The good news: Congress Republicans passed a funding bill to avoid a government shutdown yesterday. The bad news: it’s only for two weeks. Every day, 122 DACA recipients lose their protections. The…
Six years ago, when I first started thinking about running for Senate, Massachusetts had never elected a woman to be a senator or a governor. I heard it over and over again, even from friends: “Don’t run. A woman can’t win here. Not yet.”
I understood what they meant. Even in Massachusetts, politics still looked like a boys’ club. But then someone told me something different: “If we don’t run, if we don’t try, we can’t win. And we can’t blaze a trail for the next woman who comes along either.”
So I jumped into the race, and you know what? We built the biggest grassroots campaign in Senate history – and we won. The nay-sayers were wrong. Women can win in Massachusetts – and women can win anywhere in this country.
That fact is more important today more than ever before – because ten Democratic women senators are up for re-election next year (including me). That’s nearly half of all the women in the Senate.
If we’re going to defend those seats, and if we’re going to elect more women to the Senate in 2018 than ever before, we’re going to need to fight. So today I’m fighting for our women senators up for re-election in 2018, as well as Jacky Rosen, who is challenging Republican Senator Dean Heller in Nevada. Because if we don’t fight, we can’t win.
Over the past year, we’ve seen why it’s so important to elect more women to the United States Senate. We need to elect women because they know what it’s like to get paid less for doing the same job as a man. What it’s like to struggle with the skyrocketing cost of childcare. What’s it like to go to college where sexual assault is all too common. What it’s like to have a sexist boss – like one who gets caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women.
We need to elect women because there are a lot of people in Washington and in state capitols across America who are bound and determined to undo decades of women’s progress and rights, including the right to choose – and we need to fight back.
Donald Trump might call us names. Mitch McConnell might tell us to sit down and shut up. The TV pundits might tell us to smile more and stop being so shrill or bossy. They can try, but they can’t stop us.
We will persist. We will persist because if we don’t try, we can’t win. And trust me, if we stand together and fight, we are going to win.
Thanks for being a part of this,
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Toni Van Pelt spoke this morning at a rally organized by the ACLU legal team on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.