We started the South Jersey Democratic Women’s Forum to give like-minded women a place to meet, to discuss, to plan, to action and to fight for the truths we know to be self-evident: that all men AND WOMEN are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We have worked to provide a safe place to have open and honest dialogue regarding elections, representations, frustrations, and action. We have raised our voices, we continue to shed light on some frightening realities, we have educated, we have trained, we have networked, we have marched, we have resisted, and we have persisted. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm once famously stated “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” I would never discount the wisdom of the first African American Congresswoman, but I believe she would be shocked to know that 50+ years after her historic election to Congress, many of us still have to bring our own damn chair. That in 2018, we, the Democratic Women are still asking, sometimes begging, for help, and support and money and (occasionally) permission to get that which we shouldn’t have to ask (or beg) including RESPECT. Where we have watched women be put into position as props, or to appease the loudness of our voices and then once these women have been put into place, they are ignored and forgotten like an old prom dress. These women, YOU women, who work and raise children and still make time to call and canvass and support each other, and Democratic candidates, and the Democratic party have been used, and set aside, and ignored if you lost, and stripped of your worth by the patriarchy taking credit for you if you won. So as we close out 2018, and reflect back on the best of times, and the worst of times, it is also a time to regroup, and reorganize, and reignite the passion and the power and the voice of the amazing women of the Democratic Party…YOU, the women of the Democratic Party…not to be anyone’s old prom dress but to be the NEW leadership of the ideas and ideals which WE built. So TODAY, I am proud to announce that SJDWF is now part of the National Federation of Democratic Women (NFDW), a National sisterhood of incredible women. NFDW is a recognized constituent group of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and therefore has three seats on the DNC with the president of NFDW is part of the executive committee of the DNC. What amazing company we are in.We will continue to work with and fight alongside our Democratic sisters and brothers, strive to get more women active and involved in the political process with voting, volunteering and/ or running, while maintaining a continued effort to support our elected democrats as they bring our ideals and values to their office and votes and of course, continue to grow the party. We will host a reorganization in January with the creation of committees and sub-committees, focusing on our two signature events Training (February) and Fundraising (August) while advancing some new initiatives. THIS year, we will celebrate the best of times as we usher in 2021 as the women of South Jersey build our own table…and we have a seat there for you.
Cassandra Shober SJDWF, Founderof NJFDW