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Progressivism on Tap: Why We Need More Women in Elected Office

Amy Dacey Speaks at Progressivism on Tap Event

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Read about more events in the Progressivism on Tap series.

Amy Dacey, executive director of EMILY’s List, spoke to attendees at Washington, D.C.’s Busboys & Poets on March 30 about the “war on women” being waged in Congress right now and the importance and urgency of encouraging qualified women across the country to run for political office. The event was part of the Progressivism on Tap spring series run by the Center for American Progress’s Progressive Studies Program.

Dacey pointed out how conservative members of Congress ran on an agenda of creating jobs in the last election cycle but have instead pulled a “bait and switch” and seem singularly focused on social issues—the most incredulous being their war on health and reproductive access for women. Conservatives seem intent on creating a very intrusive, overreaching government, from trying to redefine rape to defunding contraception services at Planned Parenthood.

It’s not just women that will be affected if these policy goals became a reality, either. Dacey underscored how whole families will be hurt. Couples may not be able to access affordable reproductive health services.

Dacey said it is critical that more women run for office to change the policy focus of Congress to one that supports women. She mentioned that one of the best ways to get more women to run is to simply “ask them.” Often men will ask other men to run at an early age, but there need to be support networks for women, too, if Congress is to become more equitable.

Men can represent women’s interests in Congress. But it certainly helps to have women themselves at the decision table in Washington.

Read about more events in the Progressivism on Tap series.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Progressivism on Tap

For more from the same column, click here