As NOW advocates for women’s rights, electing feminists is a crucial part of our strategy. This builds on our decades of electoral work which has increased the presence and clout of candidates who support women’s rights.
NOW PACs’ electoral work offers distinct benefits to both the candidates and the causes we support – as well as to the people who contribute to them:
- NOW PACs can rely upon the members of the largest grassroots feminist organization in the country. Activists in NOW’s 550 local chapters work with candidates for election to every level of government. In 1996 alone, NOW PACs endorsed more than 700 women’s rights candidates throughout the U.S.
- NOW PACs are using innovative strategies to help candidates break through the political glass ceiling.
- NOW PACs target states and districts where feminist candidates flood the ticket at all levels, and activists mobilize support for all of them in one coordinated campaign. We also recruit and endorse strong feminists early in their political careers, recognizing that a candidate may have to run more than once to win.
- NOW is a nonpartisan, feminist political force. NOW PACs endorse all candidates who take uncompromising stands on our issues–women and men of any political affiliation.
Candidates can seek an endorsement in three steps:
1. Download and complete the appropriate candidate questionnaire:
- State and Local Candidate Questionnaire
- Contact us for the Judicial Candidate Questionnaire and Federal Candidate Questionnaire
2. Return the completed questionnaire to your chapter. Not sure where your closest chapter is? Locate it here.
3. Refer your questions, concerns and suggestions to the PAC committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to recommendations from state and local NOW chapters, NOW PACs base their endorsements on a broad feminist agenda. No other PAC expects its candidates to take strong stands on such a wide range of issues. These issues include, but are not limited to:
- reproductive freedom without restriction
- civil rights for all people–with emphasis on lesbian and gay rights
- racial justice
- moving women out of poverty through empowering, non-punitive welfare policies
- a constitutional amendment that guarantees women equality, reproductive rights and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation
- affirmative action ensuring equal opportunity for women and people of color
- ending violence against women
After the elections, NOW follows up with the officials that NOW PACs helped elect to make sure they are meeting these commitments.
Endorsement plus PAC contribution – This is the highest level of endorsement and is given only to those candidates who support all of our issues and will take a leadership position on those issues if elected.
Endorsement only – This level requires support for all of our issues even though the candidate may not take a leadership position of one or more of our issues.
Support – A candidate who is good on all of our issues but won’t take a leadership role, or is good on most of our issues but has a problem with one or two.
Recommend – A candidate who is good on a few of our issues, but will not be a leader, or a candidate who is not very good on our issues but is significantly better than their opposition.
Chapter Endorsement Guidelines
This is meant to be a suggested guideline for chapters in submitting candidate questionnaires to the Florida NOW PAC for endorsement consideration.
- Determine the races and candidates in your geographical area. Coordinate with other chapters in the area to make sure all races are covered.
- Form a committee to be responsible for the questionnaire process. Determine if the committee will have the authority to make decisions on its own or if they need to bring their findings back to the chapter. Allow plenty of time for the process.
- Contact the candidates and tell them you will be sending a questionnaire and ask if they prefer to have it email or standard mail. Send immediately.
- After a few days, contact the candidate again to confirm they received it and ask how soon you can expect a response.
- When the completed questionnaire is received, make a note of any questions you have.
- Set up an appointment for a face to face interview. It is best if two people go.
- At the interview, ask the candidate to explain further any answers that were unclear to you.
- Ask the candidate to sign the copy of the questionnaire with your notes on it.
- Forward the completed questionnaire along with your notes and recommendations to the chair of the Florida NOW PAC committee. This must be done at least at least two weeks before the next scheduled state council meeting.
If you have questions, feel free to contact the PAC Committee at email@example.com.