It’s been 20 Years since you were born! You were conceived by 10 strong women!
In the beginning, you were an idea, a need, a desire for better representation. Al Gore had just been denied the presidency, right in Duval County, and we were mad, angry, and determined. I went to 10 of my STRONG Democratic Women Friends and asked them to give me $100. Lisa King, Leslie Goller, Karen Nuland, Jackie Bevel, Gayle Kendall, Lori Tilly, Michelle Barth, Ann Farrah, Jeanne Chappell, and Lisa Harding, AND they did! We met weekly and came up with a plan to have a “Coming Out Party” for women Democrats. Karen Nuland rented the small room at the University Club, because we wanted it to be a chi-chi event. We got the voting lists of all registered Duval County Democrat Women, had post cards printed, hand addressed them, and they literally stated, “COME OUT OF THE CLOSET”!!!
We expected maybe 30 women…. We had over 150 women attend our event! From there we arranged a Democrat women’s only retreat at Marywood. It was a complete success with guest speakers, workshops, and interaction between like-minded women.
Now, the question became “Where do we go from here???” The only logical answer was YOU!!! DWIN was born!!! Karen Nuland came up with your name. Michelle Barth drew your picture. We decided to join the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida because we wanted to be our own entity and NOT just an extension of the local party. Leslie Goller wrote the bylaws. I drove to Cape Canaveral to their State Convention and had us inducted into the DWCF at their state meeting. And there and then, DWIN became a true force for good, hard working, working for justice, equality driven, democratic women to contribute, changing the whole dynamics of DWCF, and give GOP women hell!!!! All because you were born in 2003.
I cannot explain to you or expect you to comprehend how I feel about all your achievements, your accomplishments, your stability, your drive to get Democrats elected. You are more necessary now than when you were when birthed!
DWIN stands as a bulwark against fascism. Against oppression. Against prejudice. Against racism. Against inequality. All the very same issues we were fighting then. Stand Tall DWIN and keep fighting!!! You are mighty and you are mightily needed now more than ever.
All my blessings and best wishes on your 20th Birthday!!!
Kathy Sutherland Finn