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Why Women Could Decide The 2020 Election

In an interview with NowThis, Cecile Richards, the former Planned Parenthood president and co-founder of Supermajority, talked about the power of the woman voter, building a community, and more.

Three longtime women activists and leaders created a political group that works to mobilize women to vote and become leaders in their own communities. They call themselves: Supermajority. 

Former Planned Parenthood president and co-founder of Supermajority, Cecile Richards explained to NowThis how women have a lot of power in elections and activism and what inspired the start of the organization. 

“We know that women will be the majority of voters in November,” Richards told NowThis. “If we work together and demand more, we can change maybe not only what happens in 2020, but what happens in this next century.”

During an election year, in which President Trump will face former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the work of Supermajority is even more relevant. Trump has been vying to attract more women voters, as white women were essential to his 2016 victory, though multiple recent polls have shown Biden taking a lead.

Richards explained how women are “now a super majority of everything, and how they make up a majority of activists and voters in the U.S.

“We will determine the next president, the next Senate, the next Congress and races all up and down the ballot,” Richards continued. 

Along with Richards, the founders include Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. The organization works to train women on current issues along with building a network to keep women connected across the country. 

The founders were inspired to create the group as “kind of a home for women, a community that was multiracial, that crossed issues across generations to try to build women's power in this country.”  

“Everywhere we went, women were saying, okay, now what can I do?” Richards told NowThis. “They'd gone to town hall meetings. They'd gone to the borders over family separation, so many different issues, but they wanted to do more.”

Since 1964, more women than men have turned out to vote for every U.S. presidential election, according to data from the Census Bureau. During the 2018 midterms, 55% of eligible women voters cast ballots, compared to 51% of men. Richards said women “want the right to vote and they want their vote to be protected.” Part of Supermajority’s mission is to give women resources on how they can vote and where. 

“When we do vote, we can make change,” Richards continued. “And I think there's no better example than what happened in 2018, where you saw a record number of women and women of color run for office and win.”

According to the Center for American Progress, the number of eligible women of color voters increased by nearly 59%, or 13.5 million people, from 2000 to 2019. 

Supermajority released “What Women Want 2020,” a detailed agenda of policy priorities based on their own survey research— including racial injustice and pay equity.  

Richards said “women are desperately concerned about their economic situation,” particularly during the pandemic, where a majority of frontline workers are women of color. She also said those women need health care access, equal pay, and “economic security.”

“We know that women of color, Black women in particular, are the most progressive, most reliable voters in America,” Richards said. “And if in fact all these women could come together, provide each other the tools and the support, and frankly, just the community, to do this work together, I think we can have a record turnout of women in November and we can change the direction of the country.” 

On September 26, Supermajority is launching “Supercharge: Women All In”— a 38-day national campaign that will feature multiple activations to educate, engage, and mobilize 2 million women to vote. The event is backed by organizations such as TIME’S UP, Black Voters Matter, and Voto Latino. 

“We're going to learn together. We're going to work together. We're going to be inspired by great celebrities and musicians and artists. And we are going to start the work that we need to do together to ensure that on November 3rd, we all vote,” Richards said. “The election is just the opening, you know, women weren't doing that well before Donald Trump, we're doing much worse under him. But the important thing for Supermajority is we have to have a North star. What is the world we want to live in and then to go build that.”