Last month, Virginia progressives swept the 2017 elections. While that’s a huge deal for all Virginians, it’s especially significant for women in the Commonwealth.
Women’s reproductive health and justice was a front-and-center issue this election season. More women candidates ran for office than ever before and they won! Some even won against long-seated incumbents in traditionally unfriendly districts.
Winning progressive seats is only half the battle—passing progressive legislation is the other half.
In January, when this legislative session starts, there will be more women and especially women of color than ever! And yet, women in Virginia can’t afford to rest on our laurels—winning elections is only half the battle. Now, we have an opportunity to pass real legislation in Virginia.
To do that, we need to have a cadre of involved, powerful female voices who mobilize to hold our newly elected leaders accountable to the voters who put them in office.
The Women’s Equality Summit is critical to mobilizing women to hold our newly elected leaders accountable
On December 9, progressives from all over the Commonwealth will be attending the day-long Women’s Equality Summit in Richmond to strategize on how to mobilize effectively during the General Assembly session. The summit is hosted by the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition—a nonpartisan, progressive group working to create a more equal Virginia for all people—especially marginalized women.
The Women’s Equality Summit panels (including those on reproductive health and economic justice) are filled with activists, organizers, and leaders from around the Commonwealth who have made these issues their life’s work. Throughout, the Summit will feature dynamic conversations in which attendees can interact with the panels to ask questions, get tips and strategies, and explore other perspectives. The Summit also features a series of trainings on everything from organizing to lobbying to messaging!
This year, grassroots mobilization carried the election—thanks in large part to women.
The key takeaway behind this year’s election story is that grassroots carried the election: women activists who decided to become candidates and now are delegates; women’s groups who took to the streets and knocked on their neighbors doors; and Black women, in particular, who had higher numbers in progressive support and turnout than any other demographic.
So remember, we’re excited about our wins, but we’ve still got real work ahead. And, as always, mobilizing together as women and as progressives is how we’ll hold our elected leaders accountable and move our progressive agenda forward into real legislation for Virginia.
Signed by the WEC partners,
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia
AAUW of Virginia
League of Women Voters of Virginia
Virginia Latina Advocacy Network
New Virginia Majority
Virginia Civic Engagement Table