Cecile Richards Talks Voting, Advocacy & Supercharge Virtual Event
© Jared Siskin Supermajority Co-Founder Cecile Richards sits down with MC’s editor in chief to…
With just over a month until the 2020 presidential election, it’s crucial for everyone to make an actionable plan to vote. Supermajority, a women’s equality organization dedicated to empowering women across the country, wants to help make that happen. On September 26, Supermajority is launching a 38-day mobilization campaign to give women the information, resources (like this helpful checklist), and inspiration they need to cast a ballot this fall and make their voices heard.
The initiative kicks off with “Supercharge: Women All In,” a virtual convention featuring some of the most influential voices of our generation, including vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Jane Fonda, Ashley Judd, Retta, Amy Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sasheer Zamata, Samantha Bee, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Ed Markey, Valerie Jarrett, Tina Tchen, and more.
If the impressive roster of speakers hasn’t already convinced you to cancel your plans and tune in, we asked Supermajority co-founder Cecile Richards to share more about Supermajority’s mission and the Supercharge event, the importance of women voters, and what’s most at stake in the 2020 election. Read the highlights from her Instagram Live conversation with Marie Claire Editor in Chief Sally Holmes, below.
On Supermajority’s Mission:
“We launched Supermajority about a year ago, and we’re now a community of about a million. We’re keenly focused right now on making sure that women are counted in this election. Women will be the majority of voters. We want to make sure that the issues we care about are discussed, and most importantly that we see action in the next administration.”
On the Most Prevalent Issues for Women in the 2020 Election:
“I’m a believer that every issue is a women’s issue. What I’m hearing from women is that many of the issues these women face in their day-to-day lives just aren’t part of the agenda. This pandemic has put that in sharp relief since so many women are frontline workers, nurses, caregivers, teachers, and educators. Since the entire childcare system in this country is so beleaguered, it’s very hard for most women to work from home if they are, take care of their kids, and take care of their loved ones in their extended family. From women, what I hear is we need a healthcare system that protects everybody, we need an end to this pandemic, we need real economic relief. Right now, there’s record high unemployment, particularly for women. And, of course, women want an end to this partisan strife. They want racial justice addressed. They want our democracy to work and have every vote counted.”
On What’s at Stake for Women Pending the Supreme Court Nominee:
“The passing of Justice Ginsburg put a renewed focus on how important it is to have representation in government. Since our president campaigned that he would only appoint justices that wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade and also has been trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act since he was elected, I think we can guarantee that whoever he nominates will fit that description. One of the immediate things that’s on everyone’s minds is that five days after this election, the case that this government has been bringing to overturn the Affordable Care Act is going before the Supreme Court. If the ACA is overturned, that means 20 million folks who have health insurance coverage are at risk. This is [President Trump and Senator McConnell’s] chance to jam the Supreme Court nominee through a system that will do what they can’t do legislatively. That’s really dangerous.”
On the Importance of Women’s Vote:
“It’s important to remember that a plurality of white women did vote for Donald Trump [in 2016]. I think that women have seen exactly how this president governs and they don’t like it. That’s part of the reason we created Supermajority. White women can’t continue to rely on Black women and other women of color to be progressive voters. We have to do our part as well. The real idea here is to come together about the values and issues that we jointly care about. The important thing to recognize is that when women stand together and vote, we can change things…There’s no way to overstate the power of women to determine the future of this country, and this is the year to do it.”
On Fighting Racial Injustice:
“Tomorrow, at Supercharge, we will be talking about how we address the epidemic of racial injustice, including the murder of Black people. This is not an issue for women of color or people of color to solve—it needs white people, and white women in particular, to work across lines and raise these issues up. In our experience with Supermajority, it’s understood that this is a major issue and one that we’ve never addressed as a country. Tomorrow, we will be paying special tribute to Breonna Taylor and Justice Ginsburg—two women who are on the minds of so many of us, and the women that they represent.”
On Voter Suppression and Making Our Votes Count:
“We just set up an incredible service at Supermajority [that answers questions about voting and helps you register to vote]. It’s really important because the rules are changing in so many states. The other thing that’s important is for women to know that you can vote early in a lot of states and do so safely.”
On Her Hopes for the Future:
“We need a president and vice president that will bring this country back together again and heal us. What I hear from women all the time is that they are sick of the partisanship and division. The ‘us vs. them’ [conversation]. Women are looking for leaders with compassion, who can relate to people, and address the problems that we, particularly women, face every day. I think we can do it…You can’t manufacture feeling better, you either do or you don’t, but I have just been amazed at the resilience of women. That’s why building this community at Supermajority feels so important.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Watch “Supercharge: Women All In” on Supercharge2020.com and across Supermajority’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts on September 26 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.