Woman's National Democratic Club

Messages From the President

Dear Club members and friends,

I take up the role of President at a specific moment of opportunity for the Woman’s National Democratic Club: a moment when those of us privileged to live in an economically vibrant city and benefit from superpower-driven access to vaccines, can take off our masks, check our privilege, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.
As we move into the heat of summer and a new fiscal year, I am keeping in mind four streams of focus:

1. Reopening the WNDC as an awesome 21st century institution. Following COVID-19 shutdowns, the Club is economically extant thanks to bold advocacy by leadership to participate in funding programs, a creative and resilient staff, and a generous and patient membership base. Like any entity that has come through a tough time, we are depleted in some dull but essential ways—so I’ve got an unglamorous list of infrastructure maintenance (think: upgrading IT systems and Wi-Fi, servicing AC units, etc.) to shore up basic operations.

2. Re-engaging with our members (current and future!) and our community. We are all feeling a push to re- start our activities. As much as Zoom represented a lifeline for our programs, committees, and GOTV activism, we sorely miss the real connective tissue of regular face-to-face interactions. Progress is underway on this front, too: plans are afoot for “hybrid” events that can connect in-person speaker programs and meetings with remote participants, the Young Dem population is buzzing, and the clubhouse is seeing bookings tick up.

3. Innovating wisely and creatively. Beyond the restoration of amenities, where do we go next? What new ground can WNDC break as a social club, a networking hub, a space for working professionals, a voice in DC and national political discourse? There’s no reason not to dream big and pursue exciting ventures. I welcome your ideas!

4. Being the strongest ally possible in the challenges of our times. While we stayed physically in place in 2020, many expanded our consciousness to confront our roles in perpetuating systemic racism, and as a Board we must put the Club’s decisions and priorities in the context of a journey toward justice. I foresee discussions about partnerships, scholarships, accessibility, language, programming, and more. We can call for an honest examination of WNDC’s historical missteps so that we may enter our second century clear-eyed about our direction. Everyone’s participation in this work is invited and needed.

Let us re-knit the ties: no matter how awkward we all became during our long social hibernation, you are encouraged to step back into the Club for a weekday lunch, a summer brunch, a challenging committee discussion, a stimulating program, a stroll through the exhibits, or a productive afternoon working in one of Whittemore House’s upstairs spaces. The mission ahead will call for strength. Come for the regeneration and help inspire WNDC to reopen in the best way for you!

With warmest regards,

Laura Whitaker
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

“Truth over Lies, Light over Darkness”

We worked hard to elect this winning team. And we are now reaping the fruits of our labor. We are witnessing exponential change in the trajectory of our nation. People are once more the central focus. And the common man’s everyday concerns are being addressed. The era of compassionate leadership is here!

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inherited many crises needing urgent action. They did not wait. Immediately after their swearing-in they worked on a series of swift and sweeping changes. Biden kicked off his presidency by naming the most racially diverse Cabinet in US history and focused on social justice and inequality. He signed executive orders to help bridge gaps in home-ownership between people of color and White people, strengthened the fight against bigotry faced by Asian Americans, and he repealed a Trump-era ban on transgender Americans joining the military.

He put together an ambitious economic plan (Build Back Better) that promises to “own the future” by expanding the role of government in American life. President Biden and his highly competent, experienced, and motivated team widened the definition of infrastructure to include investments in home and child care, an expansion of broadband, and a restructuring of the tax system in addition to more traditional public works projects like roads, bridges, and railways.

He addressed “the existential crisis of our time,” climate change, with plans to reduce carbon emissions by investing in green infrastructure and technologies, electric vehicles, and clean energy, as well as a clean electricity standard that aims to ​decarbonize the nation’s power sector by 2035—and the whole economy by mid-century. At a White House virtual climate summit with world leaders, Biden pledged to cut US carbon emissions by at least half by 2030. And the President addressed the COVID crisis by signing a $1.9 trillion relief bill into law.

Many of these efforts have paid off even before Biden’s 100th day in office:  the administration reached the milestones of 200 million coronavirus shots delivered and vaccine eligibility opened to everyone 16 and over. Unemployment is falling, with the jobless claims hitting new lows, evictions and foreclosures and student loan repayments paused, schools are re-opening for in-person learning, and city and street life is beginning to inch towards normality.

Biden’s job approval rating stands at 53%. He has reversed 62 Trump orders, the unemployment rate is down to 6%, COVID-19 cases are down by 73%, 140 million Americans have already been vaccinated, 11 judges have been nominated, and foreign policy has changed dramatically. We are back as a central player in the world by rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, NATO, and WHO. The US–China relationship is being reset, and our relationships with Afghanistan, Iran, and Russia are being re-evaluated. President Biden has committed to ending our longest war by withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan before September 11. He has also moved to salvage the US–Iran nuclear deal put in place in 2015 under President Barack Obama, which the Trump administration abandoned in 2018. And he recently issued sweeping sanctions and diplomatic expulsions against Russia in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2020 US election, its SolarWinds cyberattack, and its continued occupation and “severe rights abuses” in Crimea.

The President ended Trump’s “Muslim travel ban,” proposed a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and returned deportation priorities to the status quo in the Obama administration, which focused on people who committed crimes other than entering the country illegally. And on his first day, President Biden threw his support behind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows people who came to the US as undocumented children to stay in the country.

Biden explained his approach to governance as a matter of effective timing. “Presidents have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they’re doing.”

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

DC residents gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza, across from the White House, on April 20, 2021 to hear the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis with trepidation and fear in their hearts. They had been demonstrating throughout the summer of 2020, despite the threat of COVID-19, since the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Cries of “I can’t breathe” became a national chorus as millions agitated to bring an end to systemic racist baiting and killing of African Americans by the police. The death of Mr. Floyd spurred the largest civil rights protests in decades.  

As countless videos and recordings of police brutality flashed across the world stage, African Americans re-lived the indignity and horror of seeing their wounds of victimization exposed. And today they gathered across the country, in solidarity with their felled brethren as the verdict of the 10-day trial was announced. A collective sigh of relief greeted the news that Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He faces decades in prison and will be sentenced by Judge Cahill in about 8 weeks.

The most compelling piece of evidence, which likely swung the vote against Chauvin, was the video recorded by 17-year-old Darnella Frazier on her cellphone and uploaded to Facebook in May, igniting international protests over racism and police abuse. But, despite the global outrage and overwhelming evidence, it wasn’t until the verdict was read that people believed justice would be done.

And, justice was served. In addition to the sentencing of the murderer and compensation for the victim’s family, the US Department of Justice will undertake a sweeping investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a “pattern and practice” of illegal conduct, including whether officers routinely used excessive force during protests.

A wide-ranging police-reform bill bearing George Floyd’s name passed the US House of Representatives last month. It would ban chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and racial and religious profiling for federal law enforcement officers and put an end to qualified immunity. The bill would also encourage states to follow suit by making those bans a condition of federal aid.

But, despite the groundbreaking outcome of the trial, the political distance between the two political parties remains unchanged. The issues of racial justice and police accountability remain charged subjects. Republicans are in denial of facts—that African Americans are imprisoned at five times the rate of white Americans and twice the rate of Hispanic Americans. That African Americans make up less than 14% of the population, but account for almost 24% of fatal shootings by the police. (Police kill about 1,000 people in the US annually.) That Black drivers were about 20% more likely to be stopped than white drivers and when stopped, they were searched up to two times as often as white drivers, although they were statistically less likely to be carrying illegal items. In 2019, African Americans made up sossme 13% of the US population, but represented almost a third of the country’s prison population.

Unlike the previous president whose racist dog-whistles brought death and destruction to the US Capitol in January 2021, President Biden has called racism a “stain on our Nation’s soul.” In the aftermath of this verdict and congressional action we dare hope for police reform and training that will reduce racially inspired violence. Too much blood has already been spilled, too many families destroyed, too many wills broken. The time for healing is now.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

As trees don fresh green leaves, bushes sprout brilliantly-hued flowers, and cherry blossoms celebrate spring in all their pink and white glory, we dare to hope. The year-long COVID winter appears to be receding, life is slowly coming back to normal, vaccinations are up, the number of sick is down, people are emerging into the sunlight after a long period of hibernation. The economy is opening up, jobless numbers are plummeting, and school openings are a real possibility this fall. People are again thinking of public celebrations. The days ahead are full of hope and promise.

The menacing events of the immediate past continue to haunt us, though. The 2020 election during a pandemic with disease and death stalking voters, renewed violence against African Americans, hate crimes against Asians, borders burgeoning with refugees seeking asylum, ideological divisions widening, a bloody insurrection following the victory of Democrats—the list of challenges is long. Mass shootings across the country have spiked. The extraordinary increase in gun sales in 2020, hate speech rising to a crescendo, and widening political polarization are all contributing factors. The effect of the Trump era’s divisive politics is still being felt as the Biden–Harris administration moves to reverse previous policies.

