Democratic Women Support MMIW Movement

Tai Simpson MMIW

We had a very successful breakfast earlier this month in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho with Tai Simpson and Paulette Jordan speaking to the audience. Tai Simpson’s talk about the MMIW movement was potent and the IDWC supports the efforts to bring awareness to the plight of indigenous women across Idaho.

As President Gini Ballou stated, “we don’t have to be Native to care about our indigenous sisters.” According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Native American population comprises 1.1% of the total population of Idaho. Yet this population, especially among Native women, are known to experience some of the highest rates of murder, sexual violence, and domestic violence. Promoting awareness of issues that affect those who are vulnerable in our state is an important step in making progress.

We’re at IDWC breakfast with Tai Simpson & Protecting the Sacred

Posted by Idaho Democratic Women's Caucus on Sunday, October 6, 2019
We’re at IDWC breakfast with Tai Simpson & Protecting the Sacred on October 6, 2019

Tai is a social change advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho. She is an organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance and fierce champion who uses storytelling to make a difference in her community. Her presentation was powerful and emotionally charging while it also educated the audience about the MMIW movement.

The MMIW movement is about the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women across the nation, including Idaho. Idaho has five recognized native tribes that have felt the impact of this tragedy across each of their communities. Tai reported that there are currently between 15,000 and 17,000 unsolved cases involving indigenous women. Often times, these cases are not categorized correctly and do not receive much media attention if any. Lack of data and attention hinders the efforts of families and friends to find their loved ones and to see justice served.

Paulette Jordan speaking at the IDWC breakfast

Posted by Idaho Democratic Women's Caucus on Sunday, October 6, 2019
Paulette Jordan speaking to the audience at the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus breakfast.

Paulette Jordan, the 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor of Idaho and a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, also spoke briefly at the breakfast. She spoke about the MMIW movement as well and the impact that it has had on tribal communities. She said, “if we don’t take care of indigenous people here, then who are we as humanity?” She also spoke about the efforts made by some legislators across the country to formulate legislation to address this issue. These efforts continue to be ongoing at this point in time.

We would like to thank our fabulous speakers for their contributions to educating us about the plight of indigenous women across Idaho and our nation. The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus would also like to thank those who came to the breakfast in order to help support our efforts in getting more Democratic women elected into public office.

Protecting the Sacred with Tai Simpson

The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus wholeheartedly invite Democratic Women throughout Idaho to the IDP Clint Stennett Conference breakfast with Tai Simpson. The event is on Sunday, October 6, 2019, from 7:30 am to 9 am at the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, which is located at 506 W Appleway in Coeur d’Alene. Tickets to the breakfast are $30.00 per person and can be bought using this link.

We are proud to announce that our featured guest will be Tai Simpson, a 2019 TEDxBoise speaker. Tai is a Nez Perce tribal member and a social change advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. She will be discussing the Protecting the Sacred: A Primer on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), which is a movement to raise awareness about the number of missing and murdered Native American women in Canada and the United States. The US Department of Justice reports that Native American women face murder rates that are more than ten times the national average. Tai Simpson is a wonderful storyteller who has participated in the 2019 Indigenous People’s March in the nation’s capital.

Come enjoy the Full Sunrise Traditional breakfast, which includes country red-skinned potatoes, honey glazed ham, brown sugar bacon, maple sausage links, fluffy scrambled eggs, chilled orange juice, coffee, teas, seasonal fruit, muffins, and pastries, before you head back home from the conference. We look forward to seeing everyone at the breakfast and encourage attendees to buy their tickets online to speed up the check-in process. As a reminder, this event helps raise funds to help get more Democratic women elected in Idaho.

For more information about this event, please contact our organization by via email at idahodwc@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.

NFDW Action Alert on Women’s Equality Day

August 26th is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day because on this day in 1920, our country ratified the right of women to vote. This hard-fought struggle took almost 100 years.

In 1848, a group of abolitionists, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, gathered in Seneca Falls, New York to discuss the problems associated with women’s rights.  The convention attendees agreed that women deserved their own political identities.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” proclaimed the Declaration of Sentiments, “that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

A key component of the activists’ concerns was that women should have the right to vote.  White men, regardless of how much property they owned, had the right to vote.  After the Civil War, the 14th and 15th Amendments were added to the Constitution.  The 14th Amendment defines “citizens” as “male.”  The 15th Amendment guaranteed black men the right to vote. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony led advocates to refuse to support the 15th Amendment.

With much unrest about the strategy of how women would win the right to vote, the National Woman Suffrage Association began in 1869 and led the fight for a universal-suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Women were beaten, put into jail, and accused of being mentally ill, but the activists prevailed and voting rights for women were confirmed on August 26, 1920.

In 1973, Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY) passed a Joint Resolution of Congress that stated, “WHEREAS, the women of the united States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as a symbol of the continued fight for equal rights, and WHEREAS, the women of the United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.”

One of the greatest and massive peaceful civil rights movements had been successful in 1920, and again in 1973.  Now, in 2019, NFDW is continuing to celebrate Women’s Equality Day as we direct our attention to achieving another unresolved issue of women’s rights—the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.  Our members will conduct celebrations before, after, and on August 26th to acknowledge the momentous occasion of Women’s Equality Day and to emphasize the need to add the ERA to the U.S. Constitution.

Rita Haggardt Award for Region 6

2019 Rita Haggardt Award
Left to Right: IDWC Member Alan Humphries, Rita Haggardt, and IDWC Region 6 Director Linda Leeuwrik

The inaugural Rita Haggardt Award was presented on July 25, 2019, in Pocatello, Idaho at the joint Bannock County Democrats and IDWC summer picnic fundraiser. This award is presented to the woman who best embodies the Democratic values and ideals. It will be presented to a woman in Region 6 on a semi-annual basis.

This year’s award winner is the lovely Rita Haggardt herself, who is the perfect example of a servant’s heart regardless and a tireless volunteer for the overlooked members of our society. Rita is an amazing woman has set a very high bar for future awardees! She is a former school teacher who says that she was a Democrat at birth. Her volunteer efforts show that she is determined to improve her community one person at a time. For example, she volunteers with many organizations including the United Way, Rotary, Zonta, and My Brother’s Kitchen. She is one of the favorite members of the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus.