On Friday, the leadership of Super Majority, a new women’s political advocacy group, met at this year’s Texas Tribune Festival to discuss their organization, ideas, and thoughts on presidential politics.
In a 3-person panel with co-founders Alicia Garza, Ai-Jen Poo, and Cecile Richards –native Texan and daughter of the venerable Ann Richards—the trio talked about the political mobilization of women after the election of Donald Trump and why Super Majority was created.
“We kept hearing people say, ‘I’ve marched, I’ve continued to match, but I also want to do more, I want to win, where can I go where we can win, where we can finally change all of these things that we’ve been dealing with for so long,’ and so that’s really what Super Majority is about,” said Garza. “It’s about creating a new community for women to be active and to be powerful together.”
Super Majority launched in April of this year under the leadership of Richards, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; and Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. In recent months, the trio has been going on tour around the country to meet with women across the U.S. in union halls, businesses, and college campuses with the eventual goal of mobilizing 2 million women ahead of the 2020 elections– including Texas, where the group said more than 3 million women are still unregistered to vote.
“Everyone says the country is divided, that there’s like this hyper-partisanship, but actually, when you get women in a room there’s a lot we can agree on,” Richards said of their tour around the country. She said universal issues that went across the political spectrum included the economy and wages, systemic problems like lack of affordable childcare, or even the fact that women do not feel safe in America.
When asked to weigh in on the Democratic presidential race, the panelists declined to voice their support for any single candidate– but did say they wanted to see a woman on the ticket. Additionally, they also challenged male candidates to be proactive about supporting the issues that they’ve found are important to women.
“I love knowing that Kamala Harris is committed to raising teacher pay, I love to know that Elizbeth Warren is committed to issues of gender equity– I want to know, what are the guys doing about this?” Richards said. “The political establishment is pretty much run by men… in some ways, if there ever is a question, they let the Latino guy ask the Latino question, the woman asks the woman question, and everything else is the guy’s.”
Richards told the audience women represented almost half the workforce, more than half of college students, and more than half of law students. “We’ve done all the things, but things aren’t changing and were running into systemic barriers,” Richards said. “Women are ready for the next president to take us seriously and not as a transactional group of voters.”
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Glamour
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org