National Women's Political Caucus

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The National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) is a national multi-partisan grassroots organization in the United States dedicated to recruiting, training, and supporting women who seek elected and appointed offices.[1]

History[edit]

NWPC was founded in 1971 following Congress' failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970.[2] Organized primarily by New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug,[3] founding members include Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, Dorothy Height, Myrlie Evers, several congresswomen, heads of national organizations, and others who shared the vision of gender equality including Dolores Delahanty of Kentucky and writer and journalist Letty Cottin Pogrebin. The founders believed that legal, economic and social equity would come about only when women were equally represented among the nation's political decision-makers.[2]

Shortly after its founding, the NWPC played a key role in the McGovern-Fraser Commission's stipulations regarding the inclusion of women, minorities and youth among Democratic Party delegates, leading to a threefold increase of female delegates between the Democratic National Conventions in 1968 and 1972.[3]

The NWPC held its first convention in Houston from February 9 to 11, 1973.[4] The NWPC created a Democratic Task Force in 1974 and a Republican Task force in 1975.[5]

The NWPC was instrumental in persuading the Democratic Party to support the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.[5]

Leadership[edit]

The president of the NWPC is Linda Young. Young has served as the 1st Vice President and Vice President of Development for the National Women's Political Caucus. She has served on the national board for over ten years, first as a Regional Director, and later as Vice President for Development. Young served more than ten years on the NWPC-Texas board in various capacities, including serving twice as state president. On behalf of the Caucus, she recruited the first two co-chairs for the President's Circle, Liz Carpenter and Luci Baines Johnson, and has begun the groundwork for establishing the first endowment for the Caucus.[6]

Young serves as Special Assistant to the President for External Affairs for Austin Community College District, the eighth largest community college in the country. Her professional career has included significant development work for education institutions and for public and private organizations, with more than $18 million in funds raised through Young's efforts. Young served as CEO of a small start-up state agency for five years in Texas, beginning during Governor Ann Richards’s administration. With almost four decades dedicated to working on women’s issues and equality, Young received the Medal of Honor/Veteran Feminists of America. Linda was one of the early recipients of the national leadership award for women, the Athena Award.[6]

Activities[edit]

The NWPC organizes campaign workshops across the country to teach the nuts and bolts of running a successful candidacy at all levels of government. The Caucus Political Planning Committee vets women candidates for endorsement and the political action committee raises money to support endorsed candidates with campaign contributions. The Caucus also offers workshops on political appointments and collaborates with other women’s political organizations to promote good women candidates for gubernatorial and presidential appointments to key posts within the government.[7]

The NWPC has local caucuses in communities across the country to help identify candidates, needs and issues specific to their state or county.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ About National Women's Political Caucus
  2. ^ a b "Early history". NWPC.org. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Skowronek, Stephen (2007). Formative Acts: American Politics in the Making. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 43. 
  4. ^ "Chronology 1973". The World Book Year Book 1974. Chicago: Field Enterprises Educational Corporation. 1974. p. 8. ISBN 0-7166-0474-4. LCCN 62-4818 Check |lccn= value (help). 
  5. ^ a b Castro, Ginette (1984). American Feminism. Paris, France: Presses de Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques. p. 200. 
  6. ^ a b Benavides, Lucia. "After 40 years, Linda Young still fights for women's equity". Austin American Statesman. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Schultz, Jeffrey D. (1999). Encyclopedia of Women in American Politics. Phoenix, Arizona: The Oryx Press. p. 158. 
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". NWPC.org. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 

External links[edit]