draft-Clarke: Imagine a Female Congress

Yvette Clarke (l) and singer Roberta Flack (r)

Plenty of women descended onto the City Hall steps this afternoon in support of Yvette Clarke’s bid for the 11th congressional seat in Brooklyn, where she’s facing three male opponents. If there were more women in congress, Clarke said, things would be a little different in this country.

“Imagine a congress that was half female, allowing our children to be sent to war, in harms way without an extremely good reason.”

Hard to imagine, I know. But I tried and wondered how Clarke felt about another woman in congress who voted for the war in Iraq: Hillary Clinton.

Clarke said she can’t speak for Hillary and that she would have followed the lead of Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.


And just to clear things up, I asked Clarke how many women in congress voted against the war?

She said she’d get back to me.

In other BK 11 news, one of Clarke’s opponents announced the the formation of ‘100 Women for Chris Owens.’ Announcement after the jump.

“100 Women for Chris Owens” Step Forward

Women Leaders Declare Owens Champion of Women’s Issues in the 11th Congressional District

Supporters of Chris Owens for Congress have formed the “100 Women for Chris Owens.” The new group features strong advocates for women’s issues in Brooklyn’s 11th Congressional District. These issues include ending the Iraq War, protecting a woman’s right to choose, supporting domestic policies that empower women and combat domestic violence, and shielding homes from the rapacious greed of developers.

“Chris Owens has been supportive of women and our issues throughout his life,” said Ms. Lorrelle Henry, Coordinator of the 100 Women and a Crown Heights community activist. “No other candidate has Chris Owens’ track record of advocacy, and we know that he will be a critical ally in the U.S. House of Representatives.” The formation of the 100 Women for Chris Owens follows the decision by the Brooklyn-Queens Chapter of the National Organization for Women to support Chris Owens for Congress — rejecting the female candidate in this electoral contest, Yvette Clarke.

The “100 Women” includes 13 female members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have endorsed Chris Owens’ candidacy for Congress: Maxine Waters (CA), Rosa DeLauro (CT), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI), Hilda Solis (CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA), Corinne Brown (FL), Diane Watson (CA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Doris Matsui (HI) and Julia Carson (IN).

Other prominent Committee members include New York State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, New York State Senator Ada Smith, former Manhattan Borough President and Democratic Mayoral nominee Ruth Messinger, and former U.S. Attorney for New York’s Eastern District Loretta Lynch.

Lorrelle Henry outlined Chris Owens’ record of public service during the past two decades.

“Chris Owens is the only candidate for Congress who has consistently supported immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq,” said Henry. “As a parent of two boys, Chris understands both the need for homeland security and the threat to our children posed by U.S. militarization of international conflicts.”

“Chris Owens is the only African American male to ever serve on the Political Action Committee of NARAL Pro-Choice NY,” said Henry. “Owens has identified the Republican right-wing attack on a woman’s right to choose as the ‘Talibanization’ of America. Despite their roles as elected officials, the other candidates were invisible on this issue until they started to campaign for Congress. We need real allies, not simply allies of the moment.”

“Chris Owens understands the health challenges that women and children face from his hands-on experience in health care delivery. Through his work in healthcare and education, Chris has been fighting the joint epidemics of AIDS and violence that plague our community – robbing us of our young women and our young men and breaking the hearts of countless parents. Chris Owens does not specialize in presenting proclamations — he simply works hard to serve the people.”

“Chris Owens promoted parent involvement in our schools as a member of Community School Board 13 and he is the only parent of children attending public schools who is running for Congress,” said Henry, an educator herself. “That is very important to the women of the 11th Congressional District. Chris is the only candidate for Congress who has pledged to serve on the House Education and Workforce Committee to empower parents and serve the interests of our children.”

“As a Special Assistant to former City Council President Andrew Stein, Chris Owens worked to strengthen local laws addressing domestic violence and discrimination based upon gender and sexual orientation,” said Henry. “He has also been outspoken on the abuse of women’s rights in our court system.”

“Chris Owens is the only candidate for Congress who has been critical of the boondoggles given to developers in Brooklyn. The potential abuses of eminent domain, the threat to air quality, the lack of open space for children and families, and the rash of fires in areas proximate to proposed development are all issues that undermine families and attack our security. Female-headed households are the most vulnerable to displacement and economic traumas, yet only Chris Owens has been a strong voice in this area.”

“The next member of Congress from Brooklyn’s 11th Congressional District will be brand new and have no seniority, but that person must still be a leader who is really with the people. Chris Owens already has the knowledge and he will have the allies in the House of Representatives needed to get results for the women of his district and throughout America. It may be easy to support a female candidate for Congress simply because she is who she is, or a Black candidate for Congress simply because he is who he is. But women voters support quality candidates and leaders because they want the spirit, knowledge and commitment of Shirley Chisholm, Eleanor Roosevelt and Bella Abzug in Congress and the voters know that it is Chris Owens who keeps that legacy alive — and not his opponents. Women want leaders and Chris Owens is the leader we want. ”

Chris Owens has also been endorsed by The Sierra Club, numerous community leaders and local organizations, and additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including John Conyers, Jr., John Lewis, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and many more. draft-Clarke: Imagine a Female Congress