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The name EMILY's List is an acronym for "Early Money Is Like Yeast" (i.e., it raises dough).3 The saying is a reference to a convention of political fundraising: that receiving lots of donations early in a race is helpful in attracting other, later donors.
EMILY's List is the nation’s largest resource for women in politics. With more than 3 million members, it is one of the largest political action committees (PAC) in the United States.
EMILY’s List political staff helps candidates build campaigns by providing technical support, raising money for and making financial contributions to the campaigns of pro-choice Democratic women running in targeted races.4
Since its founding in 1985, EMILY's List has worked to elect 100 pro-choice Democratic women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 10 governors, and over five hundred women to state and local office.5
- 1 History
- 2 2012 Endorsements
- 3 Successful EMILY's List Candidates
- 4 Programs
- 5 Similar groups
- 6 Further reading
- 7 References
- 8 External links
EMILY's List was founded in 1985, when 25 women met in the home of Ellen Malcolm. Their goal was to form a network to raise money for pro-choice female candidates. The network was designed to provide its members with information about candidates and encourage them to write checks directly to the candidates. In 1986, EMILY's List was instrumental in electing Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, the first woman Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right.6
In 2005, EMILY's List celebrated its 20th Anniversary at a gala in Washington, D.C. Speakers included then-newly elected Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI), Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD), and Governor Jennifer Granholm (MI). Also in 2005, Ellen Moran took office as executive director for the second time to head the nation's largest political action committee, before becoming Barack Obama's communications director in November 2008.
In 2006, the group helped elect eight new pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House, aiding in the second largest increase in history at that time. The re-election of all female Senate incumbents and the addition of Sen. Claire McCaskill and Sen Amy Klobuchar brought the number of women in the Senate to a new high of 16.7 For the 2006 election, EMILY's List raised about $46 million for candidates in the 2006 contests and it is listed as the biggest PAC in the nation by Political Money Line, an independent source of information about campaign fund-raising.8
On January 20, 2007, EMILY's List endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. The endorsement came within hours of Senator Clinton's announcement that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for president.
During the Democratic presidential primaries, when pro-choice organization NARAL endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, EMILY's List was strongly critical. President Ellen R. Malcolm said, “I think it is tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton - who held up the nomination of a FDA commissioner in order to force approval of Plan B and who spoke so eloquently during the Supreme Court nomination about the importance of protecting Roe vs. Wade - to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process. It certainly must be disconcerting for elected leaders who stand up for reproductive rights and expect the choice community will stand with them.”9
After the conclusion of the democratic Presidential primary, EMILY's List moved their support to Barack Obama and was vocal in their protest of the McCain/Palin ticket.
The 2008 cycle was the second most successful cycle in EMILY's List history, second only to 1992's "The year of the woman". The PAC helped elect two new female senators, Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and supported the election of Gov. Bev Perdue of North Carolina, the re-election of Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington, and the successful elections of twelve new women to the United States House of Representatives.10
Stephanie Schriock took over as President of EMILY’s List in 2010. Schriock previously managed the races of Sen. Al Franken in 2008 and Sen. Jon Tester in 2006.She was also Finance Director for Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential campaign.
During the 2012 election cycle, EMILY’s List raised $52 million – the most in the organization’s history. It also helped elect a record number of candidates11 – helping bring the number of women in the Senate to an all-time high of 20 (16D, 4R).12
During the 2012 election cycle, EMILY’s List helped elect Maggie Hassan (D-NH) the only pro-choice Democratic woman governor in the country, 19 new women to the House, six Senate incumbents, and three new Senators 13– Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.),14 Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.),15 and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).16 All three are the first women to represent their states in the Senate.17 Baldwin is the first openly gay Senator in American history.18
Current endorsements, of pro-choice Democratic women, made by EMILY's List.19
- Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
- Former Arizona Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick
- Arizona's 1st Congressional District
- Ann McLane Kuster
- New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District
- Ohio Congresswoman Betty Sutton
- Former New Hampshire Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter
- New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District
- Cheri Bustos
- Illinois's 17th Congressional District
- Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack
- Iowa's 4th Congressional District
- Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill
- Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow
- California Senator Dianne Feinstein
