DWC Night of Action - September 27

RSVP to the DWC
Night of Action

Thursday, September 27, 7-9pm
Lower Eastside Girls Club

(402 E 8th Street)

Let's Maximize the Midterm Momentum!

This will be a night of inspiration, education, spirits, food and entertainment – but most of all, it will be a NIGHT OF ACTION. Not only will we hear rousing words from leaders and candidates like Brette McSweeney, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, Max Rose, Alessandra Biaggi, Katie Muth and others, we’ll also have text-banking, canvassing, postcard writing, a silent auction(!), fundraising and more. Each guest will leave energized and deployed as part of DWC's midterm strategy.

We are ready to take back our country. Won’t you join us?

Your $20 donation to the Lower East Side Girl’s Club will be your ticket for the evening. 

Bring your sisters and your friends! Men are welcome at this event.

If cost is prohibitive, please email info@downtownwomenforchange.org.

Fundraiser for Stacey Abrams, GA Gubernatorial Candidate!

Please join Katrina, Shanelle, Vero, Kelly, and Eli


Monday, May 14, 6 PM - 8 PM

There is great potential for increasing the progressive vote in Georgia.The upcoming elections are an opportunity for New Yorkers and all progressively minded people to mobilize and show up for the kinds of leaders and campaigns that our communities need. We deserve elected officials that are willing to defend and promote an actual pro-Black, pro-Woman, pro-immigrant, pro-indigenous agenda and who are connected to the social movements advancing it. So, please join #TeamStaceyNYC for drinks, appetizers, and FUNdraising in Brooklyn, and do your part to elect the first black woman Governor of US!!!

EARLY BIRD TICKETS HERE: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/may14bksa

Can't go? DONATE HERE: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/may14bksa

4 Women in a Room: A Conversation About Women in NYS Government

Tue, May 1, 2018 6:30pm - 7:30pm

An exciting event from our friends at True Blue NY!

In New York, women have been excluded from the highest levels of state government. On May 1st, in the Great Hall where feminism was born, four women confront this power structure. Stephanie Miner, former Mayor of Syracuse, Zephyr Teachout, Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Senior Advisor of the Latino Victory Fund and Former Speaker of the NYC Council, and L. Joy Williams, political strategist, President of the Brooklyn NAACP & Creator & Host of Sunday Civics, shed light on the opacity of Albany and spark transparent inclusive solutions.

Learn more and register here


NY PAT Update

Hello Sisters!

Monday’s powerful and moving DWC panel on Women and Gun Violence provided more evidence of the interconnectedness of so many of the issues we are grappling with - misogyny; racism; gun proliferation; economic inequality and it’s concomitant stresses; the underfunding of health care, public schools, affordable housing, infrastructure; police violence and the abrogation of civil rights; political corruption and the role of big money in that; etc, etc…..

While it is very important to see and understand these connections and to look for intersectionality in our solutions, it can also be overwhelming to contemplate the big picture.  Sometimes we have to narrow the focus and put our energy into a few things.  

That said, the connectedness of it all, means that each small thing we do has a ripple effect.  For instance, when we work on defeating Congressman John Faso in NY19, we are not only flipping the district from red to blue, but we will be getting rid of an NRA sponsored, A-graded politician who voted for and actually introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that passed the House in December and is now waiting in committee at the Senate -presumably until passions die down about recent mass shootings……..  John Faso really has to go, and the efforts of NY19 Votes and VoteSmartNY are making a huge difference in the numbers of registered Democrats in the district. 

And as we continue to support Alessandra Biaggi’s State Senate primary campaign to replace Jeff Klein with a TRUE Democrat (and a progressive, pro-choice woman, at that) we will also be helping to break the cynical legislative blockade that has stymied New York’s efforts as a leading Blue State on this issue.  Five pieces of important gun violence prevention legislation that passed the Assembly in March are now sitting blocked in committee in the Republican controlled Senate.  Alessandra’s presence Monday night at our meeting was certainly testimony to how important an issue she thinks this is. Our March 29th DWC fundraiser for her - beautifully put together and graciously hosted by Diane Koeppel - raised $3500, introduced her to 60 more people through DWC, and rallied a few more campaign volunteers to join Daria, Logan and Rie in their plans to go out petitioning and canvassing for Alessandra.  Let’s get her elected and get this legislation through!

