Three years ago a group of progressive women in Des Moines decided to start a Facebook group to share their thoughts and ideas about politics and policy. Iowa Women for Progressive Change quickly grew to include over 400 women in an online discussion and action community. Last spring, amid the contentious election, many in the group felt the call to do more and began planning educational events including one in the fall on racial justice and equity. This week the group announced the next phase of its mission with the launch of the Iowa Women for Progressive Change Political Action Committee (IWPC PAC).
IWPC PAC seeks to support progressive women running for state and local office, particularly those from marginalized and underrepresented groups. This includes women across the state running for everything from school board to governor with early funding and access to a network of supporters interested in providing volunteer and in-kind services. The goal is to not only increase the number of women running for office, but to expand the field of candidates to include women with varied backgrounds and perspectives including race, socioeconomic status, and other lived experiences.
“Women face unique barriers in running for office and we want to help address those barriers” said PAC Chair Jessica Taylor Erwin. “We believe that a broad, rich representation of women provides essential perspectives to inform and deliver sound policy and decision-making.”
Still in its early stages, the PAC is currently seeking additional board members and early funders. The organization is an avenue for those interested in supporting greater gender parity, diversity and progressive values in Iowa’s elected positions to take action. Board members and volunteers will partner with other groups providing training and recruitment to find candidates in need of additional support networks. In addition to financial support, publicity and endorsement, the PAC will connect candidates with volunteer networks interested in providing in-kind support and services.
The PAC is launching its fundraising efforts with a kick-off event on May 18th at the Agora Event Center. Supporters and those interested in learning more can attend, provide input and hear from a panel of women who have run for office speak about their experiences.
Media requests can be directed to Communications Director Kyrstin Shelley at Kyrstin.firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-370-1387.