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“When We Vote We Win”: Women’s Summit Returns to Fight for a Blue Virginia

“We have learned–from both our wins and losses – that grassroots enthusiasm is what wins elections"


Author: Julie Galdo, Writing2Win; cover image by Robbin Warner

“When We Vote We Win” is the rallying cry that has come to symbolize the aim and energy of Network NOVA’s 7th Annual Women’s Summit. With the theme of  ALL IN To Win Virginia, this year’s Women’s Summit is taking place July 21-23 in McLean and seeks to build upon the grassroots organizational work that has been building since 2017 to create a unique environment where progressive activists, candidates, elected officials, and organizations can join forces to win elections throughout Virginia. The Summit reflects the ongoing changes in politics where grassroots activism plays a significant role in electoral outcomes. In fact, JoAnn Loulan of Local Majority says, “The Women’s Summit is the best conference in politics.”

The Women’s Summit provides a forum for experienced activists and first-time volunteers to engage with each other and with candidates at all levels from across the state and to learn skills, such as pushing back on school board disruptions and combatting discriminatory legislation. While the immediate goal of the event is to win elections in 2023, it is the approach that differentiates the Summit with its focus on building collaborative relationships among the various political organizations and volunteers. It is a great networking opportunity for candidates and activists alike. “This yearly event bonds the grassroots with the candidates and produces the volunteer energy that makes us unstoppable,” explains Stair Calhoun, co-Founder, Network NOVA.

The Summit organizers also want this year’s Summit to inspire and motivate Democrats with dynamic speakers and a variety of thought-provoking discussion forums. “We have learned–from both our wins and losses – that grassroots enthusiasm is what wins elections,” according to Katherine White, co-Founder, Network NOVA.

The 3-day program includes more than 65 speakers, including U.S Senator Tim Kaine; Representatives Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton; many of the candidates for the Virginia Senate, House of Delegates, School Board, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Supervisor. Also speaking are leaders from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, Moms Demand Action, NoVa Labor, Rural GroundGame, Clean Virginia, WinVA, Red, Wine & Blue, and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, to name but a few. Leaders of Gen Z organizations changing the face and focus of politics will be leading sessions too. In addition, there will be 35 workshops and issue discussion panels, as well as the first-ever statewide postcard gathering.

Visit https://networknova.org to register, reserve discounted hotel rooms, and to learn event details for the 2023 Women’s Summit, July 21-23, 2023, at the Hilton McLean Tyson’s Corner in McLean, VA.

To learn what Network NOVA is doing on a weekly basis, check out the video podcast “The Friday Power Lunch.”


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