UltraViolet PAC Names 10 Women Running for State Office To Watch This Election Cycle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 15, 2018
CONTACT: Brett Abrams | brett@unbendablemedia.com

Women’s Group Launches New Campaign: 10 Trailblazing State and Local Women Candidates You Should Know About

UltraViolet PAC Names 10 Women Running for State Office To Watch This Election Cycle

WASHINGTON, DC — UltraViolet PAC, a leading national women’s organization, today launched a new campaign to engage voters in the importance of non-federal races by naming a list of the 10 trailblazing down-ballot women candidates that everyone should know about.

“Many are saying this will be the ‘year of the woman,’ but to create the dramatic and lasting change women need, we can’t just elect women to federal offices–we need to focus on state and local government too. That need could not be more clear after the last weeks in Washington. Because Republicans turned their backs on survivors of sexual violence, we now have the most anti-women Supreme Court in generations. We need to have champions at the state and local level to act as a firewall against an ideologically driven Court that is stacked against women,” explained Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet PAC. “Now more than ever is the time to look to new examples of who should represent the people. The amazing and inspiring candidate that are part of the flood of women rising up all over this country, and they exemplify what it actually means to be pro-woman today.”

The campaign, coupled with a micro-site, comes just months after UltraViolet Action named the “Top 16 Worst Candidates for Women in 2018,” and is part of a larger effort by the group to outline what it means for a candidate to be on the side of women this election cycle.

VIEW THE FULL LIST HERE: https://weareultraviolet.org/ballot-races/

The candidates, running for state office across the country, are the most diverse slate of candidates ever endorsed by UltraViolet PAC. As part of its endorsement. They include:

Brianna Titone, running for State Representative in Colorado’s 27th District: A trans woman and community leader, Brianna Titone is an advocate for the vulnerable, championing a progressive platform that includes affordable housing, a living wage, health care for all, environmental protection, and family leave as part of the fight for reproductive rights. Titone is running against a Republican incumbent.

Ruth Buffalo, running for State Representative in North Dakota’s 27th District: Ruth Buffalo is an Indigenous public health advocate (member of Hidatsa, Mandan and Apache Nations) and mom who has worked to fight a problem that most lawmakers still choose not to give the proper attention to–trafficking of, and violence against, Indigenous women and girls. She is a member of Fargo, North Dakota’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Human Trafficking task force. Buffalo names affordable health care as one of her top priorities for North Dakota, as well as public safety for all communities and education equity. She is running to grab a currently Republican-controlled seat.

Mina Davis, running for State Senator in Nebraska’s 8th District: A young, small business owner and organizer, Mina Davis is a champion for the working class–the majority made up of women–and is running on affordable housing, a living wage, student loan reform, and criminal justice reform, along with health care for all and reproductive health access. By far, Davis is the more progressive candidate in a race between two Democrats and, if she wins, as a Black Filipina she would be the only woman of color in the Nebraska legislature.

Sam Edwards, running for State Representative in South Carolina’s 85th District: Sam Edwards is running to unseat a NRA-backed, anti-choice assemblyman who has held South Carolina’s 85th State District since 1998. As a LGBTQ woman, Sam would be joining a male-heavy legislature that, as recently as February, tried to pass a bill that would define gay marriage as “parody marriage.” She is running on defending and expanding health care as a human right, protecting the environment from corporate polluters, and equitable funding of public schools.

Monica Duran, running for State Representative in Colorado’s 24th District: Monica Duran is a community leader who successfully helped lead a grassroots effort to protect her home of Wheat Ridge from destructive corporate development. A Latina, survivor of domestic violence, and a once homeless single mom, she claims her experience as the reason she aims to fight for marginalized communities. Not only is she a champion of reproductive freedom, she names health care access for all, environmental protection, policies to secure justice for abuse survivors, and protecting public schools from privatization as some of her top issues. Duran is hoping to keep CO-24 a Democratic district in November.

Raumesh Akbari, running for State Senator in Tennessee’s 29th District: Raumesh Akbari is currently a progressive State Assembly member with a long record of leading criminal justice reform–crucial, especially to the protection of Black women and girls–in red-state Tennessee. A skillful legislator who has successfully passed bills in criminal justice, education reform, economic development, and more, Akbari also introduced legislation this year to protect domestic violence and sexual assault survivors’ right to take time off from work to speak with law enforcement and seek housing and counseling. If she wins, Akbari would make a total of six women in the Tennessee State Senate.

