2020 is gearing up to be a landmark election year. The American Presidential election is well underway, and new faces and standing politicians alike are finding ways to come together on issues surrounding women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate change, and the economy.
Adding to the potential for some great progressive victories in 2020, activist Allison Fine has announced her official run for Congress, where she intends to represent New York’s 17th District, and her hometown of Sleepy Hollow, New York.
A pioneer of online activism and a self-described “unapologetic feminist,” Fine is an author, a social change thought leader, and the founder of the Network of Elected Women (NEW), which connects women who hold local office around the country. She has also served as chair of the national board of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, as well as the president of her synagogue, Temple Beth Abraham.
According to her campaign website, Fine’s experiences as an entrepreneur, activist, and pioneer for social change have taught her two fundamental truths:
- Every person deserves to be seen and heard.
- Tools and technology need to work for people, not the other way around.
Fine hopes to follow in the footsteps of longtime Representative Nita Lowey.
“Fighting for a woman’s seat is a good fight to have,” says Fine. “Especially this woman’s seat, the greatest champion for women in Congress.”
Lowey is known for her strong leadership in the House of Representatives, where she has served as the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee, as well as the first woman and first New Yorker to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“My No. 1 priority will be to focus on economic security and explore initiatives such as ‘mobile benefits’ that would allow job benefits to carry over as workers switch employers,” Fine explains, alluding to the eight main issues that build her platform:
- Remaking jobs to introduce universal benefits like retirement plans, strengthen unions, and protect data ownership rights.
- Investing in nonprofits like homeless shelters, health clinics, job training programs, and food pantries that support communities.
- Developing a Workers Bill of Rights that includes a federal minimum wage of $15/hour, eliminates the sub-minimum tipped worker wage, and boosts job security components like portable benefits systems and protections in “at will” employment systems.
- Building public healthcare programs to remove the barriers between Americans and high-quality, affordable heathcare.
- Protecting reproductive freedom for women by codifying Roe v. Wade through a federal statute, repealing the Hyde Amendment, and ensuring that public health options include comprehensive coverage for contraception and abortion services.
- Supporting Israel and the fight against anti-Semitism by strengthening the bonds between Israel and the U.S.’s Jewish community, as well as devoting resources to cracking down on hate crimes and hate groups.
- Developing comprehensive tech reform and online safety measures, especially in regards to social media, by securing personal information, protecting children from online predators, and protecting our democracy from foreign interference.
- Investing in green energy to prevent future ecological disasters that will stem from ignoring the current climate change crisis.
“I’m running for Congress because we need more women advocating for our issues,” says Fine. “If a woman doesn’t control her body, she doesn’t control her future and we can never get to parity and to economic justice without reproductive freedom.”
As more women take the fight from their communities directly to Congress, leaders like Fine continue to work toward real change. We live in a time where more women than ever before are finding their voices in positions as elected officials. When we support candidates who support our ideals, especially candidates who come from career and social backgrounds that reflect the issues we hold dear to our hearts, we can see real progress made.
Allison Fine is the author of Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age and Matterness: Fearless Leadership For A Social World. She has also authored several posts here at Philanthropy Women.
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