We are excited to announce the establishment of the Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus. As a Democratic women’s caucus, we are focused on creating meaningful change in the state of Rhode Island by ensuring equality in power, influence, and economic status for those who identify as and with women – as it laid out in our mission statement.
At its November General Meeting on November 10, the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus (RIDPWC) voted to create a new allied organization. With that vote, our new caucus – no longer officially affiliated with the Rhode Island Democratic Party – adopted the standing bylaws of the RIDPWC, accepted responsibility of the Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus PAC, established the Executive Committee of the RIDPWC as its own Executive Committee, and took in the members of the state party caucus as members of the new organization as well.
As an organization we wholly embrace the Democratic principles consistent with the Democratic Party platform. Our organization will work alongside other allied organizations to bring a truly democratic government to the people of Rhode Island, where all voices are heard and heeded – especially those of women and other minority groups.
The differences between the leadership of the Rhode Island Democratic Party and the platform of the national Democratic Party are stark, and go far beyond differences of opinions. Amidst the chaos of the state committee meeting on Monday, November 18, and in demonstration of their disdain of inclusion and diversity, the state party committee voted against giving its caucuses any autonomy and against including official representation for Native Americans on their State Committee.
But the antics at the state committee meeting and the adoption of these new exclusionary bylaws is only one part of a long list of atrocious behavior from state party leadership and their lackeys. They have endorsed Republican white supremacists over progressive female incumbents. They have forced women to endorse candidates who read Bible passages during Senate hearings, condemning women who support reproductive justice to eternal damnation. They have required women to fund raise into a party account that spends more money on pizza and liquor than on progressive, democratic female candidates. For too long, this state’s party leadership has openly opposed the Democratic Party platforms and principles.
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But the party leadership is not our party.
Calls for unity ring false when it means you are coercing dissenters into silence because they will not fall in line with unjust actions. These are not merely differences of opinions we are addressing, these are moral failings, and leaders of our State Party, and those who go along with them, should find deep shame in the role they’ve played in building a state party so at odds with the ideals of our national party. Fortunately, thanks to our Caucus, there is a place where the Democratic women of Rhode Island can come to share real democratic ideals, where we will work to elect truly Democratic women, and support allies of women.
The Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus is open for business. We have great hope for the future, after seeing the grit, strength, smarts, and power of our membership in recent days. We are energized like never before, and we are ready to bring true Democracy to the State of Rhode Island. We hope you will join us in our mission. We have a lot of work to do.