And just last week DWC's monthly Post Card Party focused on those same pieces of gun legislation, writing to IDC Senators - and the Governor - demanding that they put all pressure possible to bring these bills to the floor for a vote.  Kudos to Elizabeth, Barbara, Betsy and the Scribblers for getting several hundred more missives in the mail!

Action is still the best antidote to despair!  And acting in concert with others creates energy and hope!

SO, here are some concrete things to do in the next month in the areas NY PAT has been focussed on…….

April 29, Sunday

Anti-IDC Candidate Rallies organized by Rise + Resist

That supposed “deal" was too little and too late and we need to keep the pressure on!

If you can get up to Van Cortland Park in the Bronx on Sunday to the Biaggi event  please tell Alessandra and her team that DWC is with them all the way to Albany!  If you haven’t met Alessandra yet be prepared to come away all fired up!  (And if you are already fired up and want to work on getting her elected, get in touch with Daria who is our liaison with the campaign.)

If you don’t want to go north, you can go south or east to attend another one of the rallies!  These are all terrific candidates, including the newest one, Jasi Robinson, running against Diane Savino on Staten Island/ Brooklyn.  I met her last week, and can say that she is smart and brave and ready to do this.  And Jessica Ramos, running in Queens against Jose Peralta, is also quite amazing - she will be our RAP team’s May candidate for the brilliant FundHerCampaign lunch project, brainchild of DWC’s Marta Wolaver. (Buy lunch!  It’s so easy, delicious, and virtuous!)

May 1, Tuesday, 6:30 at Cooper Union

4 Women in a Room: A Conversation About Women in NYS Government

Do not miss this!  We have rescheduled our NY PAT meeting so as to have no conflict with this event!

It is going to be really interesting and right up our New York State alley, with the four women being

  • Zephyr Teachout, who ran for Congress against John Faso in NY19 in 2016, ran in the Democratic primary against Cuomo in 2014, and is now Cynthia Nixon’s campaign treasurer.  She’s a law professor at Fordham and is also a passionate crusader for campaign finance reform
  • Melissa Mark-Viverito, term limited out of City Council last year (where she held the Speakership), now at the Latino Victory Fund PAC
  • Stephanie Miner, two term mayor of Syracuse and a rising progressive in New York politics, whom many had hoped would get into the governor’s race
  • L. Joy Williams, dynamic and insightful president of the Brooklyn chapter of the NAACP and a founder of Higher Heights

Here is the Eventbrite link - it’s free, but ticketed

If you are going please rsvp to them, but also let me know.

May 23, Wednesday, 5:30-7:30

Post Card Party!! Wine, snacks, dish, views and political action!

May 24, Thursday, 7:00-9:00, Tribeca

NY PAT working meeting - long overdue!  

We will be sharing the details about what we are working on now and talking about how to get involved in those projects.

And looking ahead to future efforts, such as a voter guide for our members at the nitty-gritty Assembly District level.

Bring questions and suggestions - and look up your Assembly District and the names of your elected representatives and bring them with you.  Try to go to a Community Board meeting or a Democratic Club meeting in the meantime!

June 9, Saturday evening

Riverdale in Brooklyn

Another fundraiser for Alessandra is in the works.  This one will be younger, cooler, funner and in Brooklyn. Contact Rie or Logan if you want to learn more about working on this event - or to reserve your spot!

June, July, August

Repeal and Replace John Faso in NY19

Stay tuned for more opportunities to phone bank, post card or canvass in NY19. You can also connect directly if you want with NY19Votes or VoteSmartNY.

And as a side note - I voted in a special election State Assembly race up in District 19 yesterday, having changed my own registration to our home upstate, and the results were too close for the race to be called!  Absentee ballots will now be counted, and that could tip the balance towards the Democrat Adain O’Connor in a district that hasn’t even fielded a Democratic candidate in years!  Will keep you posted,

Did I mention that I am am so proud to be in an organization with every single one of you?

