Joe Biden may have won the election, but our fights for progressive policy are not yet over—reproductive rights could still be at stake, climate change is still happening, and police brutality is still happening (to name a few). Presidential elections, no matter the outcome, don’t immediately remove oppressive systems from American society. So while voting is a great way to enact political change, it isn’t the only way—the rest of the fight is up to us. Here are a few other ways we can make sure that the momentum of the blue wave continues long after the election.
If You Are Eligible, Vote In The Georgia Runoff Election
Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock will enter a runoff election on January 5th against incumbent Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively. On Election Day, none of the candidates received 50% of votes, the cutoff needed to avoid a runoff. The outcome of these two runoffs will determine which party will take control of the Senate—an Ossoff/Warnock victory would mean a blue Senate. The earliest day an already registered voter can mail their absentee ballot for this election is November 18th, and the last day to register to vote is December 7th. Early voting will begin on December 14th. If you are a Georgia resident of at least 17 ½ years of age, you can register to vote in the runoffs through the Secretary of State’s office here. (Gen-Z, do your thing.) And of course, if you’re not eligible to vote in Georgia, you can still volunteer and get involved in the final fight to flip the Senate.
Contact Emily W. Murphy And Tell Her To Recognize Biden As The Winner Of The Election
Emily W. Murphy, the Trump-appointed administrator of the General Services Administration, must formally recognize President-elect Biden for the transition of power to begin. When Murphy does so, the Biden-Harris team will be able to access millions of dollars in funding, begin studying agency briefing, and access office space. However, Murphy still has yet to declare him the winner, consequently holding up the process. You can email Murphy at [email protected], call her at 202-501-1794, or fax her at 202-501-4281. Tell her to formally recognize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and begin this transfer of power.
Become Familiar With Your Local Politicians
Local representatives do important work that directly affects you and your immediate community, so it’s important to be familiar with their policies. You can input your address here to find a full list of your local elected officials and their contact information. The Presidential election may get the most attention, but it’s crucial to vote in local and state elections, because that’s how a lot of the biggest changes are carried out.
If You Find A Local Politician Whose Policies You Support, Volunteer In Their Campaign
You’ll play a key role in influencing future voters to help your area stay blue. Your campaign involvement could include text and phone banking, assistance with voter registration, and many other forms of community outreach.
Begin Community Organizing
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Check out this Introduction to Organizing from Center for Community Change to learn more about what organizing in your community could look like. A process aimed at creating change, it can come in many forms and at many levels—from creating petitions and fundraisers to leading demonstrations. If you’re interested in the latter, check out this Rally Organizing Guide from MoveOn. (Keep in mind that there are often existing organizers who have been doing important community work and creating verified events—so if you want to get involved with a cause, do your research to make sure that you’re not trying to essentially ‘start’ a movement that already exists.)
Attend Demonstrations Related To Causes You Care About
Protests and demonstrations have always been an important part of our country’s democracy, and they’re not going anywhere. Small or large, demonstrations can play an important role in making your voice heard and getting momentum behind important causes. Before you go, make sure you take a look at Amnesty International’s guide to staying safe during protests and the ACLU’s guide to protester’s rights.
Get Involved With Local Issue-Driven Organizations
Contributing some of your free time or money to community-based groups dedicated to reproductive health and immigrant and refugee wellbeing, for example, is a great way to make immediate and direct changes around you.
There are countless organizations all over the country that need your help to help others. Below, find a few of our favorites:
Reproductive Health: Help make sure that people continue to have access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, birth control, abortions, family planning, and much more. Planned Parenthood
Immigrant & Regufee Issues: Your donations will help provide free or low-cost legal aid to immigrants who are detained or in immigration custody. RAICES, The Florence Project, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project
Bail Funds: In states with bail or bond systems, these donations release jailed protesters. Louisville Community Bail Fund, Atlanta Solidarity Fund, Philadelphia Bail Fund, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Portland Freedom Fund
Black LGBTQ Funds/Organizations: Help provide mental health care, medical aid, education and more to Black LGBTQ communities. Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, Sylvia Riviera Law Project, The Okra Project, Marsha P. Johnson Institute
Disabled BIPOC Funds/Organizations: Donations will go toward medical aid and educational programs for disabled Black/indigenous people of color. HEARD (Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities), Autistic People of Color Fund
Policy Reform Organizations: You can help fund legislative efforts to change racist policies at both local and national levels. ACLU, Color of Change, Los Angeles Black Worker Center, Dallas Alliance Against Racial and Political Oppression
Images: Spike Johnson / Shutterstock.com; fairfightaction, moveon, plannedparenthood / Instagram
Welp, after a truly wild primary season that started with approx. 666 thousand candidates of various backgrounds in the running, we have narrowed our option down to the old, white, Christian dude. What a breath of fresh air!
