Unconventional WomenAugust 25, 2008
This is Lisa Maatz, your intrepid AAUW Public Policy Director, blogging to you directly from the Denver Convention Center. While I have a moment to catch my breath, I thought I’d give you the 4-1-1 on the big blue bash in the Mile High City.
I should digress first and let you know that AAUW will have a presence — in the form of me and AAUW members who are delegates and spouses of delegates — at both conventions. The visibility and networking are key ways we push our policy priorities, and to be truly successful we must do that in a nonpartisan way. I can tell you, AAUW is one of just a few women’s organizations — and the only major grassroots group — that will be at both conventions. This presence reflects the makeup of our membership, and it is one of our greatest strengths.
I arrived in Denver late Sunday, just in time to make it to the Blue Dog event. Working with this coalition of conservative Democrats was critical to AAUW’s recent success in the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
This morning, after an interminable wait in the hot Denver sun for my convention credentials, I headed to the Performing Arts Center for a brief glimpse at Unconventional Women, a gathering of about 1,000 women. Hosted by some AAUW coalition partners, including the White House Project and the Women’s Campaign Forum, this group met to talk about women’s political leadership. Did you know we’ve only had 29 women governors — ever?? But what’s interesting about this stat is that many of those governors came from the same states. The “cup half full” way to look at it is simply this: once Americans get used to seeing women in leadership roles, they vote for them again and again. I believe this is good news, and it lends even more import to the marble ceiling shattered by Hillary Clinton this election season.