In solidarity,


DWC NY Political Action Team

Gun Violence is a Women's Issue meeting on April 23

Monday, April 23 is our last meeting until fall. 

The struggle for common sense gun legislation continues, even in New York. Come hear experts discuss issues related to gun violence and women.

Victims of gun violence are our neighbors, our children, ourselves.

Panelists include: Councilmember Carlina Rivera, writer and researcher Sarah Friedmann and co-founder of Protect Our Stolen Treasures, Yolanda McNair.  
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will also join us.  

After the panel, we will update you on DWC summer actions and other plans for the crucial midterm elections.

Please join us for this important meeting:
Monday, April 23, 7pm

Greenwich House Music School
46 Barrow St


Gun Violence is a Women's Issue

There’s a long history of white male support over gun rights being connected to anger and fears over gains for women and people of color. 
– Jessica Valenti, The Guardian

Please join us for the next DWC meeting:
Monday, April 23, 7pm
Greenwich House Music School
46 Barrow St

Our panelists:

City Councilmember Carlina Rivera represents the 2nd Council District. She was elected to office in 2017 – DWC campaigned for her! – with 83% of the vote, and has established herself as a leader on many issues, including affordability, preservation, open space, resiliency, education equality, and small business survival. Carlina is strong supporter of gun control laws that will keep our schools and streets safe, including an expansion of the SAFE Act and stronger laws at the federal level.

Jacqueline Bediako, M.S., BSBA, is an organizer, writer, behavior analyst and educator. Her writing focuses on black feminism, education, immigration, and race. She is an organizer with the New York City chapter of Million Hoodies Movement for Justice.
Sarah Friedmann is a writer and researcher specializing in human rights, international affairs, security, and public policy, with a particular focus on women’s issues. She holds a Master of Science (MS) in Foreign Service and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
We first heard Yolanda McNair, at the Women’s Conference in Detroit this year. She is the co-founder of Protect Our Stolen Treasures. Yolanda lost her daughter, Adaisha Miller, to gun violence and started this small foundation to pay for the coffins and funeral expenses of other children who are victims.  

Victims of gun violence are our neighbors, our children, ourselves.

Let's Flip PA State House Democrat!

DWC Battleground States Team - Brunch Fundraiser with Helen Tai
Running for Pennsylvania State House, District 178

Come meet Helen at a BLUE WAVE BRUNCH

Saturday, April 21, 2018
10AM - 12PM
At the home of Alice Naude and Stephen Saxl
Upper West Side address made available upon RSVP

Helen Tai is running for Pennsylvania State House, District 178. It’s a key battleground race – a Special Election on May 15th to fill the remainder of the term of a seat vacated by a Republican in a district that has been represented by Republicans for 34 years! It's crucial that we help Helen flip this seat.

BLUE WAVE Food and Drink will be served
...don't know what that is? Come find out!

If you are unable to attend, please consider donating here.

Find out more about Helen Tai here.

DWC meeting on April 23

Dear Sisters,

The next DWC meeting will be on Monday, April 23 at 7pm at Greenwich House Music School (46 Barrow St). The subject will be gun violence and gun legislation. We are lining up an impressive panel of speakers, and hope you will join us for this vitally important conversation. 

In solidarity,


DWC members,

We are very excited about our general meeting on January 30Gillian Thomas of the ACLU will be our speaker.  

Her subject could not be more timely.

Ms. Thomas' new book, Because of Sex, is about the ten SCOTUS sex discrimination cases that created the legal architecture for workplace sex discrimination law today, and got us from 1964 to the present — as told by the women who brought the cases.

Her talk will link these cases to a more current discussion about #MeToo and the cascade of abuse allegations. Harassment, says Ms. Thomas, stems from a culture in which men hold power. To that end, she will also explore issues of discrimination and the absence of women in leadership. 

Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening discussion! And bring a friend!

In solidarity,
Alex, Gena and DWC

PS  The Strand will be there to sell Gillian’s book.

