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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
  • Let’s make this year a success for women and for the nation

    Women’s History Month is special to me not just as a woman but as a mother, as a daughter and as a wife. It is inspiring to think how far we’ve come thanks to the women of previous generations on whose shoulders we stand. The suffragists fought for the right to vote and they won it in 1920. Another generation secured the passage of Title IX.

    Our generation had cause to celebrate when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 and when health care reform passed in 2010. Because of the Affordable Care Act, being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition, and women now have access to preventive care like mammograms at no cost.

    And yet our generation of women has an opportunity to do even more. I’m proud that the DNC recently launched the Democratic Women’s Alliance to get more women involved in politics, at every level. As the President said in his 2014 State of the Union Address, "When women succeed, America succeeds." Together, let’s make this year a success for women and for the nation.

    Add your name to stand with the President and Democrats fighting for equal pay for women:

    I'm in!

  • 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.
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Recent Action
President Obama Appoints Four More Women to Federal Judgeships
May 17, 2013
President Obama nominated four women to federal judgeships, further illustrating his dedication to creating a federal judiciary that better reflects our nation.
Violence Against Women Act Reauthorized
March 7, 2013
President Obama signed the reauthorization of VAWA — a groundbreaking piece of the legislation that combats sexual assault by holding offenders responsible while aiding victims.
President commits to battling HIV/AIDS
December 7, 2011
On World AIDS Day President Obama directed $50 million in increased funding for the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS, a disease that disproportionally affects women both internationally and domestically.