The WNDC continues to move forward having survived the 2020 challenge. We are hoping to resume in-house events soon. Our legendary garden lunches continue to delight, and we look forward to welcoming our members and friends to our beautiful clubhouse once again. There is so much to see. The art exhibit in the ballroom is spectacular, the Michelle Obama portraits are gracing the second-floor gallery, the balcony and adjacent copperwork are being attended to, and the renovated mirrors are glittering in anticipation of appreciative eyes. Our spring garden is ablaze with color and our kitchen fires lit to welcome you back!

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

March 2021 Letter From the President

The Biden administration passed The American Rescue Plan which can only be described as a rational, essential crisis-management plan with heart! The COVID-19 pandemic has created a national emergency not only because of a public health crisis but an economic crisis that has devastated families across the country. Almost 30 million Americans have contracted COVID- 19, and over half a million have died. The crisis spans big cities and small towns with too many Americans struggling to fight the disease while trying to eke out a living. The pandemic has also highlighted the extent of racial injustice in our healthcare system and our economy. With food insecurity increasing, small businesses cratering, and housing insecurity reaching epic propor-

tions, the nation remains in a deep economic crisis. A crisis that is begging for the containment of this virus as we provide succor and support to those affected disproportionately by it.

The 2021 American Rescue Plan, the second anti-poverty plan since Lyndon Johnson’s fifty years ago, is geared towards changing the course of the pandemic while addressing racial injustice and economic deprivation. Johnson initiated Medicare; Medicaid; food stamps (SNAP); aid for women, infants, and children (WIC); school breakfasts; Pell Grants; Head Start; and Section 8 housing vouchers. Biden enhances those and simultaneously tackles the gargantuan problem of the pandemic. The plan mounts a national vaccination program to combat COVID-19, by setting up community vaccination sites nationwide, scaling up testing and tracing, eliminating supply shortage problems, investing in high-quality treatments, providing paid sick leave to contain the spread of the virus, addressing healthcare disparities, and making the necessary investments to meet the president’s goal of safely reopening schools and commerce. And, more importantly, it addresses the issue of child poverty.

Working families will receive $1,400 per-person checks across America to ease their financial burden. The bill will also extend a $300 per week unemployment insurance boost until September 6 and expand the child tax credit for a year. Direct housing and nutrition assistance will be provided, with expanded access to safe and reliable childcare and affordable healthcare. Extension of unemployment insurance will give families an emergency boost this year. The jobs of the first responders, transit workers, and other essential workers will be protected and emergency funding will be provided to upgrade federal information technology infrastructure and address the recent breaches of federal government data systems.

Schools will be provided the resources they need to reopen safely, Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds expanded, emergency paid leave even for federal workers assured, unemployment insurance benefits increased, the 15% Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increased, and families protected from eviction or foreclosure. It will provide help to women, infants, and children through WIC, a multi-year investment in a special supplemental nutrition plan. A partnership with restaurants will feed families and keep restaurant workers on the job. Frontline essential workers will receive hazard pay retroactively. High-quality, affordable child care will be expanded, tax credits will be increased to help cover the cost of childcare; and extra support will be given to states to cover the additional cash assistance that Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients need. Health coverage will be preserved and expanded, with adequate funding for veterans. The increased risk of gender-based violence will be addressed, including supplemental funding for key federal programs that protect survivors.

Funding is also provided for states, local governments, territories, and tribal governments. There are protections for educators, public transit workers, and first responders. Small businesses will be acquire funding they need to reopen and rebuild. The plan also provides protections for public transportation and aims to modernize federal information technology to protect against future cyber attacks.

It is an ambitious plan that attempts to redress many wrongs of societal injustice and economic inequality. Every Democrat voted for it, while no Republican did. They had happily passed a bill under Trump that cut taxes for the rich. This bill does exactly the opposite. It is an attempt to close the income gap a little—a small step towards a gigantic goal. Altruism, empathy and concern are back in focus. We can make this world a better place, one bill at a time!

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

March 8, 2021

Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day? It started in 1908 wheb garment workers in NYC took to the street demanding shorter work hours, pay equity, and even suffrage. The following year their mantle was picked up by the Socialist party. By 1910 the movement went global. More than 100 women from 17 countries agreed unanimously to start International Women’s Day. The next year, in1911, more than 1 million women and men in Europe marched and attended International Women’s Day rallies or demonstrations. Women in Russia took a stand for Bread and Peace in the midst of war, in 1917. When the czar abdicated four days later and women were granted suffrage, the demonstrators were given credit for sparking the Russian Revolution. The United Nations chose March 8 to mark International Women’s Day as a holiday in 1975. Today, International Women’s Day is recognized in more than 100 countries all over the globe.

Today as we witness the rise of women across the world, with impressive numbers of national leaders, there are still far too many women and girls suffering from economic, cultural, and political victimization. To date there have been a total of just over 90 elected female leaders around the world. Currently, 21 women sit as the head of state or government in 193 countries. Clearly there is a long way to go to achieve gender parity. While progress may be slow, more woman than ever are running for power, and winning, with the total having steadily increased in each of the past decades.

According to the Council on Foreign Relation’s (CFR) Women’s Power Index, comparing countries gender performance in political leadership across the world, on a scale in which a score of 100 represents women having at least 50% representation in all levels of government, Costa Rica occupies first place, with a rating of 74; then follows Rwanda (70), Sweden (69), Finland (68), Iceland (68) and Nicaragua (67). Belarus scores 37, while the US scores just 17. New Zealand, where both contenders for the top government job were women, scores a mere 51, while other nations touting themselves as champions of equality, such as Canada, Germany, and the UK sit even lower still.

International Women’s Day is a call to “choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.” It is about celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness, influencing behavior, smashing stereotypes, challenging bias, reinforcing commitment, and launching initiatives to address challenges that seem to be embedded within societal psyches. Patriarchal power structures are difficult to dislodge, but women are breaking glass ceilings every day. As more women continue to enter politics, increasing numbers of studies continue to shine a light on the impacts that increasing female representation, even in fractional amounts, can have. Power systems with greater gender equality have previously been found to focus more on health and education and even have a lasting impact upon the success of peace negotiations. Women are more likely to cross party lines to find common ground. A study of the US Senate found that women senators more frequently worked across the aisle and passed more legislation than their male counterparts. And in Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant women’s groups joined forces to establish a powerful political party that made progress across religious divides during the peace efforts in the late 1990s.

“There are several barriers to gender parity in political representation, including deeply ingrained gender biases, often fueled by a pervasive belief that a woman cannot win due to the sexism of other voters,” Rachel Vogelstein, director of the CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy program, told The Independent. The solution would require passing laws to criminalize violence against women in politics, and training observers and authorities to monitor and report attacks against female voters and candidates. Political parties should also be encouraged to adopt codes of conduct, while tech firms should identify and remove intimidating content, including threats of rape, and provide resources to protect female candidates and leaders.

We, at the WNDC, continue our quest for gender parity by working hard to help elect women leaders across the nation. Our speaker programs continue to shed light on the existing inequality in power structures, and our policy papers remain focused on the inadequacies of prevailing norms. As we celebrate our first woman vice president, we are keenly aware of the hurdles to female representation and empowerment embodied by misogynistic attacks on our elected leaders. We may have “come a long way, baby,” but there is still a distance to travel before we achieve gender parity. International Women’s Day is an annual reminder to us all that the fight must go on.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

February 19, 2021

“I learned that courage was not absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” —Nelson Mandela

We saw our elected Republican leaders cowering in the days leading up to February 13, 2021. We saw their craven pandering to a demagogue’s false cries of foul play. We saw them caving in to fear—fear of losing their grip on power. Fear of the 74 million who voted for a corrupt, contemptible man who did everything to subvert the democratic norms of our nation. Only seven Republican senators exhibited courage in the face of an impregnable wall of deceit and cowardice. That Saturday was a sad day in America— the day our illusions died.

If we look for a silver lining on this otherwise bleak horizon. we might turn our eyes to the impeccable, if disturbing, presentation by the impeachment managers. Representative Jamie Raskin, the Lead Impeachment Manager, delivered an impassioned closing speech calling for the conviction of the former president after 2 days of explicit videos and searing testimony of the Capitol riot on January 6. Unfortunately, the compelling evidence of videos of the Capitol being trashed, 150 law enforcement officers being wounded, 5 dead, the destruction of federal and personal property, and the desecration of a citadel of democracy in our nation was not enough to sway the weak and compromised leadership of the GOP. The fix was in; the verdict unsurprising.

