(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Women’s Campaign Fund (WCF) named six new women to its Game Changer initiative, bringing the total to 32. Forty women will be named Game Changers, in total, in honor of WCF’s 40th anniversary. The initiative, aimed at “changing the game” for women in politics, lays out WCF’s vision for a more representative government that includes more women, minorities, and others from outside the traditional world of politics.
“WCF is incredibly proud to name these six women as Game Changers today,” said Clare Bresnahan, WCF’s Political and Programs Director, “but the truth is that these women aren’t waiting to be in office, or even Election Day, to shake things up. Whether it’s by unseating incumbents in their primaries, possibly making history as the first LGBT woman governor, or just being from outside the traditional world of politics, our Game Changers are women who are saying ‘no’ to the status quo, challenging the ‘Old Boys Club’ style of politics, and standing up for the women in their communities. Some have served in their state legislature or city council, others have served their communities in other ways, like being Orlando’s first woman police chief, and yet others are first time-candidates who will bring a fresh perspective to their local government. But together, they represent the direction our government needs to go in, one that includes dramatically more women’s voices.”
The Game Changers announced today include:
· Heather Mizeur, running for Governor (Maryland): Heather’s campaign is history in the making. If elected, she would be Maryland’s first woman governor as well as the first openly LGBT person to be elected governor in the country. Heather’s 15 years of experience in policy has made her a progressive powerhouse in Annapolis, where she expanded health care to children, protected reproductive rights for women, safeguarded the environment, and brought new technology jobs to Maryland.
· Lucy Flores, running for Lt. Governor (Nevada): Lucy isn’t your typical politician. The daughter of immigrants, Lucy grew up in a challenging community in North Las Vegas. Through hard work and the investment of people who believed in her, she got her GED, enrolled in community college, and eventually earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from USC. From there, she worked her way through UNLV Law School and ran for office to represent the community she grew up in. She has served three terms in Nevada’s State Assembly.
· Val Demings, running for Mayor (Orange County, Florida): As a working class woman of color, Val has devoted her life to social justice in her community. Val was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the daughter of a maid and janitor. Although she grew up poor, her mother taught her that if she worked hard, she could live the American Dream. After graduating college, Val went to work as a social worker, specializing in foster care, to help families most in need. She went on to become Orlando’s first woman police chief.
· Muriel Bowser, running for Mayor (Washington, DC): Having a strong, qualified woman of color lead our nation’s capital, and one of the largest cities in the country, would send a powerful signal about the role of women in government. Nationwide, only 18% of mayors are women. And of the 100 largest cities in the country, only Baltimore currently has an African American woman mayor.
· Brianne Nadeau, running for City Council (Washington, DC – Ward 1): As a young woman leader, community activist, and woman of faith, Brianne would bring a much needed perspective to the DC City Council. Her defeat of a 16 year incumbent speaks to the district’s desire for bold, new leadership and the end of DC’s “Old Boys Club” style of politics.
· Sharon Quirk-Silva, running for State Assembly (CA-65): As a wife and mother, Sharon understands the challenges California families are facing in today’s difficult economy. As a teacher, she is passionate about ensuring that all Californians have access to a quality education. And as a former Councilwoman and Mayor, she has built a reputation for being a bipartisan problem-solver. In addition, Sharon has long been a vocal proponent for reproductive health choices.
Previously announced Game Changers include:
· Emily Cain, running for U.S. House of Representatives (ME-02)
· Charniele Herring, running for U.S. House of Representatives (VA-08)
· Eloise Gomez Reyes, running for U.S. House of Representatives (CA-31)
· Sandra Fluke, running for California State Senate (CA-26)
· Connie Pillich, running for Ohio State Treasurer
· Nina Turner, running for Ohio Secretary of State
· Wendy Davis, running for Governor (Texas)
· Alison Lundergan Grimes, running for U.S. Senate (Kentucky)
· Rocky Lara, running for U.S. House of Representatives (NM-02)
· Alma Adams, running for U.S. House of Representatives (NC-12)
· Betty Yee, running for State Controller (California)
· Erin Molchany, running for reelection to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (PA-36)
· Amanda Renteria, running for U.S. House of Representatives (CA-21).
· Val Arkoosh, running for U.S. House of Representatives (PA-13)
· Maura Healey, running for Attorney General (Massachusetts)
· Allyson Schwartz, running for Governor (Pennsylvania)
· Suja Lowenthal, running for State Assembly (CA-70)
· Mary Sosa, running for State House of Representatives (OK-89)
· Kelly Westlund, running for U.S. House of Representatives (WI-07)
· Shaughnessy Naughton, running for U.S. House of Representatives (PA-08)
· Aimee Belgard, running for U.S. House of Representatives (NJ-03)
· Meshea Poore, running for U.S. House of Representatives (WV-02)
· Stephanie Chang, running for Michigan House of Representatives (MI-06)
· Kristy Pagan, running for Michigan House of Representatives (MI-21)
· Faith Winter, running for Colorado House of Representatives (CO-35)
· Rebecca Thompson, running for Michigan House of Representatives (MI-01)
The Game Changers initiative complements WCF’s existing political endorsement program. The 40 women chosen for the initiative are selected from the pool of WCF’s already impressive roster of endorsed candidates. Each week, WCF will add more women to the list, leading up to the organization’s 40th anniversary celebration at the Parties of Your Choice Gala in New York City on May 15th.