You know there are not enough women in Congress when lawmakers convene a panel on contraception that doesn't include a single woman — which happened earlier this year. EMILY's List is trying to change that by helping to get more women elected to the US Congress, where women only make up 17 percent. Specifically, EMILY's List recruits and funds pro-choice Democratic female candidates. EMILY stands for "early money is like yeast," and the idea is that providing campaign financing early on can help women rise. Here in Charlotte at the DNC, EMILY's List hosted a town hall panel and campaign reception. The panel included NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, actress Ashley Judd, and Florida candidate for Congress Val Demings.
Ashley herself told the crowd that she might help increase the number of women in office by running herself. The politically active actress said she gets encouraged often to officially go into politics and admitted "it may be time to look at actually running for office." Ashley also had practical advice for women who care about the issues at stake this election. She encouraged women in the audience to share their own stories about how Obama's policies have made a positive difference. For example, maybe you have health insurance because you can stay on your parents' until 26, can afford contraception thanks to Obamacare, or took advantage of HeadStart, something that could be cut under Romney and Ryan.
Ashley said, "What comes from the head goes over the head. What comes from the heart goes straight to the heart." Michelle Obama also used this technique, Ashley pointed out, by using her "personal multigenerational narrative to express our party platform."