Leave it to women to change the course of history. From motivating voting access via identification, to reporting the untold stories in battleground states, these women are on the front lines of the 2020 presidential election. In their own ways, they’re each ensuring that the most marginalized members of our community have the education, tools and access to show up at the polls and vote for leaders that truly represent them. We tip our hats to these special gals.
Meet them below and don’t forget to get out and VOTE.
As a BVM co-founder, LaTosha fights for equality across access education, safety and security. Through BVM, she and her staff are advocating for policies to broaden voting rights and access, which includes expanded early voting, resisting voter ID, re-entry restoration of rights and strengthening the Voting Rights Act. BVM advocates for policies that intersect with race, gender, economic and other aspects of equity in an effort to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities by prioritizing local infrastructure through door-to-door canvassing, texting, phone banking, social media and radio messaging. LaTosha is also working to eliminate human suffering through her vision of the Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium and received the 2010 White House Champion of Change Award and the 2006 Spirit of Democracy Award.
Following her wildly successful voting campaign, Vote Like A Mother, the VLAM founder is back this election season with a new social media campaign to educate and engage voters using a central question: What do you #VoteLikeAMother for? “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of strong digital organizing, and we are mobilizing our supporters to vote with empathy at local, state, and federal levels,” says Sarah. “VLAM is all about moving people to see parenthood as a lens for their politics. It’s easy enough to understand the literal experience of parenthood as political when we read the stark disparities between white and Black maternal mortality rates, or about the lack of affordable childcare for working parents. We want to take things one step further.”
VLAM is leveraging resources to support Black and Brown moms and organizing and fighting with them as they lead. Whether you’re voting for #BlackLivesMatter, gun control, working parent protections or countless other issues, there are plenty of reasons to #VoteLikeAMother come November. Even better, 100 percent of profits from VLAM gear goes to essential nonprofits like Stacey Abrams’ FairFight and Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
When this former Texas Tribune editor-in-chief was on maternity leave in 2016, she sat watching the presidential election – covered in spit-up – consumed by how the national dialogue centered around Hillary Clinton’s “likability” and “electibility.” “These were arguments that seemed patently sexist and I thought how we needed a new way to do this,” Emily says. “We needed a news organization that truly reflected our nation’s women in a really intersectional and inclusive way.” Nearly four years later, she launched The 19th, a journalistic platform seeking to change the national narrative and empower all women with the news, information and community they need to be more deeply engaged in democracy. And there’s never been a more crucial time.
This election cycle, The 19th news team will go deep into why women and other marginalized people vote the way they vote. They’ll get out the vote efforts in parts of the country that have been largely blocked from voting access. “There are transgender people struggling to have the right identification,” says Emily. “There are efforts to block convicted felons in the South from voting. What we’re finding through our coverage and fledgling audience is enormous hunger for this type of coverage and a real hunger for community.”
Kat launched STV following the 2016 presidential election “when we saw the impact of elections without full protections of the Voting Rights Act and the spread of voter ID laws across the country,” she says. Kat thought that if she could help people get the identifications they need to vote, that she could help empower people who actually represent them. So she launched Spread the Vote, an organization that helps individuals with everything they need to get IDs, documents, financing, advocacy, and transportation. They also work to help clients get registered to vote with voter education, as well as get to the polls. “Along the way, we learned just how important IDs are for everyday life and how much the over 21 million eligible voters who don’t have them need them to live,” says Kat. “Voting is the most basic part of being a citizen of a democracy. Every issue you care about, every person you care about, all of our presents and futures are impacted by the people who represent us at all levels of government. Voting is about building the world you want to live in.”