Having just returned from the National Federation of Democratic Women’s 45th convention in Charleston, South Carolina, I want to give a brief overview of the issues we advanced. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia were represented by a total of 131 delegates. The Connecticut delegation of eight women is extremely proud of our National President, Joanne Sullivan, who is from East Hartford. She managed an ambitious four-day agenda of speakers, workshops, by-laws revisions, and resolutions.
As Resolutions Chair, I am proud that our organization passed several resolutions in support of legislative and judicial issues, including the following:
- Providing mental health services for veterans;
- Condemning inequality in all forms and advocating for equal rights including equal pay for equal work, social justice, and an end to racism and classism;
- Full funding of public education for all students across America;
- the President’s authority to nominate a Supreme Court Justice during an election year;
- a commendation honoring First Lady Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama;
- Endorsement of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States.
Connecticut Federation’s resolutions on Firearms and Domestic Violence (based on the recently passed state law giving courts the power to confiscate guns in protective order cases) and the resolutions supporting the Violence Against Women Act and encouraging Gun Violence Research particularly resonated with everyone. One of our guest speakers was Rev. Dr. Betty Deas-Clark, Pastor of Emmanuel AME Church, who spoke eloquently and fervently about the shooting there a year ago. Sadly, our Sunday morning closing meeting was held in shock and grim remembrance of the Orlando massacre.
A surprise request came to the convention from an aide to Democratic Progressive Party chairman Tsai Ing-wen, the newly elected first female President of Taiwan, seeking an endorsement of this historic victory. The delegates heartily approved this resolution. The NFDW President has been invited to Miami to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen in late June.
One other resolution passed was for Support of Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment; for years the NFDW has promoted this resolution that our country sinfully hasn’t passed. These resolves are being forwarded to the Democratic National Committee, Congress, and the President as appropriate and will be posted on the NFDW website www.nfdw.com. NFDW was founded to support women's voices within the Democratic Party of the United States. The commitment and determination of this group speaks to the better angels within us all and will help America stay great.