The fact remains that Donald J. Trump is the only president in US history to be impeached twice in one presidential term. And that the final vote on February 13, 2021 was the most bipartisan rebuke ever delivered in an impeachment process. Trump incited insurrection with his words and tweets preceding and then following the November 3, 2020 election, one of the most fair and successful elections in our nation’s history. The result of his rising incendiary rhetoric culminated in the bloody riots of January 6, 2021. Moreover, as demonstrated by the prosecution, this incitement of insurrection met the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for conviction and disqualification from future federal elected office.

The vote would likely have been cast differently if the ballot had been secret, shielding those Republican senators who were afraid of political repercussions. The desire to appease the base, to avoid being defeated in upcoming primary elections was too strong a motivation to permit a principled stand. Cowardice, equivocation, and compromise won the day. Those who voted against conviction of the ex-president knew that history would judge them, but that was too far in the future to influence their decisions. They were content to hide in the crowd, to allow the demon of despotism and the threats of a bully to wash over them.

Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. The nay- voters proved that they lacked both the courage and the will to stand against the crowd, they were too weak to buck the trend that fateful day in February. And, they will live with the consequences of this decision for a long time to come. The immortal words of JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” never rang truer. These words, however, did not make it into the consciousness of the weak and compromised leadership of the Republican party. The country, as a consequence, will suffer many more years of lies, deceit, plunder, and chaos at the hand of the Trump family and their witless enablers.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

February 1 , 2021

“For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.” –Amanda Gorman

We rode through four dark years towards a faint light that became brighter as our resolve grew stronger. The presidential election on November 3, 2020 brought in the promise of change, and the results of the January 5th runoff election in Georgia were like a sunburst. The pall cast by an unscrupulous president and a compliant, compromised Republican party was about to dissipate. All conspiracy theories and challenges had been thwarted, Joe Biden and the first Black/South Asian Vice President, Kamala Harris, would be sworn in on January 20th, with a Democratic House and Senate.

And then January 6th happened. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building at his urging, forcing an emergency recess in the Congressional proceedings to officially certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. A planned series of highly unusual Republican objections, based on false allegations of widespread voter fraud in 6 states, were launched at the behest of Trump, led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley around 1pm. Then the terrorists struck.

There was chaos and mayhem. Security lines were breached, doors and windows broken, violence erupted as thousands of inflamed rioters broke into the inner sanctums of the Capitol, seconds before lawmakers escaped to safety. The insurrectionists included Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, members of the military, convicted criminals, Proud Boys, Oath-keepers, Three-percenters and QAnon members. Heavily armed, they came to kill–judging by their chants and the noose they set up, to hang V.P. Pence, and by their calls to assassinate Speaker Pelosi.

When Congressional proceedings resumed around 8pm, 5 people had died amid major destruction. Shockingly, 147 Republicans still challenged the results already certified by legislatures of their own party. Such has been the hold of their corrupt boss, Donald J. Trump. But the results were certified and ultimately order was brought about in the capital. The reluctant departure of the losing incumbent on January 20 was lost in the pomp and circumstance of the beautifully organized Inaugural festivities in a fortified Capitol and Mall. The grand finale was a spectacular fireworks display after a two-hour celebration by artists and political celebrities. And thus there was light.

As we attempt to move past the ugliness of the attempted coup we cannot help but remember that candidate Hillary Clinton raised these issues in her debates with Trump during the 2016 election cycle. She pointed out his “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” views, repeatedly. She wasn’t the only one. Even DJT’s Republican Primary election opponents warned us about his bigotry, misogyny, unscrupulousness and loose association with the truth. That insight is now in plain view. Trump has given voice and validation to the worst instincts of a gullible electorate. As we battle coronavirus, we must also defeat the Trump virus of lies, hatred and conspiracy theories. With a second impeachment trial coming up the Biden/Harris administration needs all our support. We want justice served. There must be accountability. Criminal acts must be punished to deter future insurrections. Democracy is fragile but resilient. It is our duty to uphold it. We must convict Donald Trump. And move undaunted towards fulfilling the Democratic agenda. The time to act resolutely is now.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

January 7, 2021

January 6, 2021 dawned on the wings of hope. The Georgia run-off elections the day before looked really promising. Reverend Raphael Warnock was declared a winner and Mr. Jon Ossoff, though a little behind Senator Perdue, was poised to win once the balance of the votes from primarily Blue counties were called. The Democrats were looking at a trifecta and spirits were high. The joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes and confirm Joe Biden’s presidential win was starting at 1pm. The normally routine procedure was expected to be not without its moment of drama with a number of Republicans expected to voice dissent, but the ultimate result was never in question. President-elect Biden would be pronounced the winner. The proceedings in Congress devolved into mayhem and chaos very soon after they began. At the instigation of the sitting President, an unruly mob, incited by Trump to stop the ratification process of Biden’s electoral votes, stormed the Capitol buildings. Breaking down windows & doors, the marauding crowd advanced unchecked causing our elected leaders to hide and take cover. The people’s house was desecrated. Shots were fired. People got hurt. Some died. A shocked nation, and the world, saw this drama unfold on their television screens. Even though order was restored within hours, the space cleared allowing Congress to resume their interrupted business, the reverberations of shock have lasted into the present day. The actions of the first family and their unscrupulous lawyer will live in infamy for evermore. There are videos of the gloating Trump family, behind the scenes, prior to their incendiary addresses to the crowds who had travelled from across the nation. The speeches, full of messages of hate and lies about electoral irregularities, are recorded for posterity. You hear Trump tell the roused mob to run over the Capitol. And then when all hell breaks loose, Trump refuses to release the National Guard. There was obvious criminal intent on the part of the sitting President. Now there are calls for the invocation of the 25th amendment and/or impeachment.We at the WNDC, dismayed as we are by this shocking turn of events, want the focus back on our successes of the previous day. We want to express our joy at the triumph of Democrats in Georgia. This win is seismic in nature because it gives Democrats control of the Senate. With both houses of Congress and the White House in Democratic hands, the Biden/Harris agenda can move forward. The nation is looking for justice. We need to heal from the wounds of the previous four years. Important policy issues like Pandemic Control, Healthcare Equity, Climate change & Environmental Justice, Gun Violence Prevention, Racial Justice, Poverty Alleviation, among others, can now move forward.We worked hard for these runoff races. We scheduled 6 extra Winning Wednesdays after the Presidential election, with 20-45 activists assisting us at each. We wrote 2400 letters with Vote Forward and the Sierra Club. We made hundreds of calls with Reclaim Our Vote and made fundraising appeals for the candidates and helped raise money for the Movement Voter Project Georgia Fund. Our motivated and talented GOTV team deserves kudos as do the thousands of activists across the nation who realized what was at stake. The result is that the first black Senator and the first Jewish Senator have been elected in Georgia. So, even though the next two weeks seem scary if the incumbent in the White House is allowed to remain there, we can see a very bright light at the end of this menacing tunnel. We hope that our elected leaders will finally rise to the occasion and remove the psychologically impaired, malignant narcissist before he strikes one final blow.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

December 23, 2020

The year started on a high note—with two major events on the horizon. A celebration of the women’s suffrage centennial was one. What a milestone! After almost a century of protest, women gained the right to cast their own vote, to pick their leaders, and to run for leadership positions themselves. And now another century later they entered 2020 with renewed vigor to tackle persistent issues such as sexual harassment and sexual violence, reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, hoping to finally achieve equal participation in national affairs.

And then there was the presidential election. We celebrated the six women on the Democratic ticket for president of the United States. And we hailed the 643 women who ran for Congress: 393 (61%) were Democrats and 267 (42%) were women of color. The culmination was an election that gave Democrats the White House and the first female Vice President, she too a woman of color! And the most racially, ethnically, and gender diverse Congress in our 244-year history.

Just as this year marked the end of a 4-year governance nightmare, it also saw an awakening in America on a scale not seen before. Racial justice and police brutality took center-stage. Cries of Black Lives Matter were heard across the nation as protestors demanded action. Existential issues like climate change and assault weapons ban became a rallying cry and Republican voter suppression tactics spurred a revolt leading to the largest voter turnout in the history of our nation. The tragic loss of a feminist icon like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ensuing national outpouring of grief further strengthened our resolve to continue fighting for gender parity and progressive values. The incoming Biden administration is setting a record in diversity in its cabinet picks. The promised roll-back of the regressive policies of the Trump era is adding to a celebratory mood. And the crowning glory is the creation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine within one year, another record-setting example of scientific success.

Amidst the calamities of death, disease, and economic deprivation shone the kinder, gentler face of humanity. Food distribution networks proliferated. A larger awareness grew of the yawning income gap in our populations, the deficits in our educational system, and the disparity in access to better healthcare options. Just as dependence on electronic media grew, loneliness melted into self-reliance, books became our new best friends, and people suddenly learnt the value of exercise and the great outdoors. The kitchen once again became the focal point of existence in our rediscovered homes, as we Zoomed in and out of our new virtual school or workplace. As people skidded further apart from each other, the larger world slid ever closer, on electronic skates.