No matter your opinion on the man, Joe Biden is very likely to be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race, and humanity will be in much better shape if he beats Donald Trump. The good news is, Biden still has the opportunity to pick an exciting running mate.
Biden has already promised that he would be picking a woman as is vice-presidential nominee, both as a concession to disappointed progressives and to balance out his relentless straight-white–cis-maleness. Picks are typically announced around late June or July in the run-up to the Democratic National Convention (postponed to August this year), but given the extraordinary times and a campaign that could use a real shot of enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be surprised if the second name on the ticket drops sooner than expected.
Here are some amazing women on the shortlist:
Harris and Biden may have butted heads during the primary debates, but that’s all in the past. Harris was quick to endorse Biden early on, sparking early theories that she may top his VP shortlist. The California senator and former attorney general has name recognition, experience, and brings diversity to the table.
Plus, while she’s seen as a somewhat progressive pick, a lot of her politics are actually pretty moderate. For Biden, she could be the best of both worlds. Biden ran on being able to secure the Black vote during the primary, and having Harris as his VP could help him solidify that same strategy in the general election. Plus, Harris had a close friendship with Biden’s late son Beau — the two worked together frequently as attorneys. general.
And let’s be real, she’d add a much needed ~cool~ factor to Biden’s, uh, pretty straight edge image.
Liz! Liz! Liz! Warren and Biden certainly disagree on some things, but this could actually work in their favor. Warren is seen as a progressive, and Biden is seen as a moderate/centrist. If Biden wants to bring in Dems who are further on the Left, picking Warren as his VP could be a smart move. Plus, she has a plan for everything, and could be a very effective VP. Also, after endorsing Biden with a video, Warren told Rachel Maddow that she would say “yes,” to the question of whether or not she would accept the role of VP from Biden.
Judging by the complete lack of hesitation in her answer, it seems like something maybe she had already thought about. Makes ya think…
Abrams gained national attention in 2018 when she ran against Brian Kemp for the seat of governor in Georgia. The election was pretty controversial, since Kemp was Secretary of State at the time, meaning he got to oversee an election he was running in, something one could call a conflict of interest. Kemp ended up winning by a small number of votes, but that’s a whole other story. Abrams caught the attention of many Americans as she came close defeating Kemp in the red state of Georgia. She’s a captivating candidate, and she is a woman of color, which would, again, help with Biden’s saltine cracker image.
Klobuchar was quick to drop out of the race and endorse Biden back when Bernie was the frontrunner, making us wonder if she is working to get that VP spot. She and Biden also make sense as a team. They’re both moderates, yet they appeal to different demographics. Klobuchar has that Midwest vibe that does well with…Midwesterners, and liberal women across the country. She’s got a real moderate feminist energy, which appeals to white moms, AKA a big part of the voting pool. She’s well-liked amongst Dems, and people seem to enjoy her performances at debates. Especially her one liners that I am convinced she learned how to formulate at a $400 week long stand up comedy class at Caroline’s on Broadway.
Who? You may not recognize Whitmer’s name right away, but she has been in the news a lot lately. As the current governor of Michigan, she is receiving some criticism for her very strict measures for combatting COVID-19. People are pissed tf off about it, but as the saying goes…all press is good press. Plus, the main people she is pissing off are Republicans, so it could potentially gaining her some brownie points with Dems. She is def establishing herself as a woman in power who stands her ground, and there’s something to be said for that.
WILDCARD: Michelle Obama
Truly the only thing that could save 2020. And it’s not just pundits and stans fantasizing over a Michelle Obama vice presidency — the Bidens can’t resist the idea either.
