Dear Friend,

Happy New Year! We share campaign updates each month, and for January we are focusing on the importance of women in elected office. With such a need for women to stand up and fight for progressive values in 2017, I’m thrilled to go to Washington for the Women’s March on January 21st and invite you to participate too. As Secretary Clinton stated, "Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights." If you can’t make it to Washington, there’s also a march here in New York City. Click here for more information.

Meanwhile, I’m honored to be one of the candidates working to expand the representation of women on the New York City Council, whose ranks are shrinking rapidly. Our campaign is in full swing and interns from a dozen different schools have joined the team, bringing tremendous energy and a real commitment to local grassroots activism. With so much at stake this year, we’d love to have you involved. Please sign-up here. I will be hosting a volunteer kickoff in my home on Sunday, January 29th and I hope you can join us!

Wishing you health and happiness in 2017,

Council Member Margaret Chin, Council Member Ben Kallos, Speaker of City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Public Advocate Tish James, NYS Democratic Committee Vice Chair Trudy Mason, State Commiteewoman Marti Speranza, National Women’s Museum Board Member Cheri Kaufman at the Press Conference to announce the Final Bipartisan Congressional Commission Report of the Smithsonian Museum for American Women’s History 
As disheartening as it was that the 2016 Presidential election didn’t lead to the first female President, women's under-representation is equally concerning on the local level. New York has yet to elect a female Mayor or Governor. Only 13 of 51 City Council Members are women, four of whom will be term-limited out in 2017, which could bring women to a dangerously low 18% representation. This is why organizations such as Eleanor’s Legacy, and the “21 in 2021” campaign launched by Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Democratic activist Bill Samuels are dedicated to recruiting, training and supporting women candidates.

In addition to the concern that progress isn’t being made fast enough on representation, we now must confront the possibility of moving backward. Uncertainty looms over women’s reproductive rights, and there is a real fear that Roe v. Wade may be overturned. The US ranks 97th worldwide for women in government [1], so we need more women in elected office to champion equal pay, paid maternity leave (the US is the only industrialized nation without paid family leave [2]), protect our rights, and fight for an economy and a future that works for everyone.

When I was in my hometown of Rochester, NY over the holidays, I had a very humbling, and inspiring experience, visiting the grave of Susan B. Anthony. Anthony did not live to see the achievement of women’s suffrage at the national level, but she laid the foundation for the movement that continues to this day. In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, we know there is important work to be done, and we all must engage and do our part. The primary purpose of a democratic government is to represent its citizensbut that is possible only when elected officials reflect the beautiful diversity of our communities.