People

Women’s Leadership Forum

About the WLF

Mission Statement:

The Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum engages women in our party by organizing regional and national events — providing women with a platform to engage in policy discussions, a community of dynamic female leaders, and with networking opportunities to inspire further involvement — while generating significant financial support for the Democratic Party.

Current Activities:

The WLF is working to fulfill its mission by offering the following opportunities, all with an emphasis on substantive information, discussion, and action:

  1. Annual National Issues Conference
  2. Regional events focused on policy initiatives to raise political awareness and attract new members
  3. Conference calls with policy and political leaders
  4. Email updates and calls to action
History:

In October 2013, the WLF presented its 20th Anniversary Annual National Issues Conference with the theme “The Next Generation of Women Leaders” aimed at highlighting “women to watch” and young leaders making noteworthy contributions in their fields. The conference included keynote addresses by First Lady Michelle Obama and Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. Other featured guests included Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Cecile Richards, DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile, DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many other issue experts and elected officials. The conference highlighted the significant role women played to re-elect President Barack Obama as well as presented important policy updates and field tools for women to take back to their communities.

DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the launch of a new initiative focused on women’s outreach called the Democratic Women’s Alliance. WLF members are eager for its debut at the DNC in 2014 and excited to collaborate on efforts to reach women voters, encourage women to run for office, hold the GOP accountable, and communicate issues important to women effectively.

Leading up to the 2013 conference and special elections, the WLF organized events in New York, Dallas, Atlanta, DC, Chicago, and Seattle with the First Lady, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and many others. As we look ahead to the 2014 midterm elections, the WLF will continue to host national and regional events to support the DNC’s four pillars and work to elect Democratic and female candidates across the country.

In 2008, the WLF and Women for Obama raised more than $5 million and hosted approximately 1500 women in Chicago for a two-day conference featuring President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Oprah Winfrey among others.

Based on the success of the “Take Five” program, the WLF and the Women’s Vote Center launched “Take Six in ‘06” which asked women to educate and encourage six women to join them at the polls on Election Day in 2006. The following year, Nancy Pelosi was elected as the first woman Speaker of the House and Kirsten Gillibrand, the WLF NY Network Chair, took office as the first WLF member elected to Congress.

In 2004, the WLF and the Women’s Vote Center rolled out the “Take Five” program which encouraged every Democratic woman to bring five women to the polls on Election Day. The WLF partnered with Women for Kerry to reach as many women as possible during the election cycle.

In 2003, the WLF celebrated its 10th Anniversary with events across the nation and at the Annual Issues Conference with the theme “It’s Time to Tell the Truth…The Real State of the Union.”

In 2001, the WLF founded the Women’s Vote Center, a new DNC initiative to recruit and train women to serve as effective political advocates and future leaders and engage with grassroots leaders across the country.

In the years leading up to the 2000 election, the WLF hosted networking events in several cities, as well as an annual conference bringing together thousands of women and raising a record-breaking $7 million during the 2000 election cycle.

In 1994, Tipper Gore was named the first WLF Honorary Chair. In the year leading up to the 1996 re-election, First Lady Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore hosted dozens of WLF events across the country.

In 1993, Tipper Gore and 36 women gathered to discuss ways to give women a greater voice in the National Party. The outcome: a new DNC finance council called the Women’s Leadership Forum. Its mission is to maintain a viable women’s program that is an integral part of the Democratic National Committee. Since its formation, the WLF has established a strong record of outreach and fundraising for the Democratic Party through policy briefings, networking receptions, and the annual National Issues Conference.

Recent Updates
  • Congresswoman Karen Bass on what inspired her to run for public office

    Congresswoman Karen Bass represents the 37th district of California. She was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. Prior to serving in Congress, Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, becoming the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role.
  • A New Tool In The War On Poverty

    I’m going to echo Maria Shriver and state the obvious: while I have not lived on the brink of poverty, I am deeply concerned by the growing income gap in America. I work every day to expand opportunities for the millions of people -- one in three Americans, seventy percent of whom are women and children -- who struggle every day to make ends meet.

    Earlier this week, Maria introduced a report that illustrates how urgent that work is.  A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink is filled with thoughtful essays from academics and activists -- everyone from Hillary Clinton to Barbara Ehrenreich to Beyoncé. And it includes new research on how deeply entrenched poverty has become in our social fabric, and how we can change it.

    I encourage you to read Maria's introduction to the report, and to explore A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink in full.

  • Lily Adams: “Tell Republicans To Step Up”

    Deputy Communications Director Lily Adams sent an email to supporters encouraging them to call out Chairman Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee for condoning sexist rhetoric from Rush Limbaugh and to stop enabling him. Here's what she had to say:

    Friend --

    Rush Limbaugh saying something sickeningly misogynistic isn't breaking news, so rest assured I'm not planning to write to you every time he does.

    But earlier this week, Limbaugh mocked "liberals" for criticizing men who stare at women's breasts, encouraging them to instead approach women and say, "Will you please ask your breasts to stop staring at my eyes?"

    There's a line between casual but unacceptable sexism and justifying sexual harassment. When someone as prominent as Rush Limbaugh crosses that line, everyone -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- needs to stop the precedent from becoming habit.

    You know Rush Limbaugh's comment was flat-out wrong. I know it was wrong. And I'd bet even Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus can recognize it was wrong. Join me and ask the RNC to stop enabling Rush Limbaugh and those like him whose rhetoric encourages or condones sexual harassment.

    This Sunday, the Daily Caller -- the Rush Limbaugh of websites -- piled on with a full-throated defense of sexual harassment:

    Ladies, how are you going to feel when the progressives prohibit men from paying you a compliment on your walk home from the bar? You know there's always one friend of yours who waited all night for that.

    And if you happen to be a woman who isn't employed by the Democratic National Committee or the New York Times, maybe you're really not all that offended by these sorts of things.

    As a woman who happens to be employed by the Democratic National Committee, I am offended by Rush Limbaugh's comments. But I'm not alone, and I know there are plenty of women (maybe even some who work at the Republican National Committee) who'd agree that this is the wrong message to send, encourage, or defend.

    And frankly, the RNC has the ability to reduce the influence held by Rush Limbaugh and the writers of the Daily Caller. All they need to do is encourage their fellow Republican leaders to stop making time for interviews with outlets like these.

    So call on Chairman Priebus and the RNC to step up and take action against the type of rhetoric that encourages sexual harassment:

    http://my.democrats.org/Step-Up-Republicans

    We are going to be in a lot of big fights with Republicans during the election year that starts in just a few days. But surely we can come together in the meantime to put an end to disgusting rhetoric like Limbaugh's that encourages sexual harassment.

    Thanks for everything you're doing to stand with women across the country,

    Lily

    Lily Adams
    Deputy Communications Director
    Democratic National Committee

  • LOAD MORE
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