2009 Conference Report
WAND activists and women state legislators networked, shared, learned, and collaborated on renewing our commitment to advance our numbers at the tables of power, as women in government and community roles, to work for positive change across the country.
• In more than 100 Capitol Hill meetings, our conferees advocated with their Members of Congress for re-allocating non-essential military spending to address long-term
security by investing in good jobs, education, infrastructure, and health care.
• We celebrated the growing number of women with vision, talent, and promise for higher leadership.
• Truman National Security Project’s highly rated training boosted our ability to engage with voters, the media and Congress on local, state, and national security needs.
• Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, a former state legislator and WiLL member, was
saluted as our 2009 Torchbearer for her commitment to working families; she joins past honorees Coretta Scott King, Janet Reno, Marian Wright Edelman, Helen Thomas, Eve Ensler, Carol Moseley Braun, and Millie Jeffrey.
• Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA), a WiLL member and the first Chinese-American woman in the U.S. Congress, keynoted the Torchbearer Reception with an inspiring account of her public service.
• Women leaders from the labor movement — AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, SEIU’s Merle Cuttita and Amy Dacey, and NEA’S Lily Eskelsen — addressed the
challenges faced by working women and families in the economic downturn, and
outlined strategies to secure a decent standard of living and a brighter future for America’s workforce.
• Ten outstanding state legislators were recognized as 2009 WiLL Pacesetters for
their leadership and demonstrated commitment to excellence in public service.
• Smart use of new media and social networking tools were featured by American Forum, Digital Sisters, and Firedoglake, as a way to engage the public and influence important state and federal policy debates.
• Experts highlighted education, human services, and health care issues, the fiscal
crisis, and the necessity to re-prioritize national spending to meet constituent needs.
• Veterans explored the emerging needs of women in the military, and the challenges faced by veterans and their families.
• Women authors inspired with their works about the political impact of women at home and abroad. Former Ambassador Linda Tarr-Whelan shared a compelling vision of transforming institutions through women’s leadership with her book Women Lead the Way.
• High-ranking Department of Labor officials hosted our delegation for an update
on agency initiatives and a review of new research commissioned by WAND on jobs
production in health, education, and construction investments.
• In the 111th Congress, 48 women come from the ranks of WiLL/WAND. Three Cabinet members — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis — were WiLL state legislators.
To read our entire conference report, please download the PDF here Conference Report 09