In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ll be sharing thoughts from Democratic leaders throughout March. I started things off by reflecting on my inspirations and what I’ve learned from the women around me.
1. What woman inspired you?
I was inspired by my mom and my grandma who instilled in me as early as I can remember that I could grow up and be anything I wanted to be. They lead by example, balancing work and family and giving me the values that helped me understand that because we were fortunate, it was our responsibility to give back to the community.
2. Why are you a Democrat?
I am a Democrat because the Democratic Party stands for inclusion, equality, and opportunity and that means empowerment for all Americans to achieve anything they can dream, if they work hard and play by the rules. I’m a Democrat because I believe that government can be part of the solution and isn’t all of the problem.
3. What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self not to sweat the small stuff, to not put off for tomorrow what can be done today and to remember to be a sister to other women because helping others succeed helps all women succeed.
Name: Debbie Wasserman Schultz
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 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.
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:
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:
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,
Deputy Communications Director
Democratic National Committee