“We stand in solidarity with the Women’s Caucus, and we see clearly that the current leadership in the Rhode Island Democratic Party is not representative of the will of the people...”
In response to the draft bylaws released by the Rhode Island Democratic Party (RIDP) on Wednesday, November 6, the Rhode Island Political Cooperative issues this statement:
“After the resurgence of the RIDP Women’s Caucus following the 2016 election, it immediately became a resource for womxn seeking representation from their party. Caucus members raised funds, delivered awareness, and walked for miles knocking doors for strong candidates who represented their values. Over forty of their supported candidates have been elected to office, and laws vital to womxn have been passed.
“We in the Rhode Island Political Cooperative were hoping that our state party would embrace this new era of engaged activism towards measurable goals. We hoped that the Rhode Island Democratic Party would finally embrace the voices of these womxn, stand in awe of their energy, and respect their agency. Instead the party has asked these womxn to participate in their own dehumanization.
“The current bylaws recently drafted by the party makes their wishes abundantly clear – womxn should be seen and not heard.
“In a reply from the state party, RIDP executive director Cyd McKenna states that the womxn of the caucus ‘act as direct lines of communication to the party for advocacy and community building among the constituencies they represent.’ Unfortunately, this is patently untrue as the state party has never had any intention of listening to these advocates. If they did, they would not have run challengers against incumbent progressive womxn. They would not have dismissed the Women’s Caucus’ request to have a voice by allowing them a vote on party matters. They would not continue to elevate men who do not support the needs of womxn to the highest positions of power within the party.
“We stand in solidarity with the Women’s Caucus, and we see clearly that the current leadership in the Rhode Island Democratic Party is not representative of the will of the people. We value the voices and unique experiences of womxn, and we believe having more womxn involved in shaping policy and decisions makes all of us stronger.
“Our government doesn’t have to be this way. We can have a Rhode Island for all the people, a government that listens to womxn and men, people of color, to our LGBTQIA+ community, and to people with disabilities. We deserve a government that honors diversity in leadership and finds strength in our shared values.
“We, the Rhode Island Political Cooperative, formed for exactly this reason: so that we can all find our seats at the table and be heard.”
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