’s leaders believe the group fills a key need: By emphasizing full inclusion as a founding premise, it aims to unite and amplify the power of women who often operate in silos. The group has already heard from many women seeking training on how to work across racial and class lines. And its leaders understand the importance of building a new organizing model not just on the coasts, but also in red states and rural areas where capacity is limited.
“We have only begun to witness the power and potential for women to change the country — for women and for everyone,” Poo told me. “We want to unleash all of that power through good organizing. It’s a simple idea. Women know that we need to build movements that cross race, class and generation and are ready to do the work needed to make that possible.”
That commitment to “doing the work” will be vital if Democrats hope to defeat President Trump in 2020. While there is rightfully a great deal of attention on the women running for president, no candidate — female or male — can win on their own. The nominee will also need an army of activists on the ground devoted to organizing and reaching out to voters. More often than not, the people doing that work are women. Supermajority intends to make them stronger and more effective than ever.
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