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Nov. 14, 2017

In this Issue:

  • ACTION NEEDED - Horrible Tax Bill Up for House Vote this Week

  • Women Win! Incredible Results of Tuesday Election  

  • Saving and Celebrating our NOW History – Archiving Documents

  • Movie Screenings of STEP Available for NOW Chapters

  • Chapter Highlights

ACTION NEEDED - Horrible Tax Bill Up for House Vote this Week

Late-breaking news: The House will vote this Thursday, Nov. 16, on a tax bill that takes funds from Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Supplemental Income and other important programs, and repeals many deductions that benefit middle and low-income taxpayers -- all because the Republicans want to drastically cut the tax rate on high-income earners and wealthy corporations. If they are successful in passing this bill, H.R. 1, the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and a very similar one from the Senate, middle and low-income households will be dealt a serious blow. Funding for many vital human needs programs will have to be slashed and the national debt will grow by more than $1.5 trillion. The very top of the income scale will reap the most benefits. For details, see our Issue Advisory: GOP Tax Nightmare - Billions for the Rich, Less for Everyone Else, Especially Women.

A vote on the Senate bill is expected after Thanksgiving – and we’ve just received the news that the Senate version will include a repeal of the insurance coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The inevitable result will be the higher, unaffordable premiums, millions losing coverage because they cannot afford it, and the likely collapse of the ACA.  So NOW activists will be called upon again to urge their senators to vote against this horrible measure.

ASK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO OPPOSE H.R. 1 – Please Call NOW. You can use this toll free number, 877-795-7862 - thanks to our allies at Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund. Or, you can call your representative’s office directly – check here for their office phone numbers. You can also send message through the House member’s website if you live in the district.

Women Win!  Incredible Results from Tuesday’s Elections

There’s nothing like winning and the Nov. 7 elections were a stunner! The results of the Virginia off-year statewide election produced a total Democratic sweep of key positions. Not only were all NOW-endorsed Democrats at the top elected, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam as the new governor, Justin Fairfax as Lt. Governor, and Mark Herring as Attorney General, but Democrats came close to flipping control of the House of Delegates which has been under Republican control for two decades. Absentee and challenged ballots remain to be counted in one district that will determine which party will be in control.

A wonderful result was the victory of NOW Prince William (Va.) chapter president, Hala Ayala. who was elected to represent District 51 and had raised a half million dollars for her campaign(!!) She joins Elizabeth Guzman as the first Latinas to be elected to the State House. Another remarkable win was by Danica Roem, a transgender woman who defeated long-time Del. Robert G. Marshall, known for his anti-reproductive rights activism and his bragging as the “chief homophobe.” Roem out-raised Marshall 3 – 1 from the LGBTQIA grassroots.

The wins have been interpreted as a reaction to Trumpism and the white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va. in which one woman was killed and 19 were injured.

Virginia wasn’t the only state to see a transgender candidate elected: eight other openly trans candidates won their races across the country.

In New Jersey, Democrats took back the governorship with Phil Murphy, Goldman Sachs executive, while many were happy to see the end of eight years of Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Christie leaves behind a New Jersey which, according to the New York Times, is riddled with debt; schools are struggling for lack of adequate funding, property taxes are exorbitant, and the public transit system is dismal.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio was handily re-elected in New York City.

These Democratic victories surprised many, including Republican insiders who were said to be worried about Trump’s impact in the 2018 elections. Hopefully, feminist activist can keep the wave moving and reverse the tide of uber-conservatives that have taken over Congress and state legislatures.

But the most gratifying results of the Nov. 7 elections was how well women did – many of them running for the first time since they declared their intentions following the giant Women’s March in January. Here is an overview from the Center for American Women and Politics.

Saving and Celebrating Our NOW History - Archiving Documents

Keeping our history is an important action for NOW chapter and state organizations and we urge members to collect important documents, such as bylaws, newsletters, press releases, news clips, resolutions, meeting minutes, and photos (fully identified) and send them to archival libraries or universities in their states. Some chapters have done an excellent job of saving, sorting, and indexing their important documents and locating a repository. It is necessary to first contact the repository and secure their agreement to receive your files, plus obtain information about their rules on preparing and submitting your records.

In recent years, the National Action Center has received a several boxes of historical files from a few NOW chapters and state organizations, unsolicited. Unfortunately, we cannot retain these files or prepare them for sending to an archived collection. Our national records are archived at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Schlesinger’s rules are quite specific in the kinds of records that they will store, and which pertain only to files of the National Action Center. We have been told by the archivists at Schlesinger that the NOW records are, by far, the most often sought by researchers. Also, some of our former officers and staff have submitted documents, such as Muriel Fox, a co-founder, vice president, board chair over many decades, and Patricia Ireland, former national president.

Thanks to the expert organizing from Montgomery NOW (Md.) chapter Co-President, Elissa Balsley, and activist Lisa Seigel we are ready to ship another 18 or so large boxes to the Schlesinger Library that will augment our collection there.There will be more to come with NOW government relations/NOW Foundation and other documents waiting preparation. Immediate Past President, Terry O’Neill, also shipped an extensive collection of documents to Schlesinger.

For women’s history enthusiasts, the Schlesinger website features special articles, exhibits and lectures. Events are at the library in Cambridge, Mass.

Movie Screenings of STEP Available for NOW Chapters

NOW Chapters are invited to view the trailer for the inspiring, new documentary, STEP which tells the story of a girls’ high-school step team against the background of the heart of Baltimore. Empowered by their teachers, teammates, counselors, coaches, and families, they chase their ultimate dreams: to win a step championship and to be accepted into college.

You can watch the trailer here!


Chapters are offered the opportunity to bring this film to local communities. There is no cost to host a screening, and the film’s promoters will provide you with a DVD and a discussion guide! The only requirements to screen the film are that:

  • Your audience are students in grades 6-12

  • You provide feedback by sending a photo of your screening and filling out a brief survey


If you are interested, please fill out this request form and we will get back to you shortly. Please let me know if you have any questions.



Chapter Highlights

SW Idaho NOW (ID) has been very active. They’ve been visiting Senator Mike Crapo's office regularly about healthcare and DACA, and they have built a good relationship with his staffers. They hope to be able to work with him on issues important to NOW. They have also been working with Idaho Organizing Project on immigration issues, and chapter president, Mary Mosley, translated to Spanish and edited part of a booklet Idaho Organizing Project put out to help immigrants plan, in case they are detained. Last week, two of the candidates they campaigned heavily for in the Boise City Council election won their races. You can read coverage of some of their excellent work here.

Montgomery County NOW (MD) is hosting Reproductive Rights NOW, the second of their panel discussions on NOW’s six core issues, on December 3. Confirmed panelists include National NOW President Toni Van Pelt, the current Programs Manager at NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, and one of the litigators in the NOW v. Scheidler: Protecting Women's Access to Reproductive Health Services case.

Will County NOW (IL) is hosting their first Trivia Night on November 15. The night of food, fun, and prizes will help raise funds for the chapter, so they can continue the great, progressive work they are doing in Will County.

NOW-NYS (NY) is hosting their state conference on November 18. National NOW Vice President Gilda Yazzie will be speaking at the conference.

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