Government

West Hartford Resident Co-Founds ‘PoliticaCT’ to Encourage Women’s Advocacy

State Sen. Beth Bye (left) of West Hartford with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (fourth from left) at the launch of PolitcaCT at the State Capitol on Monday. Courtesy photo
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State Sen. Beth Bye (D-5th) of West Hartford and attorney Jamie Mills held a launch Monday for the progressive women’s advocacy organization ‘PoliticaCT’ which they have co-founded.

Submitted

PoliticaCT, a member-based, values driven, progressive women’s advocacy organization, was officially launched Monday by the Board of Directors at a press event at the State Capitol in Hartford. Co-founders, attorney Jamie Mills and State Sen. Beth Bye, were joined by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, State Rep. Robyn Porter, and Celinda Lake, a nationally-renowned political strategist.

The mission of PoliticaCT is to build a more progressive Connecticut through issue advocacy and the strategic recruitment, mentoring, and support of progressive women to run in targeted, winnable elections at the state level.

In preparation for 2018, PoliticaCT will work to advocate, in coalition whenever possible, in support of its priority issues. The nonpartisan organization will also recruit, educate and mobilize their members in support of women leaders in state House and state Senate races next year, particularly in races that will make a significant difference in the balance of political power in Hartford.

“There is no better time for women to get involved in government – to build the coalitions ensuring women’s voices are heard in Hartford, in local government, and in Washington,” said Wyman. “Voting, rallies, outreach to legislators – these are all critical for our democracy. But to truly be represented, we must also be in the seats at all levels of government.”

The idea for PoliticaCT was conceived through discussions among women leaders from across the state in response to the 2016 elections and policy failures in Hartford. Last year’s presidential election and the lack of support in Hartford for important policy initiatives important to progressive women informed the creation of PoliticaCT. Even in a blue state like Connecticut, progressive measures in support of paid family and medical leave, pay equity, and a livable wage, were recently defeated in the state legislature.

Women make up 51.2 percent of the population in Connecticut, but only 27.8 percent of the members of the state legislature are female.

“The group was founded on a fundamental belief in the simple notion that our communities and our democracy are stronger when women are full and equal participants,” said PoliticaCT Board member and State Rep. Robyn Porter.”

“These are extraordinary times and PoliticaCT is just one of many organizations formed by women in the aftermath of the November 2016 election. We believe that now is the time for women to be bold and to make clear that the movement for equality and social justice is focused and activated. PoliticaCT will be fighting to preserve what we thought had been won and to ensure that we are progressing toward more inclusiveness, equality and basic fairness,” said co-founder Mills.

“Considering the current climate in America, it is more important than ever for women of all colors to participate in decisions that are made at the tables of power,” stated PoliticaCT Board Member and State Sen. Marilyn Moore. “Our voices must be included in decisions that will impact the lives of our children and families.”

“My goal as a founding board member of PoliticaCT is to not only make sure that more progressive women from all backgrounds have a seat at the table, but to also ensure that they feel that they are supported while they are there. No woman should go it alone,” said April Capone, a PoliticaCT Board member and former Mayor of East Haven, CT.

“I want to take decisive and direct action to elect women and gain legislative support for our priority issues. PoliticaCT is strong enough to offer centralized advice for women earning seats in the Connecticut House of Representatives, Connecticut State Senate, and throughout the system,” added Tessa Marquis, PoliticaCT Board member and owner of New Standard Institute. “Nothing against men, but you guys seem to need some help.”

“Even after 16 years in elected office, I still feel the imbalance every day. I am ready to focus my efforts on electing more progressive women. We need more women, period,” said Bye. “We have not gained seats in decades when it comes to the proportion of women in elected office. But we need more progressive women to move our communities, our state, and our country – to a true middle.”

“PoliticaCT is necessary because we understand that our core values are under attack here in Connecticut as well as across our country,” added PoliticaCT Board member Millie Torres-Ferguson. “From recent defeats of legislation for Paid Family and Medical Leave, pay equity and a livable wage, to attacks on retirement security, higher education, and healthcare, we know that we must organize here and now in Connecticut.”

For more information on PoliticaCT including the full list of founding Board of Directors members, visit http://www.politicact.org/.

Celebrating the launch of PoliticaCT at the West Hartford home of Atty. Gen. George Jepsen Monday night are (from left): Elin Katz, Linda Friendman Levin, Tracey Wilson, Beth Kerrigan, Brenda Watson, Jane Lehman, and Beth Bye. Courtesy photo

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