In looking around the room during our WIN List “Celebrate Shattered Ceilings” event on Thursday evening I was struck by the combination of diversity more than 100 who came together for this historic speech by Hillary Clinton.
Women who were WIN List founders and board members brought daughters and granddaughters. New friends were at a WIN List event for the first, but not the last, time.
The ever energetic Representative Mary Margaret Oliver, who had been in Philadelphia, serving as one of the four Georgians on the DNC Rules committee along with WIN List endorsed women Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Senator Gail Davenport, mingled with the crowd.
Other leading political figures included U. S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale and former WIN board chair and now Representative Stacey Evans. Jason Carter, fresh from a convention appearance to introduce former President Jimmy Carter’s video endorsement of Hillary Clinton, hugged his way thru the room and Atlanta Mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard greeted her many friends from advocacy efforts.
We have are changing the face of power in Georgia, office by office, seat by seat. Being together at The Commerce Club Thursday evening with a room full of enthusiastic cheering women tells me we can channel the power of those women and others of like persuasion to not only elect Hillary Clinton this nation’s first woman president, but also to keep changing the face of power in Georgia for the better. We are indeed “Stronger Together”.
It was delightful to greet founding board member Carol Binns, who wrote us our first $1000 check more than 16 years ago. She attended with her son Joe, who had been a driver for Mary Margaret Oliver’s 1998 campaign, and her terrifically talented daughter in law Melissa Mullinax, who has also served on our board. Carol’s granddaughter three year old Josie twirled around the room in a ruffled navy blue party dress happy to be at what she called a “Girls Who Run Things” party.
Board members Sonia Toson and Anna Beck had their beautiful daughters, Jade and Campbell, who already knew each other from a play group, at the coloring table where outlines of Hillary Clinton and the three women on the Supreme Court awaited artistic expression. The pair ran from window to window to press noses against the glass in awe at the city glittering beneath their feet. How wonderful to think this fun party will become an early memory of politics for them. These young girls will now grow up believing they can accomplish absolutely anything.
Another former board member Meg Robinson left her pre-schooler at home, but enjoyed telling everyone that not only does Helen look forward to going with her mom in November to “vote for the girl,” but this week she has been quoting her new lesson from First Lady Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”
When Brenda Lopez won her house race earlier this year, becoming the first Latina in Georgia’s legislature, a young constituent began communicating via Facebook. Now, 10-year- old Anna wants to run for office someday. She attended the party with Brenda, a bit awestruck but mingling and shaking hands like a political pro. Watch out for her in a decade or so! Creating these moments are what all our hard work is about!!
On Tuesday, two WIN List endorsed women, Janine Brown and Valerie Vie, lost hard fought runoff races for House seats. On Thursday evening, they suited up and showed up vowing to keep up the fight for progressive policies in Georgia. We admire them for their tenacity, grace and dignity.
What next you might ask? For sure, we will find a way to watch that all important first debate together in solidarity. The challenge will be to find a room large enough for those from Thursday evening and those who could not attend Thursday because they were in Philadelphia. Given the fact that school will have started and “The Donald’s” proclivity for bullying verbal pyrotechnics, we will not plan on that event being so child friendly.
There is much to do to elect Hillary Clinton in November AND all the WIN List endorsed women further down the ballot. Let’s make the November election a WIN WIN for our country and for progressive policies and the women who promote them here at home.