As we celebrate over forty years of feminist disruption, electing leaders, and making change, we would be honored to have you join us at NOW’s annual conference: Springing Hope into Action: Amplifying NOW’s Intersectional Feminist Agenda and the NOW PAC Brunch to continue this conversation. It is more important now than ever to continue building the narrative of intersectional feminism through discussion and collaboration with advocates like yourself. Please join us on Saturday, July 31st, from 12:00PM to 1:30PM ET to celebrate another year of disrupting the narrative, making change, and electing feminists.
It has been over one-hundred years since the first woman was elected to Congress in the United States. Since that historic nomination, a record number of women have held office at the federal level, and we continue making history to this day. In 2020 we witnessed Kamala Harris make history as the first woman and woman of color to be elected as Vice President.
The glass ceiling has been shattered, but women and feminists are not stopping there.
We are continuing to turn collective action into power. More women and feminists are running at all levels of government than ever before. Behind the scenes they have been working on and running campaigns, advising candidates, and electing leaders who understand what it means to build a movement and fight for equality.
Representation matters, not only in the halls of Congress and at the state and local levels, but in the narrative we create about politics and intersectional feminism. NOW’s PAC continues its decades of work shaping our national discourse, disrupting the status quo, and building the bench of feminist activists both in office and behind the scenes.
We look forward to celebrating with you at our conference.
Nancy Pelosi is the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. Now in her third term as Speaker, Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained her position second-in-line to the presidency, the first person to do so in more than 60 years. As Speaker, Pelosi is fighting For The People, working to lower health care costs, increase workers’ pay through strong economic growth and rebuilding America, and clean up corruption for make Washington work for all.
For 33 years, Speaker Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in Congress. She has led House Democrats for 16 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.
Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as “one of the most productive Congresses in history” by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi “an extraordinary leader for the American people,” and the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “…make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics and the most powerful House Speaker since Sam Rayburn a half century ago.”
Working in partnership with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi led House passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early 2009 to create and save millions of American jobs, provide relief for American families, and provide a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans. With the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi continues to focus on the need to create jobs in America and prevent them from being shipped overseas.
Speaker Pelosi was the architect of the landmark Affordable Care Act which has guaranteed protections for all Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, ended annual and lifetime limits on health coverage, and provided affordable health coverage for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term.
In the 111th Congress, Speaker Pelosi also led the Congress in passing strong Wall Street reforms to rein in big banks and protect consumers as well as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expands educational opportunities and reforms the financial aid system to save billions of taxpayers’ dollars. Additional key legislation passed into law included the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability of women and all workers to access our judicial system to fight pay discrimination; legislation to provide health care for 11 million American children; national service legislation; and hate crimes legislation. In late 2010, Pelosi led the Congress in passing child nutrition and food safety legislation as well as repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
As Speaker, Pelosi has made the climate crisis her flagship issue, enacting comprehensive energy legislation in 2007 that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and making an historic commitment to American home grown biofuels. In 2009, under her leadership, the House passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act – a comprehensive bill to create clean energy jobs, combat the climate crisis, and transition America to a clean energy economy. The legislation was blocked by Republicans in the United States Senate, but sent a strong signal to the world about the United States’ commitment to fighting the climate crisis.
A leader on the environment at home and abroad, Pelosi secured passage of the “Pelosi amendment” in 1989, now a global tool to assess the potential environmental impacts of development. In San Francisco, Pelosi was the architect of legislation to create the Presidio Trust and transform the former military post into an urban national park.
In continuing to push for accountability and transparency in government, under Speaker Pelosi, the House passed the toughest ethics reform legislation in the history of the Congress, including the creation of an independent ethics panel, and increased accountability and transparency in House operations, including earmark reforms. As Speaker, Pelosi led the fight to pass the DISCLOSE Act in the House, which fights a corporate takeover of U.S. elections and ensures additional disclosure; she continues to fight for this legislation today.
Additional key accomplishments signed into law under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi include: an increase in the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years; the largest college aid expansion since the GI bill; a new GI education bill for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; and increased services for veterans, caregivers, and the Veterans Administration.
As House Democratic Leader, Pelosi wrested critical legislative victories out of the GOP majority. In the 114th Congress, she spearheaded a historic bipartisan agreement to strengthen Medicare, ending the cycle of expensive “Doc Fix” patches and transitioning away from a volume-based system toward one that rewards value, ensures the accuracy of payments and improves the quality of care. Following the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Leader Pelosi orchestrated the effort that secured the votes to uphold a possible Presidential veto of Republicans’ effort to disapprove the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Pelosi’s strength at the negotiating table has consistently delivered significant funding increases for key Democratic priorities. In the FY 2016 omnibus, Pelosi won the permanent authorization of the World Trade Center Health Program and a massive five-year extension of expiring wind and solar renewable energy tax credits. In the FY 2018 omnibus, Pelosi won significant increases in vital domestic investments, including a $3.2 billion increase in opioid epidemic funding, a $3 billion increase for NIH medical research, and the largest single year funding increase for Child Care Development Block Grants in the initiative’s history.
In the face of the all out-Republican onslaught against Americans’ health care, Leader Pelosi held House Democrats united through dozens of votes to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act – mobilizing a massive nationwide campaign to block House Republicans’ monstrous “Trumpcare” legislation. Under her leadership, House Democrats also unanimously opposed the GOP tax scam for the rich.
Pelosi comes from a strong family tradition of public service. Her late father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., served as Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, after representing the city for five terms in Congress. Her brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, also served as Mayor of Baltimore. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five grown children and nine grandchildren.
