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EMILY’s List and Sister District Host Weekend of Action

For Immediate Release

September 4, 2019

EMILY’s List and Sister District Host Weekend of Action Focused on Effort to Flip the Virginia General Assembly

Organizations will come together to support seven Virginia women leaders in their races this November 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, EMILY’s List and Sister District announced a Weekend of Action on September 7th and 8th to engage activists across the country in the fight to flip the Virginia General Assembly from red to blue, and increase the number of pro-choice Democratic women serving in the House of Delegates and state Senate. Following historic victories in 2017, Democrats broke the Republican near-supermajority in the House of Delegates and came within two seats of taking control of the chamber by electing a record number of women. In 2019, Virginia has state elections again and both chambers of the General Assembly are up for election.

The organizations will bring together advocates across the country for a number of phonebanks and text banks in support of seven strong, progressive women running for the Virginia General Assembly: Delegate Wendy Gooditis (HD-10), Delegate Hala Ayala (HD-51), Karen Mallard (HD-84), Shelly Simonds (HD-94), Delegate Cheryl Turpin (SD-07), Ghazala Hashmi (SD-10), and Delegate Debra Rodman (SD-12).

“Virginia women broke records in 2017, ushering in the most diverse General Assembly in the state’s history and breaking the Republican near-supermajority in the House of Delegates,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “Virginia women are changing the face of leadership across the state and they are once again poised to play a crucial role in the fight to turn Virginia blue. Our passionate communities of volunteers understand how much is at stake and we are proud to join forces with Sister District— both this weekend and in the lead up to November — to harness and mobilize the grassroots support that will be key to electing pro-choice Democratic women across Virginia.” 

“Democrats have a real chance to flip the entire Virginia General Assembly blue this year,” said Rita Bosworth, executive director of the Sister District Project. “Sister District supported many of the women who ran and won in the historic blue wave of 2017, and we are thrilled to continue the work in 2019. Now more than ever is a critical time for liberals to work together, which is why we are proud to ally with the EMILY’s List community for this weekend of volunteer action.”

From their work to expand Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians to their push to improve access to the ballot box and expand voting rights, pro-choice Democratic women have been leading the charge for a more progressive and inclusive Virginia since joining the General Assembly. Cities with participating events in support of these women candidates include the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, CA; Fort Bragg, CA; Hartford, CT; Washington, DC; Kona, HI; Greater Chicago, IL; Cambridge, MA; Greater New York City; and Eugene, OR.

EMILY’s List is the nation’s largest resource for women in politics. Since EMILY’s List was founded in 1985, it has raised over $600 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates and helped elect 150 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and nearly 1,100 to state and local office. This cycle EMILY’s List has endorsed 36 pro-choice, Democratic women for the Virginia General Assembly.

Sister District was founded in the wake of the 2016 election by five women, all new to politics. It has since grown into an organization of 30,000 people across the country, with 65+ active volunteer teams that have been "sistered" with 24 state legislative races in six states this cycle.

Media interested in attending Weekend of Action events with candidates in the Virginia area should contact press@emilyslist.org. 

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $600 million to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 150 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and nearly 1,100 women to state and local office. Nearly 40 percent of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. During the historic 2017-2018 cycle, EMILY’s List raised a record-breaking $110 million and launched a record independent expenditure campaign. We helped elect 34 new women to the House, including 24 red-to-blue victories; enough seats to have delivered the U.S. House majority alone. Since the 2016 election, more than 46,000 women have reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state and national offices.