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Contact: Susan Y. Smith, President – firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Delivered Keynote Address at S.C. Democratic Women’s Council Fall Forum
Columbia, S.C. – December 7 – The South Carolina Democratic Women’s Council (SCDWC) held its annual fall forum at the Clarion Hotel in Columbia, S.C. This year’s fall forum centered on the panel discussions, ‘Election Integrity’ and ‘Electing Democratic Women’. Over 100 Democratic women including some men, were welcomed by Susan Y. Smith, President for SCDWC and Jamie Harrison, South Carolina Democratic Party Chair. Additional remarks were made by Gubernatorial candidate, S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen; Lt. Gubernatorial candidate, S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers; 7th Congressional District candidate, Dr. Gloria Tinubu; Malissa Burnette from SC Equality; and 12 yr. old activist Madison Kimrey of North Carolina, setting the stage for an informative and motivating day.
U.S Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) introduced the keynote speaker U.S. Rep Barbara Lee (D-CA). During his introduction Clyburn emphasized the need for Democratic candidates to embrace and not shy away from the national party platform of inclusion. U.S. Rep. Lee gave a history of her political activism starting with a political studies course in college. She became energized and active in large part by the late U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, first female African-American U.S. Presidential candidate. Lee explained that her fight for the underserved was easy because she had been a recipient of food stamps as a single mother, and struggled like many of her constituents. She also said that “the time was now for Democratic women to run for office”. “Don’t wait for someone to come to you, it is your responsibility to stand up and take the lead.” In addition Lee reflected on witnessing the historic 1994 Presidential election in South Africa and seeing democracy in action. She noted that yes former South African President Nelson Mandela started as a revolutionary but he matured into a peace-maker. The Congresswoman was presented with the key to the City of Columbia, by Joyce M. Rose-Harris, SCDWC VP for 6th CD on behalf of Mayor Steve Benjamin.
The SCDWC Hall of Fame award is a standard part of each years fall forum. This years recipients included the late Peatsy Hollings of Charleston and Ann D. Fudnerburk of Greenville. Hollings award presented posthumously was received by her nominator Dr. Anne O. Kilpatrick. Hollings was the wife of Senator Fritz Hollings for 41 years and active within the Democratic party as activist and chair of the Charleston Democratic Party in the mid 1960’s. She was a forward thinker supporting a woman’s right to reproductive choice early on. Funderburk was nominated by Kate Franch and Joanne Montague. As charter member of the SCDWC she has been active in the Democratic party for decades, recently a a new Volunteer of the Year award was created in her name. Names of the 2013 and past recipients can be viewed on plaques hanging in the South Carolina Democratic Party state office.
The panel discussion ‘Electing Democratic Women’ moderated by Angela Douglas, SCDWC Parliamentarian included panelist Linda Ketner, Dr. Gloria Tinubu, former U.S. Rep. Liz Patterson, and S.C. Rep. Chandra Dillard. Discussion centered on the need for Democratic women to seriously think about running for office. As indicated above Tinubu will run for the 7th CD seat and Ketner advised she is contemplating running for the Charleston mayoral seat. Unanimously, panelists agreed the need for doing detailed research and speaking to local and state party leadership to ensure the best campaign possible. The panel discussion ‘Election Integrity’ moderated by Dr. Jane Pulling, SCDWC VP for 1st CD included panelist Jason Smith, Director for Documentary, “I Voted?” Kay Koonce, SCDP 1st Vice Chair; S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers; and N.C. election integrity activist, Madison Kimrey. Kimrey clearly reminded all present that the youth voice mattered and fighting for what is right can be done by all. Discussed was the need for voter protection including an improved election processes. A presentation by Jay Parmley & Helen Strain of South Forward PAC ended the day with information for activist and candidates. Including focus on how to best to deliver a clear and concise message of why you are a Democrat.
The SC Democratic Women’s Council is a political activist organization working to support Democratic Women within the state. It’s a membership-based, grassroots organization consisting primarily of women. SCDWC Chartered with the National Federation of Democratic Women in 2003 (www.NFDW.com).
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