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by Liane Nakahara, student writer

More and more Democratic women politicians are being elected into office nationwide with the help of a network called EMILY’s List. The EMILY stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast. As yeast helps bread to rise, EMILY’s List aids in raising money for female, pro-choice Democratic candidates.

“ For so many years, women considering public office faced large, formidable barriers,” said California Senator Barbara Boxer in a letter encouraging more support for the network.
“ We did not have the money. We did not have the network. We did not have the staff or the experience to run a campaign,” she added.

Through the EMILY’s List Web site, supporters can register as members of the network. Members can learn more about the current candidates being endorsed by EMILY’s List and make contributions to their individual campaigns.

In 1994, EMILY’s List members organized the WOMEN VOTE! project, designed to increase the number of Democratic women voters, and encourage them to become active in supporting their favorite candidates.

Other programs developed by EMILY’s List include training for women campaigning for the first time and assistance in providing the funding necessary to run a good campaign.

Before EMILY’s List was founded in 1985, according to its literature, no Democratic woman had ever run for and been elected to the U.S. Senate. A woman had never been elected as governor of a large state, and only 12 women sat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Twenty-two years ago, 25 women decided to organize a network that would work to raise money for pro-choice democratic women candidates. Today, there are 12 Democratic women in the U.S. Senate, 50 Democratic pro-choice female members of Congress, and more than eight women governors.

In the 2006 election, all the incumbent Democratic women in Congress who were backed by EMILY’s List won their elections and seven new Democratic women were elected. With the help of the network and the $11 million donated by its members to all EMILY’s List endorsed candidates, Nancy Pelosi was selected as the first-ever female Speaker of the House.

In addition to assisting women who are running for office on the national level, EMILY’s List has plans to focus more attention on getting women elected to state- and local-level seats.

“ It still takes courage to run for office,” said Boxer. “But thanks to EMILY’s List, talented and capable women all across America are finding that courage, running for office, and, most importantly, winning.”

For more information visit www.emilyslist.org.





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