May 14, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.

New on the CAWP Blog  
Gina Ortiz Jones is preparing a 2020 rematch

We've been tracking 2018 candidates who lost their bids but are now in the early stages of preparation for 2020 runs. There are re-matches, primary do-overs, toppled incumbents hoping to re-take their seat, and women eyeing different offices than the ones they didn't quite win in 2018. We take a look at recent research from our friends at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and see what it means for women hoping to forge future victory out of recent defeat. Read more here.

Returning briefly to the topic of electability from our last newsletter, Senator Kamala Harris made an interesting point about electability: "There has been a lot of conversation by pundits about 'electability' and who can 'speak' to the Midwest. But when they say that, they usually put the Midwest in a simplistic box and a narrow narrative. And too often their definition of the Midwest leaves people out." This is an important point about the ways in which our media and political discourse talks around subjects and how that discursive euphemization is erasure. It's time to call out the numerous ways American political discourses deploys code words for "white" and "male."
Get the content you crave.

Support CAWP with a generous donation today.
Long-time Supporter Susie Wilson Makes Record Donation to CAWP
Susie Wilson at a reception recognizing her support
CAWP is thrilled to announce that one of our most consistent supporters, Susan N. Wilson, has provided a generous endowment for our flagship NEW Leadership® New Jersey program that will allow it to endure and prosper in perpetuity. This endowment represents the single largest gift that CAWP has ever received. In honor of this commitment, the program, which provides political education and training to college-aged women, has been re-named Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership® New Jerse y. Learn more about the amazing Susie Wilson and her support of the Center at her legacy fund page on the CAWP website . At a reception last week honoring Wilson's support of both CAWP and ANSWER, a sexuality education program at Rutgers, Wilson reflected on their work, echoing Martin Luther King Jr., "You really can't make change without a beloved community, and that's what you've meant to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart." CAWP is humbled by Susie Wilson's generosity and more committed than ever to carry forward the legacy of her beloved community far into the future.
Introducing Our 2019 Neuberger Fund Intern
2019 Neuberger Fund Intern Hallie Meisler
At the same event, CAWP Director Debbie Walsh, in introducing Susie Wilson, told the crowd, "I used to think there was only so much one person could do. Then along came Susie Wilson." In addition to her support for NEWL, Wilson also established the Katherine K. Neuberger Legacy Fund to support a Washington, D.C. internship for a Rutgers undergraduate. This year's Neuberger Fund internship was awarded to Hallie Meisler, a rising senior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick majoring in women and gender studies, with minors in political science and critical comparative race and ethnic studies. Meisler, who volunteered with the Mikie Sherill campaign in 2018, spent the spring semester studying South African politics at the University of Capetown, and she will complete her D.C. internship with Planned Parenthood. The Neuberger fund was established to honor Susie Wilson's mother, Katherine K. Neuberger, a distinguished Republican political leader in New Jersey. Ms. Neuberger was appointed to three terms on the New Jersey Board of Higher Education, sat on the State Board of Education, and was a member of the Republican National Committee. Learn more about the Neuberger Legacy Fund here.

Black Maternal Health Crisis
In a recent newsletter, we discussed the leadership of Reps. Lauren Underwood and Alma Adams regarding the crisis in Black women's health in pregnancy, delivery, and early child-rearing, and how the presence of women with diverse backgrounds and expertise alters policy priorities. Last week the CDC recently released a report confirming and elaborating on health outcome discrepancies along racial and ethnic lines in the United States that showed pregnancy-related mortality rates among Black and Indigenous women in the United States roughly three times higher than their white counterparts (read more about the report at The New York Times). In Essence, Elizabeth Warren elaborates on the plan she revealed at the She the People forum to combat the crisis, which would provide incentives for hospitals to improve outcomes. The Root reports that Ayanna Pressley and Cory Booker have introduced companion bills in the House and Senate that also seek to address maternal health in America by expanding Medicaid coverage, as well as access to primary and women's health providers. Booker's Senate bill has been co-sponsored by three fellow 2020 presidential candidates - Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

In Other News 
Tom Moran at the Star Ledger interviews Representative Mikie Sherill about her early days in Congress, how her military background informs her policy-making, and what an increase in women's representation means: "What I think is so important is the effect it has across the country, on people's vision of what women in power look like. It's not a monolithic thing." For Backstory, CAWP Director Debbie Walsh spoke at length about the 2018 elections, the history of women in Congress, and the policy impacts of increased representation.

The Advocate talked to CAWP Associate Director Jean Sinzdak about a Louisiana state legislator who recently gave birth while in office, and Sinzdak told the paper, "Some of that status quo has been disrupted in the past couple of years. Once one breaks through, it makes it easier for others to follow in their footsteps." Louisiana has their legislative elections this year, so stay tuned to our Election Watch information on the state. At the federal level, ten women have given birth while serving in Congress. The first woman to have a child while holding a congressional seat was Representative Yvonne Brathwaite Burke in 1973. The most recent was Senator Tammy Duckworth in 2018.

Elise Stefanik's mission to increase women's presence in the GOP continues to garner attention, particularly now that candidates are beginning to come forward for the 2020 elections. In TIME, Alana Abramson profiles Stefanik and how she came to take on this project. Roll Call notices an upward trend in the share of GOP women among all potential non-incumbent women candidates for the 2020 congressional elections, though we pointed out a significant caveat to this trend on Twitter: isolating non-incumbent candidates is perhaps not fully illuminating, considering the significant decreases in GOP incumbents this year and large increases in Democratic incumbents.

In POTUS 2020 news, Kirsten Gillibrand talked to WNYC about how her electoral record makes her an ideal candidate to go up against Trump and telling them, "His kryptonite is a woman who stands up for what she believes in and doesn't back down." Vanity Fair took a look at a communications reset underway in the Kamala Harris campaign, pondering why Harris, who goes viral with congressional hearing videos on the regular, hasn't caught fire yet in the 2020 race. Lastly, Reductress offers this tongue-in-cheek evaluation of the 2020 election: "I've noticed that there's an emerging group of women who barely have to deal with any attention from men at all. I wanted that for my life, so I decided to be one of those women. And that's why I'm announcing that I'm running for president of the United States."
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8557
(848) 932-9384 - Fax: (732) 932-6778