We enter the new year with anticipation and hope. Change is in the air. We will bring into this rebirth of ours, as we slowly emerge from our cocoons, a gentler sensibility, a greater sense of the value of community and an appreciation of the physical world around us. We will perhaps wonder why we hadn’t stepped off the spinning merry-go-round earlier, to hear the birds chirp and to feel more keenly the gentle evening breeze. And then the thought might stray into our minds that 2020 wasn’t such a bad year after all.

The nearer the dawn, the darker the night. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

December 11, 2020

We live in unsettling times. Weeks after election day, and even though the election was called for VP Biden, the incumbent continues to lodge legal challenges in different states. Most are dismissed or dropped, but the President’s strident accusations of a stolen election grow louder. The Trump campaign has lost legal challenges in Michigan and Pennsylvania and withdrawn one in Arizona. Even the law firms who were working for the Trump campaign have dropped it as a client. However, Trump’s loyal base hangs on to his every word, and chants of “stop the steal” echoed across DC on November 14, where they held rallies. They, along with their leader, do not allow reality to intrude on their fantasies of electoral misconduct. The nation still awaits a concession speech from a cornered, scared President in denial.

It seems not to matter that President-elect Joe Biden has won a total of 306 electoral votes, flipping five states in the process. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes catapulted Biden/Harris over the finish line, resulting in 276 total votes and the win, on Saturday, November 14. In Georgia, the close finish with Biden leading, resulted in a recount. The race was recently called for Biden/Harris and was powered by high turnout among Black voters in Atlanta, and some white suburban voters in the surrounding counties. Now the question remains whether the two Senate runoff races in Georgia will put the Democrats over the winning line or not. With the Senate in Republican hands and the Supreme Court 6–3 in their favor, the likelihood of the new administration achieving its goals will be that much harder without these wins. Thus, future success depends largely on big Democratic voter turnout in Georgia on January 5 to make the Senate 50–50, with the Vice President as the tie-breaker.

Once the spurious lawsuits are done and the Biden/Harris team takes charge, there is much to contend with. The COVID-19 pandemic requires a national strategy to bring it under control. The need for a new stimulus package is urgent. Economic recovery, education reform, racial equity, healthcare reform immigration policy, climate change and taxes are all issues needing attention and re-direction. Foreign policy issues like the Iran nuclear deal, a coherent China policy, the ever-evolving Middle East conundrum, public diplomacy, and human rights issues all need a reset.

Then there is the long-term big picture—issues that have boiled to the surface during the 4 years of the Trump administration. The importance of addressing presidential conflicts of interest and pardon power abuse. Tackling the growing cancer of foreign influence on elections aided and abetted by social media, even as it becomes a global phenomenon.

Trump’s assaults on the press with a co-opted law enforcement apparatus have created a toxic mix—how will future presidents be controlled in these areas. There are other festering problems, like Special Counsel procedures, FBI investigations of presidents and presidential campaigns, the role of the White House Counsel, war powers, control of nuclear weapons, violation of the emolument’s clause, domestic emergency powers, how to handle an outgoing president’s possible crimes, etc. The list is long and daunting. The solutions will not be easy. But they must be addressed, and resolutions found. Otherwise, the incoming administration stands to lose credibility at home and abroad. America has to come back from the brink. The Trump-tarnish must be washed off. It will be a long, hard road.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

November 9, 2020

History was made this weekend. On Saturday, November 7, four fraught days after election night, Joe Biden was pronounced the president-elect, who will become the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Kamala Harris, now vice president-elect, will be the first woman, first Black American, and first South Asian American to ascend to that position. This is historic—100 years after women won the right to vote and 55 years after people of color achieved that goal, we will see a woman of color in the White House. This is a big leap propelling us towards a representative democracy. 

Over the past 4 years we have seen our national values attacked and eroded. Democracy, freedom of the press, truth, and civil discourse have been the casualties of an unbridled Trump administration. With some of our most basic institutions dismantled, white supremacists and anarchists emboldened, the edifice of our democracy has crumbled and our standing in the world vastly diminished. Yet, despite active voter suppression efforts and a surging pandemic, Americans turned out in record numbers to vote. 

As we go to press Trump is continuing to stoke the fires of hatred, making Biden’s call for people on both sides “to unite, to heal, to come together as a nation” harder. Biden, burnished by endless personal tragedies and defeats in earlier runs for president, now fortified by a surging affirmation of minorities and disaffected Republicans, seems uniquely suited to this historic national moment—a moment when our country’s wounds are deep and raw. Biden seems to understand that leadership sometimes means simply showing humanity in oneself and seeing it in others. In the selfish, hubris-ridden 4 years we have just endured, we have forgotten what compassionate leadership can be. Biden and Harris are showing us that with simple dignity and empathy. 

“The battle [is] to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot,” Biden said. “That’s all they’re asking for. A fair shot.” And in this quest for decency, fairness, and democracy, he chose his running mate well. A Black, Asian-American woman, Kamala Harris brings her own skills and constituency to the ticket. A former attorney general of California and current senator from that state, she becomes the second-most-powerful person in United States government. The expected attacks by racists and misogynists rose like soap bubbles, but dissipated in thin air. In this centennial year of women’s suffrage in America, there is the sweet smell of vindication that no amount of mean-spirited rhetoric can diminish. Kamala Harris’ presence on the world stage speaks of the influence of Black women in our democracy. Her rise reflects the intellectual might of historically Black colleges and universities and their commitment to telling the story of African Americans as central to our nation’s narrative.  

The road ahead will be long and it will be hard. We have an out-of-control COVID-19 pandemic and a hobbled economy with soaring unemployment and growing food insecurity in this land of plenty. We are facing the ravages of global warming in the form of fires, floods, and other natural disasters. We have the challenges of kids out of school, remote learning with unequal access to technology, and long unemployment lines. We have a bitterly divided country. Intolerance and suspicion abound. The art of listening to one another has been lost. 

But what we have gained today is HOPE. We know today that together we can work to address these issues, to find redress to these problems. We have regained faith in our government apparatus. But we need to learn to reach out. We can agree to disagree, agreeably! The current impasse between opposing ideologies is unsustainable. Joe Biden is just the man to address that. But he will need our help. We must work hard to win the Senatorial run-off elections in Georgia on January 5 so entrenched opposition by the forces of negativity are not allowed to hobble his progress. The Supreme Court has already been compromised. We need a Democratic majority in the Senate if we are to see this country move forward. The world is watching and hoping for us to succeed. We need to do all we can to help this dream team achieve greatness.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

September 24, 2020

The year 2020 will long be remembered for the disasters it brought in its wake. We were anticipating a momentous year for different reasons. We were all geared up to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage. A presidential election year is always exciting with the promise of change and this year in particular we hoped to win the Senate and the White House. We were optimistically planning our political activities, hoping to build on the successes of the midterms and the 2019 Virginia elections which heralded the emergence of women political leaders across the nation.

And then came the pandemic, creeping up on us stealthily. By mid-March the country had shut down. With mounting infections and fatalities, growing unemployment lines, shuttered restaurants and shops, the misery index of the population started to grow as rapidly as food and income insecurity. The cynical and callous response by the Trump administration resulted in making America great in terms of the number of dead and infected. We broke the world record. In the midst of this unprecedented crisis, candidates had to adjust their political calendars and tactics, with uncertainty the only certain factor.

We had to deal with catastrophic natural disasters in addition to the pandemic: hurricanes, fires, and flooding, a direct result of the ravages of climate change. And then in this summer of our confinement and distress, civil rights issues took center stage with the Black Lives Matter movement exploding with each new case of police brutality and racial baiting. And still COVID-19 infections and deaths kept mounting. Schools and businesses remained closed into the fall and in this disastrous mix the political season started heating up.

As we approach October, a month before the most important election in decades, we are confronted with another tragedy. The passing of a feminist icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And the beginning of a possible constitutional crisis. Will the Republican majority in the Senate adhere to their own rules or will they exhibit the same lack of integrity and disregard for fair play as they have demonstrated in the last three years? This remains the question on every mind with justice and humanity hanging in the balance. There is so much at stake—the threat to Roe v Wade and to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Then there is the fate of Social Security, the rights of immigrants, education policy, foreign policy, and finally the threat to democracy itself. And in the background are the usual reverberations—interference by foreign actors in our elections, voter suppression and intimidation by the president and his henchman, proliferation of lies and propaganda, and manipulation of voters through social media platforms.

RBG leaves behind a powerful legacy. Her strategy of single-mindedly pursuing success resulted in landmark wins for women. A tragedy in this year of the Centennial of Suffrage, RBG’s death reminds us that our fight is never over.

