Get Women Elected Now!

I spent this evening at a meeting for GWEN — Get Women Elected Now.  It’s a local group with the goal of supporting progressive female candidates in Northern Virginia.  It’s obviously somewhat inspired by EMILY’s List, but aiming to build personal connections as well as raise money.  One of the founders is Libby Garvey, and she’s very clearly thinking about the gendered paths to political involvement that I wrote about two years ago when she wrote for delegate.

It was quite an interesting group of people, including several current and former elected officials.  Two men, the rest women.  I’d guess that most of the people there were in their 50s or older, although there were a few younger members.  Garvey mentioned that someone had emailed her asking about child care at the meeting (which was not provided).  There was clearly a hunger for ways to be involved that didn’t involve writing checks, and that were more substantive than stuffing envelopes or making calls.

I volunteered to update their website for them.  As T said when I told him, "of course you did."

2 Responses to “Get Women Elected Now!”

  1. dave.s. Says:

    Garvey’s an interesting case. Arlington has had a pretty functional escalator for women to political office for years – Ellen Bozman and Mary Margaret Whipple were on the 5-member County Board for a long time, Whipple ascended to the Senate when Ed Holland retired. Geraldine Whiting was Controller, then when she left office the woman she hoped would succeed her was defeated by Ingrid Morroy, candidate backed by another faction.
    Arlington Democrats are a lot like the PRI, in Mexico: the dedazo, the finger of anointing for the ‘approved’ candidate. Usually the dedazo candidate wins, but not always: Sharon Davis was the dedazo candidate, but was beaten by Sally Baird, who had a great deal of backing from the gay community. Arlington Dems like ‘firehouse primaries’ – one location to vote for the entire county. These tend to favor the dedazo, the most party-oriented folks are the ones who come out to vote. In Mexico, it was the outgoing Presidente who pointed the finger, things are murkier in Arlington but it is a consensus of The Great And The Good in the Dem party, and maybe in particular the Greatest and Goodest, Lucy Denney.
    So Garvey was on the School Board for years, and clearly wants something a little grander. She ran for Delegate from the 45th when Marian Van Landingham retired – Elizabeth, you chose Englin in that race, despite your general interest in women gaining office, and you blogged about why at the time. Garvey was widely rumored to be expecting something swell and interesting in the Kaine administration, and nothing remarkable has come through. Paul Ferguson is leaving the County Board to run for Clerk of Courts (bet the mortgage on him) and the dedazo has pointed to – Mary Hynes for County Board.
    I don’t think Garvey has distinguished herself on the School Board, and many of the other parents with whom I talk feel the same way. The Great And The Good chose someone else for County Board. By the evidence, I don’t see a female problem, I see a Garvey problem.

  2. dave.s. Says:

    On the other hand, here is the Not Larry Sabato blog suggesting that Libby Garvey has a point: http://notlarrysabato.typepad.com/doh/2009/11/where-was-the-farm-team.html

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