Spotlight on Leadership: Ayanna Pressley


Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is one of the most exciting rising stars in the country. Since becoming the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council in its 100-year history, she’s pushed a bold agenda and achieves impressive results with trademark pragmatism and passion.

As an outspoken advocate for women and families, Ayanna has tackled the human trafficking crisis, created a pathway to graduation for pregnant and parenting teens, and helped make comprehensive sex and health education available district wide for Boston students. In 2011, she made history again by becoming the first person of color to top the ticket, receiving the most votes of any at-large candidate.

In March 2015, EMILY’s List honored Ayanna with the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.

Click here to learn more about Ayanna Pressley

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THE FINE PRINT: Playing the Woman Card

AK headshot 1February 20, 2015

By Adrienne Kimmell, Executive Director

The Washington Post’s smart and insightful Nia-Malika Henderson rightfully pointed out on Tuesday that if women run for president in 2016, identity politics will be in full effect.

Potential presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told National Journal’s Nancy Cook recently that Hillary Clinton “will play the gender card over and over again, which is unfortunate but predictable.”

For women, or anyone other than a white man, for that matter, their status as “other” isn’t exactly a silver bullet, if you hadn’t noticed. In fact, I’d say the opposite is true. Women are still only 19 percent of Congress, less than a quarter of state legislators, about 10 percent of governors (although we did get one more woman added to the ranks this week in Oregon), and a solid zero percent of U.S. presidents. If there is such a thing as a gender card, it is not an ace in the hole.

Barbara Lee Family Foundation research on women running for office shows that playing the political “woman card” actually looks something like this:

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Clip of the Week

‘A Male Colleague Asked This Former Congresswoman To Fetch Him A Cup Of Tea’:Former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman reflects on the time a colleague asked her to bring him a hot beverage.