Tuesday,  January 30, 2018 at 7 PM
Greenwich House, 27 Barrow Street

What happened at the DWC Meeting

Dear Sisters,
Thank you to everyone who came out and spread the word about last Tuesday's autumn kick-off meeting! We had an incredible panel, opened for and moderated by Lizz Winstead who shared hilarious and poignant stories of her experiences as a recipient of reproductive healthcare and her journey as an activist. In particular, Lizz highlighted Lady Parts Justice's work to expose Crisis Pregnancy Centers, anti-choice operations that often co-opt the appearance of a well-known care provider to give misleading (at best) and completely false (more likely) information to people seeking reproductive care options.
Moving into our panel with Senator Liz Krueger of New York City's 28th District, Kelli Owens from the Governor's office, and Emily Kadar from the National Institute for Reproductive Health, we had the opportunity to revisit topics familiar to some and new to others, laying a shared foundation covering:

  • The Reproductive Health Act and its importance to access to care in New York State (and for people traveling here for help)
  • The interference of the Independent Democratic Conference and opportunities to call them out for their disingenuous practices (in particular, Senator Krueger shared that they have, as part of their deal with Senate Republicans, the ability to bring any one bill to the floor once per day, which they have never done for the RHA, despite theoretically all being co-sponsors of the bill)
  • Five “marginally Republican” and possibly flippable NY State Senate districts in the Lower Hudson Valley and North Shore of Long Island
  • And further afield, the two vulnerable red US Congressional seats held by Faso and Zeldin (that NY PAT has begun working to turn blue) in District 19 (Catskills and Upper Hudson Valley) and District 1 (North and South Forks of Long Island)

We were also able to celebrate Kelli Owens' birthday, which she spent with us!
Coming up, please stay tuned to DWC emails and our Facebook page for updates on our participation in:

  • The Women's Convention in Detroit and Sister activities here in New York
  • Our Political Action Team's and Eleanor's Legacy's efforts to elect more women in local and state races
  • Turnout New York voters - only 14% of registered voters participated in this fall's primary election, which sends a message that we are not paying attention!

Thank you as always for your continued efforts in this marathon. It's been a long road since November, and we have a lot further to go: your passion and compassion are what it will take to keep making steps forward!
In solidarity,
Rie, Alex and Gena

IMG_2179 (1).jpeg

Amazing line up for our first fall meeting!

Women’s Rights Are Under Attack
It’s Time for Justice


Please join DWC for an evening of laughter, lively discussion, and strategy.Tuesday, September 19th, 7pm at Greenwich House (46 Barrow St).
Lizz Winstead (Lady Parts Justice Initiative) will lead off the evening with some comedy followed by a conversation with an all-star panel of women who are committed to advancing reproductive health and justice:
Emily Kadar – government affairs and advocacy manager for NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund
Senator Liz Krueger – 28th District, NYS Senate
Kelli Owens – Director of Women’s Affairs, NYS Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo
Lizz Winstead – co-creator of the Daily Show, founder of Lady Parts Justice Initiative
These leaders will share with us what they are doing and how we can stand up and fight back.  
Bring your sisters and your friends.

Political Action Team Summer Update

Welcome to summer! The heat is warming up our teams & actions. Lots here to get involved with—see you soon! 

If you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by all that remains to be done, please read "First, Let’s Talk About Jon Ossoff” below. 

In solidarity & hope, 
Elinor & Sharon 

Marjorie Velazquez for City Council
Eva and Daria have been up in the east Bronx canvassing with Marjorie Velazquez’s city council primary campaign. They are on the ground, making change!  AND getting real political campaign experience. Time is of the essence - Marjorie has until July 16 to get enough signatures to get on the ballot. 

NY District 19 (upstate)
NY19Votes has a Summer Canvass scheduled for Sunday July 23 to strategize about voting out the horrible John Faso. Note that some of what’s coming up includes a phone bank (the first one is July 12)- no travel necessary.  

