by Katherine White, Women’s Summit Programming Director – Network NoVA
“When we vote, we win” is Network NoVA’s rallying slogan for good reason: when we vote, we exercise a hard won civil right that is integral to democracy and “getting out the democratic vote” wins elections. One vote can change the world.
After a long, contentious, persistent 72 year struggle for women’s suffrage, it came down to just one vote. Suffragettes lined the Tennessee House chamber on August 18, 1920 wearing their signature sashes listening intently as the vote roll was called – they need one vote. Ultimately the fate of the 19th Amendment was decided by a single vote cast by the youngest member, a 24 year old man named Harry Burns. In his pocket was a letter from his mother advising him to vote for suffrage, it read: “Dear Son, vote for suffrage, and don’t keep them in doubt. I noted some the speeches against, they were very bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not seen anything yet.”
Fast forward to last year’s push to get the ERA heard in the Virginia House of Delegates boiled down to one vote – and it failed. So what did grassroots activists in Virginia do? We worked hard as hell to get out the vote in the 2019 elections resulting in a historic Democratic trifecta. January 15, 2020 now marks another historic day in Virginia legislature as both chambers passed the ERA resolution. Yes indeed: we voted, we won.
Our wins in Virginia since 2017 have rolled out big changes for leadership roles and for policy. We are celebrating many firsts in Virginia. The first female House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn who is also the first Jewish person to hold that position. Charniele Herring is the first woman and the first African American to be the chamber’s majority leader, and Ghazala Hashmi is the first Muslim woman elected to Virginia’s state Senate. So much to celebrate – and don’t forget to celebrate YOU – your activism, organizing, and voting got this done!
Network NoVA believes in celebrating the grassroots women and men who work hard campaigning all year. We believe the grassroots movement is key to future wins and a strong Democratic party moving forward. With that in mind, Network NoVA is gearing up for our 4th Women’s Summit for Political Engagement on June 19-21, 2020 at the McLean Hilton in Tysons Corner. The Women’s Summit is the agenda-setting event for those in the grassroots movement. Modeled after the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 organized for social, civil and religious rights of women, the Women’s Summit is designed with one goal in mind: deliver exceptional content, networking and opportunities that support the grassroots efforts to be an effective force in the political arena.
We have designed 3 days of action with the Congressional and Senate candidates, grassroots activists, elected officials, speakers, and workshops – and the now famous BADASS Breakfast on Sunday morning. Today only, to celebrate the ERA win in Virginia, we are offering a special rate of $99 for this inspiring event – click on this special link to reserve your seat at the table at tickets.
Now let’s work together to win in 2020 where winning is the ONLY option!
Go to NetworkNoVA.org to learn more!