Today as we brace ourselves for an ugly fight over her replacement by a ruthless and immoral majority leader of the Senate, we have only one recommendation, one suggestion, one admonition. VOTE: Just vote. Get everyone you know to vote. That is what will save the legacy of the heroic woman who dwarfed the giants around her. That is what RBG would ask of you. Just Vote.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

September 24, 2020

“INJUSTICE IS NOT ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH ACTION.
IT IS IN AN INACTION.” Marcus Aurelius

Armed citizens and trigger-happy law enforcement officers—a recipe for violence especially when racism is added to this vitriolic mix.

A frontline worker is shot five times in her own apartment by cops during a supposed drug heist. They break down her front door with a battering ram, her alarmed boyfriend shoots blindly at what he imagines are burglars. The officers start shooting. She gets five bullets in her body. She dies. She is Black. The three killers are White cops. There is a Grand Jury. The Attorney General of Louisville Kentucky announces the verdict. They absolve the cops—charging only one of them for shooting into neighboring apartments. Not for killing her.

September 23, 2020 will be remembered as the day justice was delayed. And denied. The systemic injustice in our law enforcement system allows racial discrimination to be practiced with impunity. More than six months after emergency medical worker, Breonna Taylor, was shot dead by police in her Louisville home, a grand jury charged not a single officer for their role in Taylor’s death. Former officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment and two other officers who opened fire were let off scot-free.

The result is predictable. After four months of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial targeting, citizens are back on the streets of America today. There are major protests across the nation. Did we expect a different result? How and when will this end? We are living in a world that is exploding around us. Justice and sanity are elusive concepts. We need to rein cops in. We need common-sense gun laws. We need judges who are interested in meting out justice, not pushing a partisan agenda. We can get all that if we vote. We can bring in lawmakers who will not be beholden to vested interests, lawmakers who will be on the side of the people and the law. There are less than 40 days to change our destiny. WE MUST VOTE!

“The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so.” Lois McMaster Bujold

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

September 19, 2020

Oh, how she fought. She fought to be taken seriously in law school, despite top grades. She fought to get a job in that bastion of male dominance—the US legal system. Kept out of law firms she ended up teaching law and fighting for justice for women. As the second woman on the US Supreme Court, she continued her fight for justice for the oppressed for 27 years. And finally, she fought for her life to maintain the precarious balance on the US Supreme Court.

A valiant crusader to the end, RBG leaves behind a powerful legacy. Her strategy of single-mindedly pursuing success resulted in landmark wins for women. A tragedy in this year of the Centennial of Suffrage, RBG’s death reminds us that our fight is never over. An architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, RBG became an icon for women in her 80s, starring in lead roles in a hit documentary, a biopic, and an operetta.

“I do think that I was born under a very bright star,” she said in an NPR interview. “Because if you think about my life, I get out of law school. I have top grades. No law firm in the city of New York will hire me. I end up teaching; it gave me time to devote to the movement for evening out the rights of women and men.”

Today as we brace ourselves for an ugly fight over her replacement by a ruthless and immoral majority leader of the Senate, we are reminded of the irreplaceability of “Notorious RBG.” We are also painfully reminded of the importance of the upcoming election. There is too much at stake. There is the threat to Roe v Wade; the threat to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Then there is the fate of Social Security, the rights of immigrants, education policy, foreign policy, and finally the threat to democracy itself.

We only have one recommendation, one suggestion, one admonition. VOTE. Just vote. Get everyone you know to vote. That is what will save the legacy of this diminutive yet heroic woman who dwarfed the giants around her. That is what the WNDC’s Eleanor Award recipient, the Notorious RBG would ask of you. Just vote!

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

September 1, 2020

The year 2020 dawned innocently enough. There were exciting events to plan. The presidential election was underway and America was celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage. January slid easily into February and then came March. Soft but uneasy rumblings of a spreading deadly virus became strident
shouts across the globe and by the middle of March countries started to shut down amid mounting infections and deaths. As months dragged on in isolation and fear, it became apparent that this was going to be a unique, be-masked, and isolationist election.

Normally National Conventions are glittering, multi-day affairs. A virtual one, stripped to its essentials by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic meltdown, made it hard to generate the same kind of energy.

The Democratic Convention, however, appeared to be tailor-made for Mr. Biden’s earnest and decent political message. The lack of glitz made for a more serious-minded presentation. The televised broadcasts gave voice to ordinary people recounting stories about lives affected by the pandemic, recession, and racism. Mr. Biden used his acceptance speech to highlight important issues, rather than play up the rhetoric that would have been expected in a packed hall. The convention focused more on persuasion of ordinary citizens than appealing to the base.

The four days of the Democratic Convention brought many memorable moments, from Kamala Harris’s historic nomination as vicepresident, to Michelle Obama’s admonition of Donald Trump. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama gave scathing reviews of the country under Trump. However, these comments always remained within context and the bounds of decency. The speakers called for addressing societal ills and bettering the lives of all.

America was experiencing “too much anger, too much fear, too much division,” said Vice-President Biden, referencing the four policy crises: the worst pandemic in a century, the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the biggest movement for social justice since the 1960s, and the undeniable threat of climate change. He promised “a path of hope and light.” Kamala Harris’s acceptance speech capped off a night of Democrats celebrating women’s suffrage and pleading with voters to protect American democracy.

And then came the Republican Convention—glitzy, brash, and strident. Exploding with too much anger, too much fear, and too much division. A stage production by the “Apprentice” team, it presented a fierce defense of Trump, followed by warnings about a dark future under Biden. The specter of communism and socialism was raised over and over. Racism as it exists in America was denied outright with Black speakers attesting to that. The threat to suburban Whites from dangerous minorities moving into their neighborhoods was highlighted. Protestors were depicted as marauding gangs bent upon destruction. Police brutality was denied, law enforcement officers presented to whitewash their transgressions. All red meat for the base, on whom the convention focused.

Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, the strident Guilfoyle, V.P. Pence, and Pompeo, all seemed to be speaking directly to Trump “to make his lonely soul feel affirmed.” The two Trump boys and daughter Tiffany painted a dystopian picture of America under Biden, while singing praises of their father. Melania Trump’s speech in the Rose Garden of the White House stressing her immigrant roots, and the staged immigrant swearing-in ceremony, were ironic given the anti-immigrant policies of her husband.

There was a direct contrast between the Democratic and Republican campaigns. While one stressed policy, substance, and heart, the latter was staged rhetoric and bombast. There is no 2020 Republican platform; too many of the speakers were Trump family members and the incumbent president chose to appear nightly—because he could. It is, as always, only about him—the country be damned! The wrecking ball of the Trump presidency and the sycophantic compliance of the Republican Senate has made it a battle for the soul of our nation, with huge consequences for the world at large.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

July 30, 2020

The US has always prided itself on being a nation of laws. The final recourse in cases that are divisive and politically charged would be a Supreme Court that is a fair arbiter. Courts must not be simple extensions of the political branches of the Government, averred Chief Justice Roberts in 2018. Some of the Supreme Court’s recent landmark decisions support this contention. Paramount among those are ones on abortion, gay and transgender rights, the fate of young immigrants known as Dreamers, and access to President Trump’s financial records.

With a majority conservative bench at the Supreme Court, the four liberal judges need support from the Republican-appointed members to succeed. And that is what happened in these cases. Trump appointee, Neil M. Gorsuch, and a George W. Bush appointee, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., each joined with liberal justices to defeat Trump administration priorities in these issues. Roberts has periodically sided with liberals on the court, including a case that preserved key parts of the Affordable Care Act and a case that rejected the Trump administration’s desire for a citizenship question in the 2020 US Census.

A survey taken by researchers at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Texas finds that the public generally supports the politically liberal position in all of those cases. Thus, these Supreme Court decisions reflect the will of the majority. Despite this, advocates and lawmakers need to remain skeptical. The conservative justices have proved time and again that they will continue to refuse to respect women’s and minorities’ rights. We need proactive legislative policies to advance health care access and equality for all.

The Chief Justice, for instance, made it clear in writing the opinion that he favors striking down the Louisiana law solely because of the precedent the court set four years ago in Texas, not out of respect for a person’s right to an abortion. To reinforce this point, in Trump v. Pennsylvania, the court sided with the Trump administration, by allowing virtually any employer or university to deny women birth control coverage based on the entity’s—not the woman’s—moral or religious beliefs, thereby threatening the health and financial security of women. Additionally, the recent SCOTUS decision depriving felons from voting is the fourth time that the court has refused to intervene to protect voting rights, despite an overwhelming public outcry.

