Dear Caucus Members and Friends,
Happy New Year! Now let’s really pay attention to 2012: we are hearing that it will be another Year of the Woman in politics. Senator Barbara Boxer made that comment on a news talk show a couple of months ago, and in October 2011, Jezebel magazine posed the idea of 2012 as possibly the Year of the Woman in the Senate. A New York Times article also in October 2011 was titled Year of the Woman in the Senate: For Good or for Bad, explaining that while the opportunity is there to increase the number of women elected to the US Senate, there is also a chance that one incumbent might lose her seat, and such a loss would be devastating. I am ready for us to say Year of the Woman: “Make it so.”
The Center for Women and American Politics, CAWP, provides all the statistics and percentages of women in elected office, to ensure that we take note of our efforts to move toward parity in government representation. NWPC has repeated a slogan of “50/50 by 2020”, a slogan first used by our NWPC sisters in California, and yet, without large progress in the percentages of women being elected to Congress and to governorships and to state legislatures, a recent news article projected a new slogan of “50/50/ by 2030”, as we note how close we are getting to 2020. A quote attributed to comedienne Paula Poundstone regarding the 1992 Year of the Woman was “women are 50% of the population and we have 5% of the Senate seats: we must really suck at numbers”. For many years we have bravely faced those tepid percentages for our representation and cheered our progress, but we know the gap is very wide.
The National Women’s Political Caucus has been standing with women for more than forty years now, recruiting, training, and helping to elect more women to public office. NWPC has recommitted our purpose of striving for parity, and we ask all our Caucus members to reach out to others to join us in this effort: our families, our friends and anyone we can bring with us. Let’s decide 2012 will be another Year of the Woman, and make every year after the same! Pass the ERA once and for all, and elect enough women to bring us to equal representation!
Linda Young, President