Boosting Women’s Equality in New York State Politics: Eleanor’s Legacy Gives Critical Early Endorsements to Mary Wilmot and Robin Wilt’s Campaigns for State Senate

June 8, 2010, New York, N.Y. Only ten legislators in the New York State Senate are women – a share of just 16%. In a strategic effort to boost women’s election to state government, the Eleanor Legacy Roosevelt Committee (Eleanor’s Legacy) has broken with precedent and given early endorsements and campaign support to five Democratic, pro-choice candidates for the State Senate, including the Rochester region’s Mary Wilmot and Robin Wilt.Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy

Legacy President Nora Bredes explains, “We desperately need change in Albany, but true ethical and fiscal reform can’t happen without women at the table. Women are 52% of the population and a consistent majority of voters. We know that when women lead, the style and substance of our politics change. Governments begin to address issues like equal pay, children’s health, childcare and effective educational reform -- issues that are central to effective governments and healthy families. With just ten women out of sixty-two state senators, our issues, values and influence are undervalued and underrepresented.

“The women we’ve endorsed have years of experience in their communities or
government. They’re well educated, smart and effective. Each is running to unseat an entrenched incumbent. Each woman promises the change to honest, effective
government we need.”

To address this the need for reform and women’s equality, the Legacy board will provide five “early start” grants of $1,000 each to five state senate candidates: Didi Barrett, SD 41/Columbia & Dutchess Counties; Regina Calcaterra, SD1/Suffolk County; Joanne Yepsen, SD 43/Rensselaer & Saratoga County; Mary Wilmot, SD 55 and Robin Wilt, SD 56, both in Monroe County.
As a central part of this year’s efforts in many state races, Eleanor’s Legacy will track these five campaigns throughout this election cycle. The Committee will work to provide volunteers, campaign expertise and other vital support to help insure electoral victories for these women and, in turn, for women and men throughout New York State.

Robin Wilt brings a long-standing commitment to progressive causes in Monroe County. As community activist, real estate agent, and small business owner, Wilt has seen first-hand the economic challenges facing Monroe County. In 2008, Robin co-founded the Genesee Valley chapter of Progressive Democrats of America, a grassroots organization dedicated to working inside and outside the Democratic Party to advance progressive causes. As Senator, Wilt will tirelessly work for the people of Monroe and champion a return to good government, good jobs and good leadership.

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