The need to flip the Senate blue and to have a Democrat in the White House becomes more urgent. Chronic and mounting economic inequality, food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, voter suppression, police brutality, and access to equal justice for the average person hang in the balance. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health is failing, and Mitch McConnell is resolved to stack the courts with conservative judges. The future of this country will be decided on November 3 this year and we need to keep our eye on the ball. We cannot miss! It is the COURTS, stupid.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

July 20, 2020

Representative John Lewis left a profound mark on everyone he encountered. The Woman’s National Democratic Club was no exception. He visited us on April 2, 2019 to present the “Democratic Woman of the Year Award” to Representative Maxine Waters of California. A civil rights leader, a preacher of nonviolence, and a US Representative from Georgia, he spent more than three decades in Congress defending the crucial gains he had helped achieve for people of color. His reputation as keeper of the 1960s flame defined his career in Congress. His death leaves his followers and admirers in profound sorrow.

Born to impoverished Alabama sharecroppers, Mr. Lewis was a high school student in 1955 when he heard broadcasts by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that drew him to activism. Inspired by Dr. King and Rosa Parks to get into “good trouble,” John Lewis worked tirelessly to end hatred and division. “I believe race is too heavy a burden to carry into the 21st century. It’s time to lay it down. We all came here in different ships, but now we’re all in the same boat.”

Ever the optimist, he said, “There are still forces in America that want to divide us along racial lines, religious lines, sex, class. But we’ve come too far; we’ve made too much progress to stop or to pull back. We must go forward. And I believe we will get there.” And: “Sometimes I hear people saying, ‘Nothing has changed.’ Come and walk in my shoes.” His deep love for all of humanity and his staunch belief in the inherent value of all living things was evident in his relentless pursuit of justice.

Congressman Lewis came to be known as the “conscience of the Congress.” He led a bipartisan delegation of House and Senate members on civil rights pilgrimages sponsored by The Faith and Politics Institute that brought him to Montgomery, Alabama and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial. Though he often talked about the beatings he endured during the civil rights movement he had no inclination to nurse old wounds. Congressman Lewis felt there was too much to do. He held a sit-in on the floor of the US House of Representatives for gun control legislation and consistently spoke out in support of Black and Indigenous People, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and the poor.

Time magazine included him in a 1975 list of “living saints” headed by Mother Teresa. The New Republic in 1996 called him “the last integrationist,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Taylor Branch, said in an interview, that “John Lewis saw racism as a stubborn gate in freedom’s way, but if you take seriously the democratic purpose, whites as well as blacks benefit,” calling him “a rather lonely guardian of nonviolence.” It took a dozen years, but in 2003 he won authorization for construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall.

President Obama presented Congressman Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. Feeling a burning desire to teach young people the legacy of the civil rights movement, in 2013, Mr. Lewis began a trilogy in comic book form called “March.”

“I have been in some kind of fight—for freedom, equality, basic human rights—for nearly my entire life,” he said in a statement. “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said upon announcing his struggle with pancreatic cancer. His last public appearance came at Black Lives Matter Plaza with DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on June 7, two days after taping a virtual town hall online with former president Barack Obama. The entire nation mourns the passing of a civil rights icon.

Nuchhi Currier
President, Woman’s National Democratic Club

May 31, 2020

“A Riot is the Language of the Unheard” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The recent murder of a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, follows the slaying of a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, while jogging in Georgia; of Breonna Taylor, an EMT worker who was shot to death by police in her own home; and a white woman called the cops on a black man, Christian Cooper, in New York’s Central Park while she was violating the park’s leash law and he was innocently bird-watching. All these incidents are recent and most were captured on video. They are a grim reminder that 400 years of conscious, institutionalized racism, a by-product of slavery in America, is not easy to wipe out. America’s persistent racial bias was demonstrated not only by these incidents but also by the incongruously high death toll of minorities hit by the deadly coronavirus.

It is thus no surprise that protests broke out across the nation. In Minneapolis the police precinct where the murderers worked was breached and set ablaze, along with other businesses. In Colorado, shots were fired near the State House. At a protest in Louisville, seven people were shot. The streets of New York City and Los Angeles erupted, and in Washington DC the White House went into lockdown as demonstrators surrounded it.

The Woman’s National Democratic Club stands united in our collective disdain and disgust for the intentional and blatant targeting of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Freddie Gray, Eric Gardner, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, Philando Castille, Alton Stirling, and countless others. We are aghast at President Trump calling protesters “THUGS” and suggesting violence against them. This is the same man who called White Supremacists, who murdered an innocent woman and threatened violence against other innocent citizens, “very fine people.”

The WNDC echoes the clarion call to recognize that Black Lives Matter! Black men and women should never walk out of their home fearing never to return. No one should ever feel unsafe in their own homes or be afraid to go to a park or to church. We repeat, BLACK LIVES MATTER!

According to a statement by President Obama, “…We have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’—whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”

This year has already been catastrophically unsettling. In the broader context of the health emergency wreaked by COVID-19 and the resultant economic collapse highlighted by over 40 million unemployed and counting, we might be witnessing a rupture similar to the economic dislocation of the Great Depression and the social convulsions of 1968 combined.

Referring to endemic racism in our society, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Vice President Joe Biden said, “The original sin of this country still stains our nation today, and sometimes we manage to overlook it.” He called the USA “a country with an open wound.” It is up to us to heal that wound. Providing justice is a necessary step towards achieving that goal. Acknowledging endemic racism as a wider problem, putting in place legal mechanisms with fair and just laws, and implementing those laws without bias by the police and the justice system, will help break down generations of suspicion and mistrust and go a long way to restoring peace. In the George Floyd incident, multiple officers are clearly culpable and should also be charged, arrested and held accountable. Police brutality is criminal behavior. It is exacerbated when it is clearly based upon a racist agenda and explicit bias. Unabashed racism must be confronted head-on. The time for denial, white-washing and covering up America’s overt racism is over. The cancer of racism lies exposed. We need to excise it, once and for all.

Nuchhi Currier
President

November 6, 2019

Election fever in an off-off-year is unusual. But 2019 has proved that when the stakes are high, people are feeling vulnerable and the tone at the top is threatening, anything can happen. A big surge in voters, around an estimated 40%, portends well for the much bigger battle ahead in 2020. The electoral conflagration sparked by Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016 is still burning hot among Democrats.

Another blue wave swept across neighboring Virginia on Tuesday turning it fully democratic for the first time in 26 years. In the 2017 election a record 28 female delegates were sent to the Virginia legislative chamber, and all but one of the newcomers were Democrats. All 15 newcomers retained their seats in 2019. Overall, women in Virginia set a new record this year, with 41 seats in the state legislature.

Virginia now boasts a trifecta that is likely to move measures forward including gun control, abortion rights, an increase in the minimum wage, and the ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would enshrine gender equality. Additionally, the state legislature will redraw maps redressing some of the ills of gerrymandering that have resulted in racially segregated districts.

The changes to Virginia’s gun laws laid out by Governor Northam are universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and a one-handgun-permonth limit on purchases.

Women are poised to move on the final ratification of the ERA. The Equal Rights
Amendment to the US Constitution is designed to guarantee equal rights to ALL American citizens, regardless of sex. Originally written by suffragists Alice Paul & Crystal Eastman and first introduced in Congress in 1923, we are planning to see it enacted in the centennial year of women’s suffrage. Virginia’s Democratic win allows us to move forward. 

The WNDC was deeply engaged in the 2019 elections, organizing with other groups and setting the stage for a robust effort in 2020. We are excited to build on our Winning Wednesdays strategy and bring home the US House, Senate and the White House for Democrats.


Nuchhi Currier
President

July 12, 2018

Democrats pride themselves on being fair and even-handed. The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court last year generated a lot of discussion, even alarm, but many argued that he was not likely to be too extreme. They have been proven wrong. The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, should definitely cause alarm. He comes with a decidely conservative record, is a former aide to President George W. Bush, and was involved with the investigation of President Bill Clinton and the 2000 Florida recount. He was chosen from a list carefully curated by the Federalist Society. His confirmation will cement the court’s rightward tilt for a generation.

In a revealing speech last fall, Kavanaugh exposed his views, lauding Chief Justice Rehnquist for dissenting in Roe v Wade and for rejecting the notion of a “wall of separation between church and state.” He also expressed his support for eliminating the “exclusionary rule,” which forbids police from using illegally obtained evidence. The five areas he cited where he stood with Rehnquist against the liberals – “criminal justice, religion, federalism, enumerated rights and administrative law” – would all move the law to the extreme right. In addition, he has expressed his support for the unfettered power of the presidency. According to one academic analysis, Kavanaugh would be the second most conservative Justice on the Court—to the right even of Gorsuch and pretty close to Clarence Thomas.

