Supervisor Holly Mitchell speaks at the EMILYs List Briefing and luncheon. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, hosted a Los Angeles luncheon on Feb. 9, to feature EMILYs List endorsed candidates and elected officials from around the country.

The event highlighted what’s at stake for this year’s election and the organization’s mission, which is to help Democratic pro-choice women run for office reinvigorated its top supporters to continue working together like never before.

Mitchell urged the audience to support the mission of EMILYs List. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Attendees first heard from L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who welcomed guests by reminiscing about her first job in politics as a speechwriter for former Congresswoman Diane E. Watson. She recalled how Watson would always find a way to weave her favorite book, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum into her speech. Fast forward to today and Mitchell recommends another book that is very much relevant to today’s issues for this group of powerful women as allies.

“Grace for President” by Kelly Dipucchio begins with the question: “Where are the girls?” When the children’s book character Grace Campbell’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first.

She immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the “best man for the job” – and seems to have captured all the male votes – while Grace concentrates on being the best person.

Mitchell went on to encourage the importance of early fundraising in electoral politics. “The work you all do in supporting Emily’s list will continue to collectively make sure our democracy is safe, that we continue to build a world in which all of us can grow old with dignity and our little girls can thrive,” she added.

“As a woman who served in elected office since 2010, I thank you for seeing us as women candidates while putting your shoulder to the grindstone to help us be successful because when we run, we win. And when we win, the world is a better place.”

U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler was slated to sit on a panel with senatorial candidates to discuss the importance of expanding the Democratic majority in the Senate to protect the rights and freedoms of millions of Americans. But instead, Butler remained in Washington D.C. to vote on H.R. 815, a bill that expands eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs reimbursement of emergency treatment for veterans who are treated in a non-VA facility.

She jokingly informed the crowd that it was their fault she wasn’t able to attend as the work of EMILYs List is to elect democratic pro-choice women. Butler is just the third Black American woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate and is currently the only Black woman serving as Senator in the 118th U.S. Congress. In 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom chose Butler to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Dianne Feinstein.

“It is a great honor to be here in Washington on behalf of the work that you have done for the past 40 years. When we were together just last year, we talked about what it meant to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing,” Butler said during remarks made from a video address.

“Last year, we talked a lot about where, what, and when, but we didn’t talk about how. In 2024, we’ve got to make sure that we are talking to each other about how we win back our right to make decisions about our own bodies. We’ve got to make sure that we’re talking about how we protect the vote in disenfranchised communities across the country,” she declared.

“We have to talk about how we do the work to protect and win the future that we and our children deserve. And it’s not just about being in the right place at the right time. I’m doing the right thing. It is about choosing to do it together.”

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for rights throughout various communities. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls.

“Let’s continue to show our community, our colleagues, the power of choosing to make change together,” Butler concluded.

“If we elect democratic pro-choice women at every level of the ballot, we make it clear that it is together that we will win the future that we deserve.”

The program also featured Lieutenant Governor, Eleni Kounalakis along with EMILYs List Interim President Jessica Mackler and candidates Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), and Angela Alsobrooks for U.S. Senate in Prince George’s County (Maryland). Other special guests included EMILYs List Board Members Wendy Gruel, Jen Lin, and former Mayor Michael Tubbs, an EMILYs List Board Member who closed with a fundraising ask.

So far, EMILYs List can boast it has helped elect Kamala Harris as the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and more than 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color.


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