On Tuesday, Rep. Tammy Baldwin ( D-Wis) announced her bid for U.S. Senate which, if successful, would make her the first openly gay senator in U.S. history. Baldwin is a champion of the rights of the middle class, stating, "I've decided to run for the US Senate because I believe Wisconsin families need a senator who will work hard to deliver results for the middle class - a leader with the courage to do what's right, no matter how tough the odds or how powerful the special interests we have to fight." Other issues that Baldwin plans to address during her campaign include Wall Street reform and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The Senate seat is currently held by Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, who will be retiring.
Baldwin is currently the only openly gay Congresswoman. "The fact is, I've been honest about my sexual orientation my entire adult life. And integrity is important in public service...I know that, in this campaign, we'll be up against some powerful special interests. But I've beaten the odds before. All my life, the naysayers have told me that I can't win because I'm a progressive...because I'm a woman...even because I'm a lesbian. And I've proven them wrong," Baldwin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Baldwin is expected to gain strong support from LGBT and women's organizations, having already been endorsed by the Feminist Majority PAC, Emily's List, as well as the Human Rights Campaign. Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, released a statement, saying, "Tammy Baldwin's candidacy for the U.S. Senate is monumental for both the state of Wisconsin and the country's LGBT community. Tammy has proven herself as an effective legislator over the course of her 13 years in Congress and this campaign will be a top priority for the Human Rights Campaign."
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 9/6/11; Huffington Post 9/6/11; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9/6/11
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .