2023 NFDW Humanitarian Award Winner

Rita Demopoulos Haggardt was a teacher at a local elementary school for 32 years and was honored as the 2023 NFDW Humanitarian Award winner. Rita’s commitment to education continues today with the Southeast Idaho Retired Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, Idaho State University’s College of Education, and the former I Love ISU Calling campaign to raise money for student scholarships. She also created a $20,000 endowment at Idaho State University entirely through contributions from her retired teacher’s income.

Rita has been a strong supporter of the IDWC since its inception and has served in many capacities as a result. She is the 2016 IDWC Dottie Stimpson Award Winner, which is our “worker bee” award. She has been a huge supporter of Democratic candidates through the years by phone banking, door-knocking, and donating money to help their campaigns as well.

One of Rita’s greatest accomplishments has been founding My Brother’s Table in Pocatello, which provides a free meal for the hungry every Sunday over 35 years ago. She also assists with the Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship’s Feeding the 5000 campaign as well. She also did not let cancer treatment, or the pandemic stop her in her efforts to serve others. She continues to help to feed the homeless by showing up rain or shine to ensure that the least fortunate among us have a hot meal.

We believe that Rita’s dedication is an example to all of us that age has no barrier when it comes to improving human and civil rights in our communities.

2023 Annual Meeting & Breakfast

While the calendar says that spring is here, we still have snow on the ground here in
Idaho. We recently held our annual meeting up in Boise. We came away from the
meeting energized and motivated by the women across our great state. We would like
to take some time to discuss our 2023 annual award winners as we selected some
awesome women who are truly some of the best that our state has to offer.

This year our Young Distinguished Woman Award received an above average number of
nominations. We are proud to announce that this year’s award winner is Kaylee
Peterson of Eagle. This remarkable young woman, who is the new Idaho Young
Democrats President, ran for Congress last year as a sophomore in college while raising
two young children. She plans on running again in 2024 in the 32 nd reddest district in
the entire country.

The Marguerite McLaughlin Award honors an elected Democratic woman serving in
public office in Idaho. This year’s award winner is State Senator Janie Ward-Engelking
of Boise. She serves as the Minority Caucus Chair in the Senate and is a fierce advocate
of public education.

Our final award is the Dottie Stimpson Award (otherwise known as the “worker bee”
award). This year’s award winner is Betty Hansen Richardson of Boise. She has been
involved in all aspects of government in Idaho and is a dynamic speaker on mobilizing
voters. She also is the founder of the Facebook page Idaho Women for Biden/Harris,
which has more than 10,000 followers.

It is women like our award winners who put in the hard work everyday to try to elect
Democrats in Idaho. I echo the words of former Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb: “Thank
you for standing, resolute, in the face of daunting opposition. Thank you for what you
have done, and the incredible work you will do in the future. Thank you for your
leadership in bringing opportunity, copious amounts of truth telling and tireless
commitment.”

2023 Annual Breakfast

The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus wholeheartedly invites Democratic Women throughout Idaho to our 2023 Annual Breakfast & Membership Meeting. This year’s meeting will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 7:15 am at the Boise Centre in Boise. Tickets for the breakfast are $25.00 per person.

Our featured speakers are Diane Jensen and Josi Christensen. Both of these ladies have run for the State Legislature in very red districts. Josi is a middle school teacher by trade and has done a lot of research on passing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Idaho. Her friend, Diane, is a member of the SW NOW will discuss women’s rights and how those rights are changing in Idaho.

Before the breakfast portion of the event, we will hold our annual membership meeting. At our membership meeting, we shall be electing the Vice President, Treasurer, and Regional Directors for Regions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7.

We encourage all Idahoans to join our organization and to work together in electing more Democratic women into public office. To become a member or renew your existing membership, you must pay the annual membership dues. Annual membership dues are $20. Seniors (65 and older) and students can join for $10.

For more information about this event, please contact our organization via email at BALLOU2350@msn.com or find us on Facebook.

Requesting Nominations for 2023 Awards

Do you know a great Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus member that you feel has made a difference in her community in 2022?

We are requesting nominations for our Dottie Stimpson Award (aka “worker bee” award), the Marguerite McLaughlin Award (the elected official award), and the Distinguished Young Woman Award (for those 35 and younger). The deadline is February 24th! If so, please take a moment to nominate her using the form below.

If you need descriptions on these three awards, please visit: https://idwc.org/awards/.  We look forward to learning all about the amazing Democratic women that we have in Idaho!