Laura Fortman, running for State Senator in Maine’s 13th District: Laura Fortman boasts 30 years of advocating for women and families in Maine. Also a survivor of sexual assault who has advocated for protection from sexual harassment in the workplace in her capacity as the Maine Commissioner of Labor and member of the Maine Women’s Lobby, Fortman champions a comprehensive slate of progressive policies for women, families, and the elderly, including paid sick and family medical leave, access to flexible, high-quality child and elder care, expanding access to healthcare, affordable housing, and public transportation, in addition to a woman’s right to have and to access reproductive care options. She is looking to unseat a Republican incumbent in the Maine State Senate, where Republicans hold a one-seat majority.

Samantha Carrillo Fields, running for State Representative in Texas’ 84th District: Samantha Carrillo Fields is a Latina mother and longtime organizer running against “legislation that divides people” in Texas, particularly opposing the failed transphobic bathroom bill, the racist law banning sanctuary cities, and voter suppression and redistricting in the state. She helped organize a “Families Belong Together” rally in her hometown of Lubbock in response to the Trump administration’s separation and detention of immigrants and their children. Carrillo Fields wants to “end the cycle of poverty” in Texas, whose poor population is made up of X% women, through a living wage, Medicaid expansion, and high quality education. She is looking to unseat a longtime Republican incumbent from a 181-member legislature that is 144 men.

Ana-Maria Ramos, running for State Representative in Texas’ 102 District: Ana-Maria Ramos is a teacher, an attorney, and a first generation American who believes health care is a human right and swears to fight for working class Texans. Living in a state leading the effort to undermine women’s health care, Ramos wants to fight for affordable and accessible quality health care for all and reproductive health care. Ramos wants to lead in property tax relief by reversing the state’s divestment in crucial public programs that impact low-income women and families the most.

Red Dawn Foster, running for State Senator in South Dakota’s 27th District: Red Dawn Foster is an Indigenous community leader (member of the Olaga Nation) whose work for social, economic and environmental justice on the Pine Ridge Reservation has already impressed not just her district but nationally. She is running on a broad progressive platform that not only includes expanding access to affordable healthcare, but also equity in education, economic and environmental justice, as well as justice for veterans.

“Not only are women running for office, voting, and volunteering in record numbers, we are demanding politics and the policies to match–policies that ensure everyone can live with dignity. Champions running for office are rising, and they’re a lot more than just pro-choice. We’re here for an agenda to lift up all women in every aspect of life,” explained Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet PAC.

The ten candidates exemplify major components of UltraViolet PAC’s agenda on what it means to be pro-woman today, and is based on scoring potential candidates on 10 key factors, including commitments to:

End to Gender-based Violence: ​A world where sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence are rare–and when they happen, survivors are supported and perpetrators held accountable. Comprehensive consent-based sex education for all so our children can become adults with healthy, shame-free views on sexuality and relationships grounded in consent and respect.
Immigrant Justice:​ An immigration system based in justice that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants and asylum-seekers and rejects their criminalization and deportation.

Racial Justice:​ Racial equity in every basic aspect of life, including housing, employment, education, health care, and representation in appointed and elected bodies. We must put the needs of people historically abandoned or attacked by the state–people of color, Native people, sex workers of color, and trans people of color– front and center in any attempt to create safe and thriving communities.

LGBTQ Equity: ​A society that celebrates and honors the diversity of genders and sexualities and where all people live free from bullying, violence, and discrimination in workplaces, schools, communities, and accessing healthcare.

Economic Security for All:​ A nation where all people have what they need to live with dignity, including affordable housing, a living wage, and adequate parental, medical, disability, and sick leave for ALL people. An end to gender and race wage gaps.

Disability Justice: All people, including those living with a disability, have the right to live dignified, full, self–directed lives. We must create systems of healthcare, education, housing, and employment that care for ALL people and fully address the needs of those with disabilities.

Safe Communities:​ Safe communities where no one has to live in fear of gun violence.

Healthy Environments: ​Healthy toxin-free land and environments with clean air and water in which to build our families, communities, and futures.

Reproductive Freedom:​ Access to non-judgmental, complete reproductive health care, including abortion access, for all people regardless of income or geography.

Health Care for All:​ Accessible, affordable, quality, and culturally competent health care, including mental health services, for all.

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UltraViolet PAC is a community of over one million people spanning every state and congressional district who fight to end sexism and expand equality at the ballot box and beyond.