National Women’s Political Caucus is a multi-partisan grassroots organization founded in 1971 and the only national organization exclusively dedicated to increasing female participation on all arenas of political and public life.
This past weekend, women warriors from across the country gathered for the 24th Biennial National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.
As I am continually reminded but often quickly forget, there is something very special that happens when you gather a group of strong, intelligent and motivated women together. Meeting with my NWPC colleagues and hearing from powerful speakers who fight day in and day out for basic equality was inspirational, and gave me the motivation I needed to continue the fight at home.
The event convened representatives from the group’s various state and local caucuses to discuss NWPC’s priorities for the upcoming election cycle. As the Vice President of Political Action for NWPC California and the PAC Director for NWPC LA Westside, I was proud to join our California contingent as a delegate at this year’s convention.
NWPC, founded in 1971, is a multi-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to recruiting, training and electing pro-choice women in all arenas of government – it is the only organization doing this work at every level, from school board to President. Since its founding, we have seen enormous strides made in women’s representation, but there’s no argument that we have a long way to go.
In 2018, we saw the largest number of women elected to the U.S. Congress ever, yet in 2019 we’ve been met with the rolling back of reproductive rights in states across the country. Here in Los Angeles, we have a County Board of Supervisors dominated by women, yet only two women on the 15-member Los Angeles City Council. For those of us in the trenches, the work is inspiring, yet often daunting.
It was with this lens and the hope for more inspiration that I arrived in St. Louis. And inspiration I got.
I was reminded that in every corner of the country, we are blessed with smart, capable women who are working every day to ensure our equal rights.
We heard from elected leaders like former Sen. Claire McCaskill and Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, an amazing young women who fights an uphill battle every day in the state legislature. We were also honored to hear from founding NWPC member Shaloma Shawmut-Lessner, an 88-year old powerhouse who is among other things a pilot and flight instructor who evacuated Holocaust survivors during World War II before returning to America to fight for women’s rights.
As I sat on the plane back to Los Angeles, I was filled with new motivation to bring the fire and inspiration of these activists back to my community, and harkened back to the slogan of my campaign days – fired up…ready to go!
Tori Chica serves as NWPC California Vice President for Political Action. She shares her experience as a delegate at this year’s convention and the inspiration she draws when you gather a group of strong, intelligent and motivated women together.