A shared victory
When I heard the news about Judy Chu’s victory last night, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. What an incredible opportunity to send another woman leader to the U.S. House of Representatives to carry on the progressive tradition of her predecessor, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. I know Judy ran a top-notch campaign, and she’ll no doubt be a voice for the change we need in Congress.
Judy’s victory also marks another reason to celebrate — she is the 80th woman that EMILY’s List has helped elect to the House of Representatives!
It’s hard to believe that when we founded EMILY’s List 24 years ago, only 12 Democratic women were serving in the House. But because of the support of dedicated members – and women candidates who were willing to take on the challenge of running – we’ve changed all that. The women we’ve helped elect to the House have made an enormous mark on the work of Congress, and in our everyday lives. Each of these women brings her own experience and expertise, but all have one thing in common — they had the power of EMILY’s List behind them when they ran for office.
I can’t begin to tell you what a privilege it has been watching these women rise from being freshman members to presiding over some of the most important work in Congress. Now, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) looks out on the House floor, she sees women leading the charge on critical issues.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) is an outspoken advocate in the fight against breast cancer. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT), EMILY’s List’s first executive director, has fought tirelessly for equal pay. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (NY), the first Puerto Rican-American woman elected to Congress in 1992, has championed the work of small businesses. And Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY) presides over the powerful House Rules Committee. Our women in the House have led efforts to protect a woman’s right to choose, to help ensure equal pay, pass the economic recovery package, and so much more.
House races don’t usually receive a lot of national media, nor are they particularly glamorous. But the work done in the House is critical to the direction of our country, and our members and staff have worked hard to help these women run winning campaigns. They’ve put aside their large list of other responsibilities to volunteer on House races in their states, or, sometimes, a long drive or a plane ride away. And, together, our members have contributed millions of dollars to the campaigns of our women running for the House.
So, today, raise your glass to Judy Chu and the other 79 women we’ve helped elect to the House. There’s more work to be done, without question, but let’s celebrate how far we’ve come since EMILY’s List was founded 24 years ago.