Justice Kennedy, who is retiring, held the swing vote in many closely divided cases on issues like abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, and the death penalty. Replacing him with a committed conservative, who could potentially serve for decades, will fundamentally alter the balance of the Court and put dozens of precedents at risk. Democrats need to stay resolute in their opposition and persuade Democratic Senators in swing states as well as Republican Senators such as Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to vote NO. This nomination should be seen as what it is, a “power grab by a radicalized political party, its wealthy backers, and a rogue President.” The Supreme Court should not be a partisan tool for undermining democracy. The emergence of a partisan bench that is designed to keep power in the hands of Republicans by any means necessary is bad for the country and the legitimacy of the Court.

–Nuchhi Currier, WNDC President

January 12, 2018

We have sunk to a new low. When the current occupant of the White House debases us on a daily basis and Republicans surrounding him don’t mutter a single dissenting protest – we know then that values and courage have no place in their America. It is all about maintaining the power dynamic.

President Trump’s word’s, uttered during a discussion on protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” demonstrates the depths to which our elected leaders have sunk. Human dignity, acceptance, tolerance, empathy, consideration, fairness, justice, equality – these are all concepts that have become superfluous in this crude discourse of Lilliputian minds. He voices base sentiments, his Republican colleagues give tacit approval by their deafening silence, his morally bankrupt spokespersons present a shameless defense, and the moral fabric of our nation gets ripped even further.

This remark is consistent with other Trump comments – Mexico must be reviled because it sends us “rapists” and “criminals.” Sen. John McCain’s military service must be derided, a judge must be impugned because of his Mexican heritage, our first black President’s citizenship must be questioned, as must the motives of a Muslim Gold Star family. Equally reprehensible was equating white supremacists with protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What will this President NOT do to advance his political power among his base? And what is the moral obligation of the silent majority witnessing this horror-show of a presidency? That is a question that this nation needs to answer. One way would be to cut down on the unfettered power wielded by a Republican Congress and White House this fall. Throw the creeps out in November! Bring in diversity. Elect women and representatives of various hues, cultures, and faiths so this nation’s rich tapestry can be displayed in all its glory. We do not have to endure this indignity in silence. Let the scream of protest find voice in the voting booth.

Nuchhi Currier
President

November 8, 2017

Democrats won big on November 7, 2017. Last night hope won, tolerance won, diversity won, WOMEN won, suburban and exurban voters won, Medicaid and Medicare won, Obamacare won, Progressives and Democrats won. Who lost? Hate, bigotry, demagogy, and fear lost – Trump and the Republicans lost.

Virginia was the big story! Virginians voted in races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and the state legislature on Tuesday. Democrats won all three of the top seats. Of the state’s 100 seats in the House of Delegates, the chamber is now likely to be controlled by Democrats, 50 to 49 with 1 seat still too close to call.

Of the 14 seats Democrats flipped in Virginia, all were held by men and 10 were won by women. And two of those women, both from Prince William County, became the first Latinas elected to the General Assembly. Northern VA journalist Danica Roem became the first openly transgender candidate elected to a state legislature in the nation.

Democrats also won the Governor’s mansion in New Jersey and the mayoral race in New York. Washington State is now strongly blue with a Democratic-led legislature and Governor. In Georgia Democrats flipped three GOP held legislative seats, breaking a Republican super-majority. All across America there was a tidal wave that brought in progressives, Democrats, and women to the forefront. It was clear that the Republican brand was simply toxic.

Congratulations to the 60 plus volunteers who phoned, texted, and HOPED at the WNDC on November 6 and to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly for weeks and months before this momentous election. We also salute those who took to the suburbs and exurbs, as well as rural areas, of battleground states to ensure a record-breaking number of voters spoke their minds. According to the Washington Post, women made the difference! They organized, they ran, they voted, and they WON.

Democrats will need to gain 24 seats to take control of the US House of Representatives in 2018. We have the momentum to make this a romp!

Nuchhi Currier
President

October 18, 2017

With dozens of women leveling allegations of sexual assault and harassment against film executive Harvey Weinstein, this issue has suddenly moved center-stage. The virility of power is no longer in question. The fact that Donald Trump was elected president after bragging about sexually assaulting women also suggests that powerful men still routinely get forgiven for serious transgressions, including serial sexual assault, harassment, and other predatory behavior. While this morally bankrupt candidate now sits in the White House playing fast and loose with our lives, a brilliant, highly qualified, experienced woman became the ultimate victim of misogyny.

This abhorrent behavior of Weinstein and Trump is not new of course. Media outlets along the spectrum from newspapers to cable television have long been preoccupied with the sordid sex lives of wealthy, influential men. Clarence Thomas, Bill Cosby, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Julian Assange, Dennis Hastert, Bill Clinton, John Travolta, Mark Foley, Mike Tyson, Rob Lowe, Woody Allen, to name only a few, and professional athletes too numerous to mention. Our fascination with scandal and sleaze hides the seriousness of corruption and crimes of rape and other sexual abuse, most often perpetrated on younger women by older men.

The policy of see no evil, hear no evil, and, especially, report no evil, combined with denial and often disbelief, ensures that powerful men are reflexively believed when they profess innocence. Or, at the very least, they are given a pass. Famous and successful men also have extra protection. They have favors to bestow, leading to acquiescence – most often unhappy acquiescence — by their victims. Those aware of these attacks by bosses and colleagues are often reluctant to speak out because of fear, self-interest, and, in many cases, hypocrisy. In addition, for many victims of sexual harassment and assault, fear of retribution leads to their silence.

We know abuse of women is not the prerogative of the rich and famous. Thousands of women are abused each day by a wide range of perpetrators, including taxi drivers, office workers, family members, and friends. However, the economic power imbalance contributes disproportionately to this phenomenon we see manifested in these high profile cases.

If we want to live in a world where women are respected and workers are protected, we need to get past the titillation of each unfolding scandal. We need to pursue a serious solution.

Getting more women into politics and into the corporate sector at the highest level should help make sexual harassment and assault more rare in these workplace settings. But we need formal policies as well. The private sector appears to be attempting to change this exploitative culture more readily than politicians or those involved with media, show-biz, or the mega sports industries.

We have precedents on how we can change cultural norms and abhorrent practices. Overtly racist remarks, once commonplace, have become much more rare, as fewer such remarks go unchallenged. Similarly, homophobic remarks seem to be on the wane. (One caveat here: It appears that both racist and homophobic remarks have become more widespread since the November election.) For misogynist remarks to become déclassé, the many men who have publicly declared themselves disgusted by Mr. Trump’s words and actions need to make a serious break with the norm. “Boys will be boys” should no longer cut it as a rationale.

This new attention to the sexual victimization of women is a welcome step towards ultimate redress but we should question why we’re having the same conversation in 2017 that we had back in the 1970s. We are talking about sheer male privilege, as it intersects with privilege of other kinds, e.g., class, economic status, color, culture, etc. Whether we focus on specific offenders, or the banality of the misogyny perpetrated by “good guys,” and the culture of complicity that sustains them, our silence is key to maintaining powerful men’s reputation and power.

Let us break this silence. Let us exercise some agency and acquire an essential sense of entitlement to say ENOUGH. To say NO, even though we are afraid of the consequences. Courage and a justified sense of outrage are essential to reporting crimes and demanding retribution and justice.

Nuchhi Currier
President

October 5, 2017

This happened while you weren’t looking. The diversion of inane tweets, hurled insults, and a pre-occupied media are the perfect cover for nefarious acts.

The latest of these occurred in the House of Representatives, which passed legislation Tuesday, October 3, 2017, that criminalizes abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The vote was 237 for and 189 against, largely along party lines. An action that failed in 2013 and 2015 this time around has support from both the President and Vice President.

“The administration strongly supports H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections.” This was the statement issued by a White House that remained criminally silent for days on waiving the Jones Act that might have saved countless “born” lives and helped to avert an humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.

It is tragic that we are pushing legislation that “will respect the sanctity of life and stop needless suffering” of UNBORN fetuses as we remain blind and deaf to the suffering of the LIVING amongst us who are denied justice and opportunities to live full, healthy, productive lives.

While this bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, it is time for an uproar from women and all progressives to ensure our leaders don’t throw us under the bus. Once again, largely old white men are trying to exercise control over the bodies and will of women.

“This dangerous, out-of-touch legislation is nothing more than yet another attempt to restrict women’s access to safe, legal abortion,” said a spokesperson from Planned Parenthood.

And, further, as NARAL Pro-Choice America points out, “Bans on abortion care after 20 weeks are a blatant attempt to deny women their constitutional rights.”

These constitutional rights are in ever greater peril under this administration as Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court is viewed as a win for the anti-abortion forces throughout the country. We need to be vigilant and make our voices heard.

Nuchhi Currier
President

(Note: More information about the 20-week abortion ban, on both the federal and state level, is available from NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.)