“I’d love it if Michelle [Obama] would agree to it. I think she's had it with politics. She's so good at everything she does. That would be wonderful,” @DrBiden says when asked if the former first lady would consider being Joe Biden’s running mate. https://t.co/tAOTzVqh4T pic.twitter.com/DShgiFmj9D
— New Day (@NewDay) April 24, 2020
Jill Biden, wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee, said she would “love to see” former First Lady Michelle Obama join her husband’s ticket if she would agree to it. The former Vice President himself said he’d appoint Obama “in a heartbeat” but that he doesn’t “think she has any desire to live near the White House again.”
Well if Joe Biden doesn’t pick a woman, after all, it’s safe to say I have no desire to live near America again.
Images: Getty; Giphy
On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote was adopted to the United States Constitution. The date is now known as Women’s Equality Day, when we do trite things like “look back on how far we have come” and “look forward to the future” while our government works quietly — and sometimes, shamelessly — to return us to a time when we couldn’t choose our own outfits, let alone who would represent us in government.
In any case, “women’s equality” is often framed simply as equality between men and women. Cool, we’re down with that. But there’s always been plenty to do to improve equality among the large and diverse group of women and femme-identified people itself. What’s more, intersectional feminism demands we promote equality for people of all genders, races, socioeconomic or immigration status. And with an administration that has little regard for anyone who wasn’t born white and male, this crucial aspect of feminism is as vital as ever.
That’s why this Women’s Equality Day, we’re sharing a group of women who are fighting for justice and dignity for people of all races and all genders across all areas of society: in the workplace, on the airwaves, in the doctor’s office, in our news coverage, at the ballot box, and more. In Audre Lorde’s words: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
Stacey Abrams served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 10 years before she was nominated by Democrats to run for the state’s governor in 2018. Her inspiring and widely publicized race against Republican Brian Kemp ended in defeat, which many attributed to voter suppression measures targeting voters of color — measures that were facilitated by Abrams’ opponent. To this day, Abrams has never formally conceded the race. Now, she’s fighting for more equality at the ballot box.
Admirers have shipped Abrams as a potential 2020 presidential contender, especially given how her personal story of going into debt to support her family resonated with people across the country. But for now, Abrams is focusing on bringing more equality to the electoral process. This month, she announced the launch of Fair Fight 2020, a political action committee devoted to advocating voter rights and fair elections in Georiga.
Fair Fight has launched voter protection initiatives in 20 battleground states ahead of the 2020 elections. The group will work to ensure every valid voter in the country may cast their vote without arbitrary barriers designed to suppress the minority voice. They’ll also set up a voter protection hotline. Abrams has also said recently she’d accept any 2020 nominee’s request to serve as their VP.
Next month, 30-year-old Lilly Singh will become the first woman to host a late-night program on a big-four broadcast network since Joan Rivers when her show “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” premieres on NBC. Her YouTube channel with more than 15 million subscribers features skits about her Indian upbringing and what’s like to move through the world — at work, on dates, and with family — as a woman of color from an Indian background.
The author, actress, and activist served as UNICEF’s first-ever Goodwill Ambassador from the YouTube world, traveling to India to advocate against gender and class discrimination and share her experiences abroad with her massive online following.
Before we get anywhere near equality, there always has to be a first. For the first WOC to join an all-white male late-night line up to be bisexual Indian-Canadian woman with a proven commitment to equality and activism? That’s kind of the leap towards equality we can get behind.
The United States Women’s National Team
Months before their historic Women’s World Cup showing, all 23 members of the United States Women’s National Team filed a lawsuit against their employer alleging large-scale gender discrimination in investment and compensation. They returned from France with an expanded, enthusiastic fan base whose support extends far beyond the soccer pitch.
Though equality is a simple concept, it’s one the team’s employer, U.S. Soccer, has struggled to accept. Still, players have stood firm in their mission even as their employer hired lobbyists to contest the player’s claims in the public and refused to even consider “equal pay” a starting point in negotiations.