- Former Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus
- Nevada's 1st Congressional District
- Former Connecticut State Representative Elizabeth Esty
- Connecticut's 5th Congressional District
- Elizabeth Warren
- Senator from Massachusetts
- New York State Assemblywoman Grace Meng
- New York's 6th Congressional District
- Former Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives Joyce Beatty
- Ohio's 3rd Congressional District
- California State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley
- California's 26th Congressional District
- Kathyrn Boockvar
- Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District
- New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul
- New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
- Former Arizona State Senator Kyrsten Sinema
- Arizona's 9th Congressional District
- California Congresswoman Lois Capps
- Former Mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida Lois Frankel
- Florida's 22nd Congressional District
- New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
- Former Majority Leader of the New Hampshire State Senate Maggie Hassan
- Governor of New Hampshire
- Washington Senator Maria Cantwell
- Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie Hirono
- Senator from Hawaii
- Former Bernalillo County, New Mexico Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham
- New Mexico's 1st Congressional District
- Shelley Adler
- New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District
- Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley
- Senator from Nevada
- Suzan DelBene
- Washington's 1st Congressional District
- Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin
- Senator from Wisconsin
- Tammy Duckworth
- Illinois's 8th Congressional District
- Former Honolulu, Hawaii Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard
- Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District
- Former Police Chief of Orlando, Florida Val Demings
- Florida's 10th Congressional District
- California State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod
- Jessica Ehrlich
- Joyce Healy-Abrams
- Sharen Neuhardt
- Prosecuting Attorney for Cass County, Missouri Teresa Hensley
Successful EMILY’s List federal and statewide candidates include:20
* currently serving in higher office ** no longer in office *** deceased
- Ann Richards***
- Karen Bass
- Julia Brownley
- Lois Capps
- Judy Chu
- Susan Davis
- Anna Eshoo
- Jane Harman**
- Janice Hahn
- Barbara Lee
- Zoe Lofgren
- Doris Matsui
- Juanita Millender-McDonald***
- Gloria Negrete McLeod
- Grace Napolitano
- Nancy Pelosi
- Laura Richardson
- Lucille Roybal-Allard
- Linda Sanchez
- Loretta Sanchez
- Lynn Schenk**
- Hilda Solis*
- Jackie Speier
- Ellen Tauscher*
- Maxine Waters
- Diane Watson**
- Lynn Woolsey
- Corrine Brown
- Kathy Castor
- Lois Frankel
- Suzanne Kosmas**
- Carrie Meek**
- Karen Thurman**
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz
- Frederica Wilson
- Yvette Clarke
- Kirsten Gillibrand*
- Kathy Hochul**
- Nita Lowey
- Carolyn Maloney
- Carolyn McCarthy
- Grace Meng
- Louise Slaughter
- Nydia Velazquez
Over its 28-year history, EMILY’s List has expanded its scope to anticipate shifts in the way campaigns are run and to meet the needs of a changing political landscape — developing new programs to help women win.
The Political Opportunity Program (POP) was established in 2001 to develop the next generation of pro-choice Democratic women political leaders by investing in candidates at the state and local levels. POP targets its resources toward pro-choice Democratic women running for state legislatures, state constitutional offices, and key local offices. POP provides training for candidates, and technical assistance and financial support to campaigns.21
WOMEN VOTE! is EMILY’s List’s independent expenditure arm which works to educate and mobilize women voters on behalf of pro-choice Democratic women candidates and Democrats up and down the ballot. The EMILY's List WOMEN VOTE! project combines polling and research, sophisticated message testing, the latest innovations in data and technology as well as good old-fashioned voter contact to mobilize millions of women voters across the country.
In 2012, EMILY’s List had the largest, most successful WOMEN VOTE! program in the organization’s history. WOMEN VOTE! mobilized women voters in 22 races and 17 states with 4.7 million mail pieces, 20 unique TV ads, over 148 million online impressions to targeted women voters. WOMEN VOTE! had a near-perfect success rate during our primary season and won 17 of the 19 races decided on November 6.22
Similar groups have formed along the same lines as EMILY's List, with some slight variations. The Wish List supports pro-choice Republican women. In 1994, Joan Kirner created a similar organization in Australia by the name EMILY's List Australia.
- Women and the Democratic Party: The Evolution of Emily's List by Jamie Pamelia Pimlott (Cambria Press; 2010) 209 pages; the history from 1985 through the 2008 elections.
- EMILY's List: Our Mission
- "EMILY's List History".
- Emily's List official FAQ, question 1.
- "EMILY's List Mission".
- "EMILY's List: Women We Helped Elect".
- Pimlott (2010)
- "Democratic Women Reach Historic Heights in Congress" (Press release). EMILY's List. November 13, 2006. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "Sweet column: Hillary Clinton gets key endorsement for 2008 bid". Chicago Sun-Times.
- EMILY's List Trashes NARAL for Obama Endorsement | The New York Observer
- Pimlott (2010)
- "EMILY's List Press Release".
- "Center for American Women and Politics".
- "EMILY's List Press Release".
- "EMILY's List Congratulations Elizabeth Warren".
- "EMILY's List Congratulations Tammy Baldwin".
- "EMILY's List Congratulations Mazie Hirono".
- "EMILY's List Press Release".
- Terkel, Amanda. "Tammy Baldwin Sworn In To Senate, Becomes First Openly Gay Senator".
- "Women We Helped Elect".
- "EMILY's List Political Opportunity Program".
- "EMILY's List WOMEN VOTE!".
- Sarah Palin issues a call to action to 'mama grizzlies'