Senator Benjamin Cardin was born in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland. As a member of the Democratic Party, he served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967 to 1987, and as the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1979 to 1987. He was the youngest person in to hold that position. From 1987 to 2006, Ben Cardin served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Maryland’s 3rd congressional district and served on the Ways and Means Committee for seventeen years. In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served on the Senate Judiciary Committee during his first four years. He became Maryland’s senior U.S. Senator in 2017 and won reelection to a third term in 2018, winning 65% of the vote.
He is the lead sponsor of legislation to prohibit racial and religious profiling by law enforcement, restoring voting rights for former felons, and removing the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and as a result, he has developed a reputation for defending civil rights. He is also a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would require the U.S. government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He currently serves as the Chair of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, which is crucial to rebuilding our economy. He is also a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees.
(CA-13); Intersectional Feminist Awardee
Representative Barbara Lee is a member of the Democratic Party who represents California’s 13th Congressional District. In 1975, Barbara Lee joined the staff of Congressman Ron Dellums where she eventually became chief of staff. During her time there, she was one of only a few women and persons of color to hold a senior position on Capitol Hill. In 1990, Barbara Lee was elected to the California State Assembly. She served until 1996 when she was elected to the California State Senate, where she authored many bills that addressed issues such as safety, education, and healthcare. She supported LGBTQ+ issues and authored the 1995 California Schools Hate Crimes Reduction Act, which includes procedures to help schools foster an environment that is free from discrimination and hate violence. She is also a strong advocate for women, as she served as a member of the California Commission on the Status of Women and she helped pass the first California Violence Against Women Act.
In 1998, she was elected to the House of Representatives. In 2001, she was the only member of Congress to oppose the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack, as she was concerned that AUMF would become a blank check for endless war in Iraq. Recently, the House has voted to repeal AUMF with Congresswoman Lee as the sponsor of the repeal bill. Her bill will eliminate the danger of a future administration using AUMF as a justification for unnecessary military intervention abroad. She has also advocated for legislation that focuses on ending poverty, and in 2013 she became the chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. She currently serves on the Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee and is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
Grace Meng represents New York’s 6th Congressional District located in Queens, New York. She was born and raised in Queens as the daughter of immigrants and has never forgotten where she came from or who she fights for.
As a child growing up in the most diverse county in America, Grace quickly came to believe that every person deserves a seat at the table. Whether young or old, rich or poor, she believes every voice deserves to be heard. That conviction prompted Grace to begin her professional career as a public interest lawyer before serving two terms in the New York State Assembly.
Now, in her third term in Congress, Grace continues to advocate for inclusive policies that benefit the vulnerable and the often overlooked. From her seat on the House Appropriations Committee, and as the mother of two young boys – Tyler and Brandon – she regularly fights for federal programs that benefit women and children. She even co-founded the Bipartisan Congressional Kids’ Safety Caucus which she still co-chairs.
While Grace remains one of the 15 youngest Democrats in Congress, she has been ranked the 8th most-effective legislator in the Democratic Party according to the Center for Effective Lawmaking. She serves as Chair of ASPIRE PAC through which she supports Asian American candidates across the country, and works to ensure that Asian American voices and concerns are heard in the political process.
Grace is the national leader on issues pertaining to menstrual hygiene product safety and availability. She successfully fought for the provision of menstrual hygiene products to homeless women, fights for their availability to incarcerated women, denounced the discriminatory tampon tax in New York, and has introduced federal legislation that would require menstrual hygiene product labels to include a list of ingredients.
In February of 2017, Grace was elected Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee where she focused on winning back the House in 2018 and winning back the White House in 2020.
Grace represents the only congressional district located entirely in Queens, New York, where she continues to live with her husband, Dr. Wayne Kye, a professor at New York University’s College of Dentistry, and her two boys. She attended New York City public schools, including Stuyvesant High School, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and earned her law degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
12:00 PM to 3:15 PM ET
11:00 AM to 2:15 PM CT, 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM PT
12:00 PM to 6:30 PM ET
11 AM to 5:30 PM CT, 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM PT
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM ET
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM CT, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM PT
NOW stands for the National Organization for Women. NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life. NOW has been advancing women’s equal rights for a historic, action-studded 55 years!
We are fully embracing the benefits of a virtual conference and are not limiting this event to just one weekend. Instead, we invite all attendees to join us on all three weekends this summer to get the most out of the experience!
We will still have inspiring plenaries, educational breakout sessions, and powerful discussions. You will also have the opportunity to get to know members of the organization. Explore all the resources in the library, learn about upcoming sessions, and join us for a wonderful 2021 conference.
Check back in throughout the next few weeks for more content!
Issue Hearings are a designated time for NOW members to bring new Resolutions to the floor for discussions. Attendees will vote on which two Resolutions will be passed along and voted on during the August 8th session. Issue Hearings will cover the following topics: LGBTQIA+ Issues, Constitutional Equality, Young Feminists, Racial Justice, Economic Justice, Ending Violence Against Women, Reproductive Rights and Justice, and Global Feminists.
Resolutions are actions NOW will take or policies NOW will institute on various issues. Resolutions for consideration are submitted in advance of the conference or brought to the relevant Issue Hearing.
All conference attendees are eligible to vote during the Issue Hearings on the second weekend of the Conference, July 31 and August 1. The voting will be conducted using the ‘Hand Raise’ feature on Zoom.
NOW Members that have been in good standing for 90 days or more will be allowed to vote on the By-Laws and Resolutions during the last weekend of the Conference, August 7 and 8.
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