Players have refused to qualify or dilute their demands — which are simply equality across the board. “We’re trying to do this on behalf of women everywhere, to be treated respectfully and paid lawfully,” USWNT forward Christen Press said.
As states across the country legalize and decriminalize recreational cannabis, industry leaders are asking how a legal market can restore justice to the millions of black and brown Americans disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Shaleen Title is one of those leaders demanding equality. As one of Massachusetts’ first Cannabis Control Commissioners, she’s focused on making the state’s legal cannabis industry fair, equitable and inclusive of communities that racist enforcement of weed laws have hurt the most.
Though black and white Americans are likely to use cannabis at equal rates, black people are far more likely to be arrested for it. Now that Massachusetts has a legal market, Title works to make sure it’s not just white, male, Silicon Valley types who are cashing in on the economic opporutnies of legal weed. She helped write a model bill to guide states towards cannabis policy that invests in communities negatively impacted by criminalization. She’s a champion of equality in an area where it’s desperately needed and yes, she is very dope.
Ashlee Marie Preston
There is one person largely responsible for more media coverage of murdered trans women of color, and that’s Ashlee Marie Preston. Her activism on behalf of communities often erased from mainstream coverage is nothing short of tireless, and she uses her platform to demand justice for — and even acknowledgment of — the dozens of trans women of color who are killed each year.
The average life expectancy of a black trans woman in the U.S. is under the age of 35, an unacceptable statistic Preston highlighted on her own 34th birthday, when she placed 77 candles on her cake to honor 77 people killed. There is no equality for women until all women’s lives are honored and respected, and Preston’s dogged determination to place trans women of colors’ experiences firmly in the mainstream feminist narrative is brave, vital, and far lonelier than it should be.
Alicia Garza has mobilized thousands of activists demanding equality after helping found the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, when George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza led the movement in its freedom ride to Ferguson in 2015 to protest the shooting death of another black teenager, Michael Brown and set up Black Lives Matter chapters all over the country.
Garza has used her platform to demand an intersectional approach to racialized violence, one that acknowledges that systems of oppression overlap, but impact people of all genders and all races in different ways that demand different strategies to confront. She is currently a principal at Black Futures Lab, which works to evolve and harness black political power in communities across the country. Their Black Census Project, launched in 2018, was a first-of-its-kind survey of tens of thousands of black people across the country to gather information to inform and identify paths towards economic and political equality. They’ll use the results to create national and local policy platforms to help politicians better serve black voters.
Rep. Deb Haaland
When it comes to mainstream news coverage, not all women are represented equally. Even though Native women are murdered at 10 times the national average and an estimated 5,700 Native American women were reported missing in a 2016 report, the shocking scourge of missing and murdered indigenous women has only recently entered public view.
Rep. Deb Haaland has worked to bring issues impacting indigenous women straight to the Congressional floor. Haaland, representing New Mexico, became one of the two first Native American women elected to U.S. Congress in 2018, joined by Sharice Davids of California. In May, Haaland introduced legislation to facilitate more effective investigation of missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S. The bill addresses inconsistent law enforcement protocols for acting on disappearances, improves tribes’ ability to investigate cases and access federal resources, and requires better data collection on violence against Native women.
Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson
We’ve had 45 male presidents, so we’re hundreds of years away from reaching anything close to equity in the Oval Office. But this year’s field of Democratic candidates for president features five female candidates, and there’s no question that they have already normalized the once novel concept of a woman daring to think she could not only be commander in chief but outdo any guy gunning for the gig.
These women demand equality by their mere presence in this drawn-out, densely covered Democratic primary race, but also in the policy platforms they choose to promote. We’re pretty sure the issue of black maternal mortality has never come up in a presidential race. But this year, Elizabeth Warren released a plan to address it. Kamala Harris has vowed to stop anti-abortion laws in their tracks.
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At a historic moment for women in politics, a record number are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination. What will it take to shatter the nation’s most stubborn glass ceiling? Tap the link in our bio to meet five women running for the Democratic nomination. Photographed by #AnnieLeibovitz, written by Amy Chozick, Vogue, August 2019
Whether or not a woman wins the nomination, these five candidates are pushing the needle towards broader equality between men and women in public office and in the issues they choose to center.