Westchester vs. Every Other County in the Country

There is no question that the November 4th Elections were horrific for women nationally and in states across the country including New York. Extremists with their anti-woman agendas took control of both houses of Congress, state governments, and, here in New York, the State Senate. Politicians who have pledged to enact sweeping abortion bans, take away women’s right to birth control coverage, and do away with equal pay legislation have taken control.

But here in Westchester, things were different. Why? Because of WCLA – PAC, WCLA – Choice Matters, our bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide – and YOU.Where an estimated four billion dollars was spent nationally on campaigns, we managed to take our meager funds and change elections. We madetens of thousands of phone calls to our database, got over 54,000 copies of our yellow ProChoice Voting Guide into mailboxes reaching over 85,000 pro-choice voters, and emailed (more than some of you liked). And we got out the vote! As a result, 95% of our candidates were elected, including Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and State Senator George Latimer who were both under targeted assault. Plus we elected a terrific Supreme Court Justice, James Hubert, to his first term representing the 9th District which is made up of 5 counties. In addition, our strong advocacy for the re-election of our phenomenal pro-choice Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, resulted in a very strong win for him here in Westchester, the county that decided this year’s elections. We decisively defeated Westchester’s own anti-choice extremist County Executive in favor of our pro-choice Governor. Our pro-choice actions dramatically impacted Election Day outcomes here in New York State.

2014 stands in sharp contrast to 2013 when due to insufficient fundswe were unable to mail out our Voting Guide, and pro-choice candidates lost in astonishing numbers. In 2013, they lost by small margins, and this year they won by those same margins. These races – decided by just a few percentage points – are where our ProChoice Voting Guide makes the difference between winning and losing.

Women vote at higher rates than their male peers, and that gap increases with age. And women are our base. Our database demographic is not comprised of your typical internet and social media users. Reaching this target population, the one that can change elections, requires more traditional avenues of communication – the telephone, and yes, snail mail – the U.S. Postal Service. And the postage rate just keeps going up.

But our work is not limited to election time. We work all year long – advocating, organizing, reviewing proposed legislation, writing op-eds, making sure we have input in policies and programs – while every week we are calling new voters to identify whether they are pro-choice and can be added to our database. We are on the frontlines and the cutting edge. For example, immediately following the Hobby Lobby decision, Choice Matters approached Attorney General Schneiderman’s office with a simple straight-forward idea: Create legislation that requires employers to disclose whether or not they provide contraceptive coverage, and if they change the coverage, require that the company disclose the change. This, the Reproductive Rights Disclosure Act, was our brainchild and made New York the first state in the nation to take action in response to the U. S. Supreme Court’s horrendous decision. It was so impressive that President Obama enacted a version of our bill.

Unfortunately, this all costs money. Your support today is essential to our ability to function. Without your financial contribution, there will be no ProChoice Voting Guide or people building our database, or staff to hold New York policies in check. We scare some candidates and elected officials, and reward others, because we hold them accountable for their actions.

Choice Matters has been standing strong since 1972! That’s 42+ years! Choice Matters has interviewed hundreds of thousands of female voters, identified those who are pro-choice, and added them to our database. It’s our amazing staff, database and mailed ProChoice Voting Guide that make us victorious. We’ve always understood this.  We don’t need massive SUPER PAC money, but we do need your contributions. As we’ve clearly demonstrated, we spend our funds wisely.  The more you invest in us, the greater our impact will be on New York State and federal politics. It starts with a donation from you. Make no mistake about it, we are now in the fight of our lives as extremists in Congress, followed by those in our state governments, including in Albany, are committed to rolling back women’s rights. For example, a Personhood Bill – giving a fertilized egg the same legal rights as a human being, and thereby banning abortion and most birth control – has already passed the House of Representatives. After this election, they have enough votes to bring the bill to the Senate floor! Limitations imposed by Congress will affect New York.

Can you chip in to help us fight to defend the right to choose against this new anti-choice majority? Your generous contribution of $25, $100, $250 or more will help Choice Matters’ ProChoice campaign continue to identify and educate pro-choice voters across the county and state, and change elections. We kept Congressman Maloney in office despite horrendous attacks, and with your support we will continue to do more.

Please say, “Yes, I’ll make a donation to help defend abortion rights against this new anti-choice majority.”  Consider making a contribution in someone’s name, as a holiday gift!

Choice Matters is a mighty pro-choice organization with a proven strategy. When you, our donors, provide us with the funding needed, we are able to do extraordinary things. Now more than ever, we need your support. Your contribution, whatever you can afford – large or small – will make a difference.  Every dollar truly counts.

Please mail your contribution today or you may securely contribute on line at www.choicematters.org.

Supporting Choice Matters is the most valuable action an advocate for Choice can take.

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