WiLL/WAND Conference 2011
21 delegates from Georgia attended the WAND/WiLL conference in Washington DC this week, celebrating 30 years of WAND and 20 years of WiLL. The theme of the conference was “Women at the Table of Power,” a message and ideology that was carried out through two days of conference presentations and one day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.
Notable speakers included Congresswoman Donna Edwards from the 4th district of Maryland, Congresswoman Lena Taylor from the 4th district of Wisconsin, and Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners. Congresswoman Edwards kicked off the conference with a high-energy message that lambasted the climate of polarized and partisan decision-making in the U.S. today: “I don’t know about you, but when I drive over a bridge I don’t think about whether it’s a democratic bridge or a republican bridge. I only care that it’s the best darn bridge it can be!” said Edwards.
Celinda Lake spoke to “the numbers” of our political climate today, most importantly exploring female opinion on many of the major issues being debated by our government. By framing major issues in the context of women voters, she argued that women will truly decide the outcome of the 2012 election. By researching and understanding the female vote as a demographic at large, then and only then will a candidate be a truly competitive political force.
Lena Taylor rounded out the powerhouse of female voices brought to the conference. Her message was clear and simple: do not be fooled into believing that what happened in Wisconsin ends in Wisconsin. We must all be prepared to fight the same battles in our home states: the battle to protect the interests of the citizen, the battle to protect our Constitutional rights, and the battle to protect the collective bargaining rights of public employees.
On the third day of the conference, WAND and WiLL members took to the Hill to lobby their members of the House and Senate. Members of the Georgia delegation met with the offices of 13 members of the House of Representatives, as well as with the offices of both Senator Isakson and Senator Chambliss.
Georgia WAND would like to thank our national organization for organizing a great conference, as well as all of from the Georgia delegation who attended the conference.