Rep.. Sannie Overly chats with Lillian and Len Press at TWN/PAC Dinner.
(Lexington, KY) - The Women's Network is a Democratic organization with a membership made up of women and men supportive of progressive causes. TWN has chapters across the state. Chapters meet to study issues and support causes and candidates. TWN also supports a research group, the Commonwealth Policy Institute. The Institute researches and issues reports and makes recommendations for changes to law and policy.
TWN also has a political action network (TWNPAC) that hosts a dinner and fundraiser each year. This year's meeting was on a sultry Saturday evening in Lexington. In attendance were Lt. Governor Crit Luallen and candidate for Lt. Governor Sannie Overly.
Luallen spoke at the dinner. She reminded TWN members that Lillian Press founded the organization. Luallen said "She took it on her back and single-handedly built this organization." She urged support for the Democratic gubernatorial ticket of Jack Conway and Sannie Overly, calling this "the most crucial governor's election in history."
The keynote speaker for the evening was Congresswoman Alma Adams, now in her first term in the US Congress. Representing the 12th District of North Carolina, Adams went to Congress after winning a special election in November 2014. Adams joked that she was so new that when she arranged to meet one of her staff outside of the House cloakroom, she could not understand why he didn't show up. He showed up at the Democratic cloak room. She was waiting in the Republican cloak room.
She soon got her feet under her and now serves as Vice President of her freshman class, is ranking member on the Small Business Committee, Education and the Workforce and Agriculture Committee.
Adams, an educator with a PHD in Art Education and Multicultural Education, is no stranger to politics. She began her political career as a Greensboro NC County Board Member, the first African American woman to ever be elected to that Board. She went on to serve ten terms in the state House.
Adams urged that women are seriously underrepresented in Congress. "We are over 50% of the population and have 50% of the buying power - but never more than 20% of the US. Congress. We need to fix that." She said.
Adams praised Kentucky for adopting Kynect, the state version of the Affordable Care Act. Her home state didn't follow Kentucky. According to Adams, there are 700,000 North Carolinians without access to health care because the GOP leadership in that state refused Obamacare.
She urged listeners that "sometimes you have to aggravate." She called herself an angry black woman with common sense.
"If I have an opinion I'm going to share it with you." She urged listeners to hold their representatives accountable for their actions.
It is must not be enough to elect good Democrats but to elect more women Democrats to Congress."
Congresswoman Adams lavishly praised Emerge Kentucky, an effort to get more women into politics in Kentucky, calling it a "pipeline of ladies."
PAC Chair Virginia Woodward presented the hat-loving Congresswoman with a Derby hat as a speaker's gift. Woodward, shown at right, joked that she had to sneak out and get it before the Congresswoman bought her own. Above, left, Congresswoman Adams tries on her new hat as Lt. Governor Crit Luallen looks on.
After the program, Paducah Democratic activist Jeanie Embry approached the Congresswoman and urged her to reconsider her co-sponsorship of H. R.
1599, a food labeling bill which Embry opposes.
The Congresswoman didn't explain or engage, but moved on to the next admirer.