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Women Will Hold The GOP Accountable

HuffPost: Women Will Hold The GOP Accountable

by Stephanie Schriock

Recently, Hillary Clinton joined EMILY’s List to announce that, since November, over 15,000 Democratic women have stepped up to run for office. To put that in perspective, we heard from about 920 women during the entire 2016 cycle. Women recognize that this moment is a crossroads that will define us for a generation. They understand that now is the time to speak up and get involved.

Rights and liberties painstakingly secured over decades are at risk of being stripped away with the stroke of a pen. With Washington under Republicans’ thumb, it’s up to progressives – grassroots activists and organizers in every corner of the country – to fight and defend the rights we cherish.

Given his record so far, we know that Donald Trump won’t prioritize the well-being of women and children over the interests of corporations and billionaires. We’ve watched as he, along with his GOP allies, have attempted to ram through an extreme agenda on the backs of the very Americans he promised to protect.

Congressional Republicans, for their part, have shamelessly rubber-stamped Trump’s agenda. In the ultimate display of callousness, the GOP-led House passed a disastrous health care bill without caring who it would affect or how much it would cost. With a panel of 13 white men secretly drafting their bill behind closed doors, Senate Republicans are hardly doing any better.

This moment should serve as a stark reminder that we cannot secure equality, liberty, or justice for all without a progressive mandate in Washington. Without the voices of progressive women in office, Republicans are free to turn back the clock to the anti-choice, anti-LGBT, and anti-family policies of the past.

Now is the time to fight to deliver that mandate. It’s a fight that won’t be won in hushed conversations or secretive backrooms. It will be won by loud voices at county fairs and on street corners. It will be fought by candidates, volunteers, and voters speaking out on the campaign trail, at town halls, and in the voting booth.

It’s a tough fight with enormous stakes, and that’s exactly why over 15,000 women are stepping up – along with another 7,000 people who want to help them win.These women are marching, calling, and heading to town halls to hold the GOP accountable every day. Whether they’re running for the state house or the U.S. Senate, thousands of candidates are fighting for the issues that matter to hard-working women and families.

This isn’t a ripple — it’s a wave. And, it’s a wave made up of women who know how to persist through the most extraordinary circumstances. They’re single moms like Virginia candidate for delegate Hala Ayala, who raised her children while working a service job with no health insurance. They’re first-generation Americans like U.S Representative Stephanie Murphy, who found success in a new home after fleeing from Vietnam with her family.

They are women who know what it’s like to stand in a long line to cast a ballot, drive hundreds of miles to reach an abortion clinic, or wait years just to hand their child a glass of clean tap water.

These are the fighters we need on the campaign trail and in our highest offices. EMILY’s List is ready to stand with them and elect a new generation of progressive leaders up and down the ballot. However backward and cruel Trump and the Republicans may be, they can still be replaced. We’re here to make sure of it.