October 3, 2017

And we mourn again today. We mourn the countless dead and wounded in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not at the hands of the destruction unleashed by forces of nature or the targeting by foreign militants, but the chilling and deliberate killing by one of us – a white man with guns. Why do we remain silent as we witness a slow-motion massacre unfolding before us? Ordinary people’s lives are in danger. From school shootings to crowd-carnage, we are becoming anesthetized to this very real danger in our midst. Firearm regulation, or the lack thereof, is now a serious public health and safety issue.

Twenty years of government-funded research has shown several effective ways to address the issue of gun violence. Among these efforts, which need political support and a bit of money, are:

  •       Assault-weapons ban
  •       Universal background checks
  •       A national push to curb urban violence

There are about 300 million privately owned firearms in the US – that works out to about one gun for every American. The US has the highest gun ownership in the world, followed by Yemen. We are the most powerfully armed civilian population. Most Americans don’t own guns though. Most gun-owners own more than two firearms. Gun ownership is higher among whites than blacks; higher in the country than in the city; higher among older people. Due to the inaction of Congress, anyone on the terrorism watch list can buy a gun. Any felon, convict, or suspect can buy a gun as well.

So, yes, people’s lives are in danger, and we do need to make America safe again. But it’s not by fixating solely on our narrow definition of terrorism. Between 2001 and 2013, 3,030 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil — a number that includes the terrible toll of September 11, 2001, according to University of Maryland data. But during that same time frame, records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 406,496 people were killed by gunfire.

And yet the power of the gun lobby is on the rise. Since 1980, 44 states have passed gun laws allowing concealed weapons. A federal ban in 1994 to possess, transfer, or manufacture semi-automatic assault weapons was allowed to expire in 2004. Twenty-four states have passed “Stand Your Ground” laws allowing citizens to use deadly force if they think they are in danger of being assaulted.

Adding another potential danger is the SHARE Act (Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act) currently before Congress. Among other things, it would make it easier to buy silencers to disguise the sound of gunfire. The tragedy in Las Vegas likely would have been even worse if the shooter had used a silencer.

Forty percent of guns purchased in America are bought from private sellers at gun shows, or through classified ads – thus creating an unregulated marketplace. One in three Americans knows someone who has been shot. “We live in a society now that is Balkanized,” claims David Keene, past president of the NRA. “But that has nothing to do with guns.” Really, sir?

Former Chief Justice Warren Burger got it right. “The new interpretation of the Second Amendment was one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special-interest groups,” he said.

It is time to address this fraud, to right this wrong. It is time for our nation to wake up to the very real and present danger that lurks in our society and flourishes in plain sight.

Nuchhi Currier
President

September 19, 2017

September 26 is National Voter Registration Day. The strength of American democracy depends on the ability of citizens to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Instead of pursuing the myth of voter fraud and encouraging tougher restrictions on voting, the Trump administration should be intervening to stop voter suppression. And we should all be actively registering new voters in our districts to expand the electorate.

In the wake of the Charlottesville White Supremacist March and the ensuing melee, it is hard to deny that an ill wind is assuming hurricane proportions as it blows in prejudice and discrimination leading to disenfranchisement of the most vulnerable. The specter of voter fraud was often invoked in the segregation era as an excuse to crack down on the rights of blacks and other minorities, and so it is being widely invoked today.

In the 2008 election, racially coded appeals, including insinuations that Obama was not a natural-born citizen, and that infiltrators had stolen in over the Mexican border to ensure his victory at the ballot box, threatened the legitimacy of the electoral process. This rhetoric has again taken hold in the public’s imagination, nowhere more evident than in the 2016 election and the demonstrably false statements of the current president.

Over decades, states across the country have passed laws and instituted other procedures to make it harder for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, other minorities, the elderly, students, the poor, and people with disabilities to vote. These measures include restrictive photo ID laws, purging of voter rolls, limitations on early voting, felon disenfranchisement, disinformation about voting procedures (robocalls giving false information), inequality in Election Day resources, closure of DMV offices, voter caging, gerrymandering, Jim Crow laws, and long wait-times at polling stations.

Twenty states have passed new restrictive voting laws since 2010, and 14 states had such laws come into effect for the first time in 2016.  On average, African American voters are required to wait in line for twice as long as white voters; Hispanic voters spend one and a half times as long. A Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies report estimated that “long lines deterred at least 730,000 Americans from voting in November 2012.”

The 2016 election was the first presidential election since the Shelby County v Holder decision in 2013, in which the U.S. Supreme Court effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although the results of that decision on the 2016 election are still being debated, studies have consistently shown that strict voter ID laws alone can reduce voter turnout enough to effect a close election, particularly with newly registered voters, young voters, and voters of color.

We have to consistently debunk the Trump Administration’s baseless claims of voter fraud. The President’s so-called “Commission on Election Integrity” should be called out for what it is: a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. There is no evidence that voter fraud occurs on any appreciable scale. This commission is a futile attempt to justify the President’s groundless claims that millions of people voted illegally. And it paves the way for future, even more widespread, voter suppression.

While voter registration is not a solution per se to the problems of widespread voter suppression, it is an essential part of our democratic process. To learn how to participate in National Voter Registration Day, go to https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org.

Nuchhi Currier
President

September 6, 2017

The dreamers just woke up from a nightmare. Kids who grew up knowing no other country but the U.S., kids who had bought into the American dream, kids who grew up to work in nearly every company in America, to serve in the military, and most recently put themselves in harm’s way to save victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, have just been thrown under the bus. They stand to lose their jobs, their right to call this country their own as mass deportations loom based upon information they volunteered to the government with the promise it would never be used against them or their families.

Donald J. Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to fulfill a heartless election campaign pledge. Chief of Staff John Kelly’s “inelegant solution” tossed an “unpinned hand grenade at Capitol Hill Republicans,” according to one official. There is a definite pattern that Mr. Trump has established in recent months — postponing consequential decisions on contentious topics, leaving it to others to articulate a final position while trying to dodge the bullet himself.

This particular decision is both cruel and inhumane.

With Congress set to juggle many major tasks over the next month  — including providing disaster funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey, raising the debt ceiling, passing a budget, and addressing the White House’s push for tax reform — it’s unclear how much political capital GOP leaders can expend on this issue. And the legislative branch has an abysmal track record of passing any consequential bill.

Mr. Trump has proved that he is soft on convictions. But his hard-line policy advisers, Stephen Miller, Attorney General Sessions, and his still-influential former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, are not. They believe that a complete and immediate shutdown of the DACA program is essential to fulfill the president’s campaign pledges.

So, Mr. Trump, you build those walls; strip people of their rights; take away their hard-won entitlements; deprive them of healthcare; restore discriminatory practices; create anxiety, confusion, and anarchy  — all in the service of white male supremacy and the sanctity of campaign promises. The state of the union is being rent asunder, the fabric of society is in tatters as you continue your assault on our most cherished democratic values.

Nuchhi Currier
President

August 17, 2017

Why are we protesting the events of August 12, 2017? Why does the fact that our country elected an overt white supremacist strike terror in our hearts – a man who spent years trying to prove that a non-white president had to prove his legitimacy by producing his birth certificate? What does it say about our future when the ruling elite tries desperately to tarnish the legacy of a dignified, qualified, brilliant statesman and president like Barack Obama? Why do we lament the rise of overt misogyny by the white men who are strengthening their hold on our country’s levers of power?

Why was it important for the Charlottesville City Council to vote to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from what was then called Robert E. Lee Park? This question has been obscured by the pace of events since August 11. The bigotry, hatred, intolerance and violence that was unleashed by this act can be traced to Civil War rhetoric and the empowerment of fringe extremist groups by the current Administration. Chants of “White Lives Matter” and the Nazi-sponsored phrase “blood and soil” rent the air when white nationalists marched through the UVA campus, provoking both fury and fear in those who thought the US had begun to leave the bloody and shameful legacy of slavery and discrimination behind.

August 12, 2017, will be remembered as a day of shame and ignominy forever in the annals of US history. The culmination of the day-long violence between marauding supremacists and marching protesters was the murder of Heather Heyer, who became a victim of a white terrorist as he drove his car into the protesting crowd. Once again a woman paid a price for her courage.

James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, has been charged with murder. But there were far too many James’ in the crowd with murder in their hearts. The president’s denunciation of these hate-filled cowards was too little and came too late. He calls racism evil but condones it at every step. His tacit encouragement of white terrorists, even as he equates white supremacists with those who oppose them, shames us in the eyes of our country and the world. The United States of America stands for equality and liberty. It stands for justice, domestic tranquility and the general welfare of ALL citizens. Our elected leaders – and all Americans – need to speak with one voice to denounce not only the actions of white supremacists but also of this president. Only then can we begin to heal the still raw wounds of our past.   

Nuchhi Currier
President

January 23, 2017

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

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

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