Battleground States
First, Let’s Talk About Jon Ossoff
There's plenty out there to read about Tuesday's election, some of it overblown and some of it painfully true, but nothing changes this fact: GEORGIA IS NOT, NEVER WAS, AND LIKELY NEVER WILL BE A BATTLEGROUND STATE. The Dems saw the demographics of the district as a real opportunity in a Special Election, and they were very close to being right about that. But in our minds, the biggest mistake made (and we made it, too) was touting the race as the end-all precedent for the other races around the country leading into 2018. We began our work with the Ossoff election because every major org was doing it and it felt right at the time. But since then, and moving forward, DWC BATTLEGROUND TEAM  WILL ONLY SUPPORT BATTLEGROUND STATES! We are confident that the other candidates we're supporting are excellent bets for November 2017 and beyond, and supporting these races is how we are going to reclaim our democracy.

July Candidate
We have chosen former Vietnamese refugee Kathy Tran for Virginia District 42 as our next profile candidate and we'll be including a video of her when we send out our profile. Her story is very inspiring. Stay tuned on some exciting ways we are looking into to present Kathy personally to DWC.

Big Battleground Event in September
We have aligned with a group of New Yorkers (from NY, not VA!) called NY4VA.org and are planning a large event/party for VA candidates in September. Last week we partnered with them on an event for our June candidate, Cheryl Turpin, and we made $16K and counting! She gave a rousing speech and everyone left feeling energized and hopeful. If you missed your opportunity, you can still donate here.

Eleanor's Legacy
Alex and Daria were invited by Brette McSweeney of Eleanor's Legacy to get an update from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on her work for our state on pay disparity, paid family leave, a tech workforce task force, and the centennial of suffrage in New York.

Reproductive Rights and Justice
Members of the Reproductive Rights and Justice Team traveled to Albany to meet with Senate staffers about getting the RHA passed. They met with Brad Usher (Chief of Staff for Senator Liz Krueger), John Banville (Director of Operations for Senator Elaine Phillips), Angel Vasquez (Chief Staff for Senator Marisol Alcantara), Shelley Andrews (Head Counsel to the IDC for Senator Jeff Klein), Kelli Owens (Director of Women's Affairs, Executive Chamber), and Senator Patrick Gallivan and delivered literature regarding DWC's call for support for the RHA and CCCA to the offices of Senator Valesky and Senator Savino.

One Party, Different Voices

One Party, Different Voices: Constructive Dialogue on the Divides within the Democratic Party

Downtown Women for Change hosts a discussion with: 
David Pollak, Former NYS Democratic Party Co-Chair, Current Member
Brette McSweeney, Director, Eleanor’s Legacy
Carter Turner, Former Chair, Roanoke County VA Democratic Committee
Comedian/Political Talk Show Host Sam Seder from ‘The Majority Report’ Podcast

Join us for an evening of conversation!
Monday, June 26,   7:00 – 9:00PM
121 Wooster St 6R NY, NY

The recent unprecedented activism of citizens across the country has brought a groundswell of support for the Democratic party. But after a bitterly divisive primary race in 2016, many feel that the party is failing to adjust quickly enough to the shifting perspectives of the electorate, allowing internal disagreements to stymie its attempts to unify. Our interest in common ground leads us to ask deeper questions:

  • What is the nature of the discord between former Clinton and Sanders supporters?
  • How do we align a diversity of perspectives on tough issues, like abortion and gun rights?
  • What role will women have in the future of the party?
  • As grassroots activists, how can we respond to the needs of urban progressives and rural moderates at the same time without alienating either group?

Join us for a discussion with David Pollak, Vice President of the DNC's National Ethnic Coordinating Council, the former Co-Chair of the NYS Democratic Party; former Democratic Party Regional Chair Carter Turner from Roanoke VA, a blue dot hidden deep inside the red territory of rural Appalachia; and Brette McSweeney, who is leading the effort to put more women into politics in NY as Director of Eleanor’s Legacy. Sam Seder, who has interviewed many of the most important figures in politics today will help our panelists share their unique perspectives on what unites us, what divides us, and what we can do as individuals to help forge a new common ground for the Democratic party. Don’t miss what is sure to be an enlightening and engaging evening.