Making Herstory: The Women who are Shifting the Balance of Power in Washington

Making Herstory: The Women who are Shifting the Balance of Power in Washington

Session Type(s): Keynote

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 13 10:15 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 13 11:45 AM (Eastern)

Sat 10:15am: Keynote Netroots Nation 2019

Saturday Morning Keynote Netroots Nation 2019

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

Women, and particularly women of color, are the new face of power in the United States. The most diverse class of lawmakers in history was sworn into Congress in January, and they’ve been shaking things up in Washington ever since. Join us for a panel conversation with some of the women who are making history—Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Deb Haaland and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. We’ll discuss what work and life has been like for them in their first few months, and talk about how progressives can support them as they continue pushing forward progressive policies in the coming months. She the People founder Aimee Allison will moderate. You’ll also hear from Rep. Barbara Lee, PA Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell and PA Rep. Summer Lee.


Aimee Allison

Aimee Allison

Aimee Allison, President of Democracy in Color, works to build the political power of the New American Majority, the multiracial electorate powerfully led by women of color. She writes, speaks, and organizes on behalf of these voters that elected Barack Obama and could secure a progressive future for generations to come. Aimee moderated the first DNC Chair Forum to address race and the future of the Democratic Party. Her podcast, Democracy in Color, features congressional leaders, thought leaders and exciting next generation candidates. This September, she will host the first national summit on women of color in politics She the People ( She was one of the first women of color to be honorably discharged from the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector and is dedicating her efforts to support courageous, moral leadership. She has been published in the New York Times and ESSENCE Magazine and is online @aimeeallison.

my website


Rep. Deb Haaland


I believe New Mexico can be a place of strong, safe communities where our kids can be happy growing up, and can build a life here when they are grown.

I have a track record of standing up to Donald Trump, and I will continue to hold him and Republicans accountable. We must double down on our commitment to clean energy in New Mexico, which will create good paying jobs by harnessing the power of our natural resources. When a hardworking New Mexican wants to start or expand a small business, I want to make sure they have that opportunity. And, it’s time we make smart investments in education and find real solutions that pull our kids and all New Mexicans out of poverty.

Both of my parents served in the military, and I believe we have a duty to take care of veterans. I’ve spent my life standing up for my community, and I’ll do the same for us in Congress.

my website

Summer Lee

Summer Lee

Summer Lee is the Democratic nominee in Pennsylvania’s 34th State Representative District. Summer Lee’s campaign for State Representative ignited a massive grassroots movement, powering Summer to a stunning 30-point margin of victory over a 20-year entrenched incumbent. She grew up in the North Braddock and Rankin neighborhoods and currently resides in Swissvale. She is a proud graduate of Woodland Hills High School, Pennsylvania State University and Howard University School of Law, where she specialized in civil rights and constitutional law. Summer has been a leader in the recent struggles to bring justice to the Woodland Hills School District, and worked as an organizer with the Fight for $15 and led the way in building a pipeline of progressive political power across Allegheny County.

Other sessions: Young Women of Color Winning Elections

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs.

An experienced Twin Cities policy analyst, organizer, public speaker and advocate, Rep. Omar was sworn into office in January 2019, making her the first Somali-American Member of Congress, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress.

Other sessions: Screening: “Time for Ilhan”, Freeing Us From the Student Debt Trap, A Vision for Progressive Foreign Policy in the 2020 Elections and Beyond

Rep. Ayanna Pressley


Ayanna Pressley is an advocate, a policy-maker, an activist, and a survivor. On November 6, 2018, Ayanna was elected to represent Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the first woman of color to be elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ayanna believes that the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power and that a diversity of voices in the political process is essential to making policies that benefit more Americans.

Born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago, Ayanna is the only child of a single mother and a father who was in and out of the criminal justice system. Ayanna’s mother, Sandra Pressley, was a tenants’ rights organizer who instilled in her the value of civic engagement. Thanks in large part to her mother’s dedication to activism, Ayanna has always been acutely aware of the role that government can play in lifting up families and communities.

Ayanna moved to Boston, MA in 1992 to attend Boston University. Before she was able to complete her degree, she withdrew from the University to help support her mother. Working as an aide to Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and later Senator John Kerry, Ayanna’s professional life mirrored her commitment to service and lifting the voices of those in her community.

In 2009, she launched a historic at-large campaign for Boston City Council and won, becoming the first woman of color elected to the Council in its 100-year history. On the Council, Congresswoman Pressley worked in partnership with residents, advocates, and other elected officials to combat the inequities and disparities facing the community.

In 2016, Congresswoman Pressley was named one of The New York Times 14 Young Democrats to Watch. In 2014, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce named her as one of their Ten Outstanding Young Leaders, and the Victim Rights Law Center presented her with their Leadership Award. In 2015, she earned the EMILY’s List Rising Star Award and was named one of Boston Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful People. She is also an Aspen-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, Class of 2012.
Ayanna lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston with her husband Conan Harris, ten-year-old stepdaughter Cora, and cat Sojourner Truth.