We had a great turnout at the 43rd Ward Democrats "Women in Politics - Chicago Style" forum on Tuesday at the Lincoln Park Library - and an even better conversation. Our amazing guests (Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney; Kari Steele, candidate for commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; Pat Reynes, Majority Council Director at EMILY's List; and Alyx Pattison, attorney at Katten Muchin Rosenmann LLP, representing Illinois Institute for Women in Leadership) each have very different experiences and perspectives, and shared their motivation to get involved, their challenges, their rewards, and their views on what women bring to the political process. We talked about lessons learned, and lessons to be learned - and what these current and future leaders are doing to make women's voices and impact more powerful in the future.
A good amount of the discussion from the panelists and the comments from the audience focused on money - the need to raise so much of it in order to compete, and the impact that has on government. A lot of us are really concerned about the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision that in effect makes huge corporations equal to everyday people, and how that's opened up a flood of money backing very non-progressive causes and candidates. It's wonderful to see our senior senator from Illinois fight back on this issue - click here to learn about Dick Durbin's proposed constitutional amendment.
Find out about the wonderful work EMILY's List and Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership are doing at their websites: EMILY and IWIL.
Thanks to our panelists and constituents who made this such a great event!