A crucial part of the Democratic Party, the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) was founded in 1993 and aims to raise money as a tool to support the President’s agenda and engage women in our democracy. It also aims to provide more information about local Democratic activities as well as opportunities to hear from and interact with party leaders.
The WLF is engaged in a wide array of political activities, providing its members with substantive information, discussion, and action. This includes an annual issues conference, regional events that share/present policy initiatives, opportunities to raise political awareness and cultivate new members, an opportunity to participate in conference calls with policy and political leaders, and much more.
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.
The WLF is working to fulfill its mission by offering the following opportunities, all with an emphasis on substantive information, discussion, and action:
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.
Why the WLF
The WLF recruits and engages women in Democratic politics. Research shows that women are less likely than men to run for public office or participate in political fundraising. The WLF works to eliminate gender disparity in politics by encouraging women to join the program and support the Democratic Party because it is the party that fights for women. The WLF ensures that women’s voices and values continue to be represented by our Party leadership. Through your support of the DNC’s WLF, we can help recruit more Democratic women to run for office throughout the nation.
Support for women candidates
Through your support of the WLF, we will be able to recruit more Democratic women to run for office. The WLF works to close the gender gap by raising funds for the DNC, which, in turn, engages women activists at the grassroots level.
Closing the gender gap in Presidential Fundraising Ranks
The WLF works to close the fundraising gender gap by focusing its fundraising efforts on women. Historically, men dominated the fundraising ranks and outnumbered women bundlers. Female candidates also raised less than their male counterparts. But we are thrilled to see the tide is turning due to strong women who have added their name to ballots across the country and with the help of organizations like the WLF.
Interested in becoming a WLF member? Check out the membership program here.
For more information, please contact:
WLF Finance Director