Messages from the President

Messages from the President

January 23, 2017
Post-March Message from the President

It is the day after the Women’s March on Washington (WMW). Two days after the Inauguration of an unpopular president whose words and actions and cabinet picks have galvanized a vast majority of the nation. Especially women. Not only in this country but across the world. The call to action by women came days after the election results.  A retired woman in Hawaii floated the idea of a Million-Woman-March. And it went viral.  Four enterprising young women took that idea and ran with it.  With a less than two-month lead time, grass-roots community organizing resulted in a stunning success.  Over 1.2 million women rallied and marched in our nation’s capital on January 21. Worldwide the number is closer to 5 million. These results have broken all previous records and will be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Why was this March so successful? The answer is complex. The fear of a conservative takeover of the laws of this country is palpable and very real.  Climate change and environmental issues are under attack.  Women’s right to choose is threatened. As Dani Rodrick wrote in the New York Times: “The real danger Mr. Trump poses is the undermining of our politics — the norms that sustain our liberal democracies. His campaign was based on a divisive politics of identity. Ideals of equity, equal rights, diversity and inclusion were submerged under the weight of a rhetoric that raised racial and ethnic tensions and inflamed passions against imagined enemies — Mexican immigrants, Chinese exporters, Muslim refugees.”

Not only are we looking at the possibility of the dissolution of checks and balances, of regulations either being slackened or removed, ethics laws being defanged but we feel that rule of law is seriously threatened. Civil discourse has flown out of the window. The Affordable Care Act is in serious jeopardy, with a real danger of tens of millions of people losing healthcare benefits. And Mr. Trump is unlikely to be able to fulfill his promise to raise the living standards of his base. He may have to resort to an intensified form of the identity politics that he exploited so successfully during his presidential campaign, leading to a future where ethnic and racial cleavages grow wider.

And so what do we do now?  The March is over. It is now time for action.  Hundreds of progressive organizations are gearing up to face this challenge.  The mantra: March Today, Lobby Tomorrow is resonating across the country.  Advocacy, training and civic engagement are the new buzz-words.  During the three days leading up to the March we provided workshops on climate change, human rights and Islamophobia, Middle East policy and criminal justice reform. We are now teaming up with different grass-roots organizations to effect policy change through Congress and the Administration. We have initiated a conversation with the organizers of the March to harness the enthusiasm and commitment of their legions of supporters to lobby Congress.
Before we come up with a comprehensive and specific plan in concert with other progressive partners, we all agree on one thing.  Each one of us, you and me, need to CALL the following number each day: 202-224-3121.  It connects to a Congressional office where you will instantly be redirected to the congressman’s office you want to reach.  Who should you call and about what?  Each day you can go to the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s website (fcnl.org).  Look under “Act Online” to find out which congressional office to target on the issue of the day.  The laws being debated, the issues you are passionate about, the congressman or senator you want to influence, all that information will be readily available.
This is a historic moment for action and activism.  Let’s move together in concert. And make history again.

Nuchhi Currier
President

  Women’s March on Washington
January 16, 2017

The Woman’s National Democratic Club (WNDC) continues its legacy of pressing for women’s and girls’ empowerment by participating actively in the Women’s March on Washington (WMW).  We see this not so much as a protest but as a promise for future action.

WNDC has become the official Partner and Clubhouse for the WMW, and is offering four days of programs (January 18-21) that support our mutual goals (see: www.womensmarchevents.com). WNDC founding members marched to ensure the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, and so we shall march again to honor our mothers and to secure the future of our daughters.

We stand for peace, justice and equality. We promise to sustain the momentum created by this march into the next day and the long haul. We believe that successful movements are everyday acts of resistance.

Nuchhi Currier
President

Post-Election Message 
November 11, 2016

This much-anticipated week is now ending. Americans went to the polls on Tuesday with the generally accepted conventional wisdom that it would be a close race with Hillary Clinton the likely winner.  In Washington, Virginia, New York, Nevada, California, and Utah that prediction came true.   The other states, including some key swing states, slowly started to show an alarming trend.  By about 1.30 am on the 9th the results were shockingly clear.  The Republican candidate, Donald Trump had an unmistakable lead.

We at the Woman’s National Democratic Club had been a major hub for Democratic campaign activities.  In the last two months thousands of activists and well-wishers had been streaming in, all day and all night, to engage in GOTV activities. Judging by the enthusiasm and commitment of these volunteers and just the sheer numbers it was hard to imagine that Election Day results would not go for Clinton. Many members fanned out in key battleground states to knock on doors.  Spirits were high and hope was alive.

So what happened on November 8?  The ground shifted beneath the feet of not only committed Democrats but also the Republican campaign itself.  Against all odds, Donald Trump won the presidency and his party retained control of the Senate.  The Democrats picked up two more seats in the Senate ensuring a narrowly divided body. The House was never in serious play anyway.  So now Republicans control Congress and the White House.

As Democrats emerge from this seismic shock and results become clear it is time to take stock.  Voter turnout was only 53%.  Of these 25.6% voted for Clinton and 25.5% voted for Trump. Clinton got 10 million less votes than Obama in 2008 and 6 million less than in 2012.  In the Electoral College Trump got a clear victory.

Some commonly held truisms got debunked.  The economically disenfranchised were not the only ones that elected Trump, the wealthy played their part. Think tax policy.  Captains of industry were solidly in this camp.  Another group that voted for Trump over Clinton were older Americans. 58% of the White vote went to Trump. Shockingly 53% of the White women’s vote went to him too.  Cuban Americans voted for Trump.  Thus, on the Democratic side the overall women’s vote (53% to 41%), the 68% Hispanic vote, the 88% Black vote and 68% of the Jewish vote turned out to be insufficient to ensure victory.

The Democratic Party will now try to figure out why they missed the signs.  Why was the media misled?  Why were the pollsters and pundits all wrong?  And then figure out where to go from here.

The stunned members of the WNDC who had been waiting to pop champagne bottles before midnight on Tuesday are slowly coming back to life.  The questions they are asking are many.  How could a message of hate, misogyny and divisiveness win over one of clear-eyed competence and experience?  What did we do wrong and what do we do now.

The answer lies in positive thinking and regrouping.  There are many groups of women who are now feeling rudderless and dispirited.  We need to invite them in and discuss clear strategies as we move forward.  We need to see this as an opportunity.  On Election night dozens of guests promised to join the club to help us in our efforts on behalf of Democratic women.  We need to devise a clear plan to energize our base.  Protests will not bring the desired results, activism will.  We have an opportunity to become a hub for progressive forces by opening our doors to other groups.  Some have already approached us.  We can do with them what we achieved with the DNC and Hillary-related groups prior to the election.  It is time to shake off our grief and move forward with determination.  We are in a unique position to start a movement to ensure success for women and for Democrats in the years ahead.  As we approach our 100th anniversary we want to be in the same powerful position as when we started on this journey with the Suffragists.  We reiterate our commitment to globalism, multiculturalism and diversity. And we need to do all we can ensure success for the Democratic Party and democratic principles in the coming years.

Nuchhi Currier
President

 

 

 

 

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