This event took place on March 8-10, 2022.
RepresentWomen's inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts and leaders in election administration, voting rights, and democracy reform who are working on innovative solutions that upgrade and strengthen our democracy. Women experts discussed a range of critical issues related to fair access, fair elections, and fair representation. Experts focused on viable, scalable, and transformative solutions to build a 21st Century Democracy that reflects today’s needs and values.
RepresentWomen is a nonpartisan research and advocacy hub that is dedicated to building a 21st-century democracy with inclusive gender balance at every level of government in the United States. We study the barriers women face in politics and partner with allies to advance best practices to address those barriers so that all women can run, win, serve, and lead.
Experts will discuss the importance of protecting the voting rights of all Americans, of ensuring access to the ballot to those marginalized by our current system, and challenges related to the electoral college. Experts will examine solutions such as the National Popular Vote, the reauthorization of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, electronic voting, and reasonable accommodation for those with specific needs (including language translation). The day will end with actionable takeaways so that participants will know exactly how to help advance these solutions.
Discussion of the existing challenges related to fair access to establish a foundational understanding of the issues we are trying to solve. Here audience members will gain a solid understanding of the barriers in our current system.
Time: 3:00 - 3:15 pm
Speakers: Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, Justice Anita Earls, Donna Brazile
A live one-on-one conversation between two widely respected women experts on the National Popular Vote as a solution to some of our current challenges related to elections and voting processes. Here audience members will learn about viable, scalable, and transformative solutions directly from the experts themselves.
Time: 3:15 - 3:40 pm
Speakers: Secretary Shemia Fagan, Secretary Jena Griswold, Eileen Reavey
A live conversation between two to three widely respected women experts on the reauthorization of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act as a solution to some of our current challenges related to inequitable access to voting rights. Here audience members will learn about viable, scalable, and transformative solutions directly from the experts themselves.
Time: 3:40 - 4:00 pm
Speakers: Arielle McTootle, Nicole Austin-Hillery, Sabrina Khan, Yael Bromberg
Live panel discussion between three to five “on-the-ground” experts that will share their experience in working to advance equal access to voting rights and participation for all people at the local, state, and national levels. Here audience members will learn about tangible action steps they can take to join us in advancing these viable, scalable, and transformative solutions.
Time: 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Moderator: Roxanne Szal
Speakers: Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, Anathea Chino, Christine Chen, Christina Das, Ava Mateo
Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez is a U.S. Representative from New Mexico. She was born in Las Vegas, NM. Prior to being elected to serve in the 117th Congress (2021-present), Representative Leger Fernandez worked as a lawyer in private practice, where she worked on community development, tribal advocacy, and civil rights. In 2017, she led a successful effort to bring ranked-choice voting to Santa Fe, NM.
Justice Anita Earls is a civil rights attorney and Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. In 2007 Anita founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization, and served as its Executive Director for ten years. While there Anita litigated voting rights and other civil rights cases. She was previously appointed by President Clinton in 1998 to serve as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.
Secretary Shemia Fagan was elected Oregon's 28th Secretary of State in 2020. Before she was elected to office, Secretary Fagan worked as an attorney in private practice. She later received training on campaigning for public office from the Emerge Oregon program. Fagan first entered public service in 2011 when she was elected to the David Douglas School Board. She later served in the Oregon House and Senate. Secretary Fagan is a strong defender of the vote by mail system and committed to building on Oregon’s tradition of secure and accessible elections.
Secretary Jena Marie Griswold is Colorado’s 39th Secretary of State and began her term on January 8, 2019. She is the youngest elected Secretary of State in the United States. Griswold grew up in a working-class family in rural Colorado and was the first person in her family to attend a four-year college and then law school. She knows first-hand how important it is for every vote to count and for every Coloradan's voice to be heard, no matter their background or income.
Eileen Reavey co-founded the grassroots advocacy group campaigning for Oregon to pass the National Popular Vote bill in 2016. She now works to apply those organizing lessons in other states as National Popular Vote’s National Grassroots Director. She works on building momentum and support for this issue nationwide, and on training volunteers to be organizers and informed advocates for the cause.
Yael Bromberg is the Chief Counsel and Strategic Advisor for The Andrew Goodman Foundation (outside counsel), and Principal of Bromberg Law LLC. Bromberg has litigated in state and federal courts across the country. She serves as a Lecturer at Rutgers Law School, where she teaches Election Law & the Political Process, and is a Visiting Associate with the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She currently works with the Harvard Kennedy School's William Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice on a youth voting rights project.
Sabrina Khan is a senior staff attorney and Deputy Director of the Voter Protection program at Advancement Project in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Sabrina advocated a wide array of civil rights issues at the City of Chicago Department of Law, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Project Vote.
Bio Coming Soon!
Nicole Austin-Hillery is the US Program Executive Director for Human Rights Watch, leading efforts to end violations in the abusive US immigration system, tackle race discrimination and other rights problems with the domestic criminal justice system, and advocate for national security policies informed by international human rights standards.
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins proudly represents the 20th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she is dedicated to policy change that makes a difference in people’s lives. Delegate Wilkins serves on the House Ways and Means Committee where she is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Election Law, leading the House in passing election policy and expanding voter access, including passing Maryland’s permanent mail-in ballot list, voting access for incarcerated individuals, and expansion of early voting sites.
Anathea Chino (Acoma Pueblo) is a queer Indigenous woman working to create pathways that ensure women of color, queer people, and Indigenous people are visible and represented in the U.S. political landscape. Anathea has more than 18 years of experience as a political strategist, fundraiser, and operative at the tribal, state, and national levels. Anathea co-founded and is the Executive Director of Advance Native Political Leadership, the first and only national Native organization aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of Native Americans in local and state elected leadership. Previously, she worked at UltraViolet, Democracy Alliance, and Neiman Marcus.
Christine Chen is a co-Founder and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), one of the most trusted national, nonpartisan organizations. APIAVote’s mission is to work with local and state community-based organizations (CBOs) to mobilize Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in electoral and civic engagement.
Christina Das is an Attorney with the NAACP LDF in their Prepared to Vote and Voting Rights Defender Project. At LDF, Christina serves as the Texas and South Carolina lead for Election Protection and Pre-Litigation Advocacy. Since graduating from law school, Christina has been involved in electoral organizing from the local to the national level, seeking to aid more New Americans access to the ballot box. She also serves as a Member of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Voting Rights & Democracy and resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Ava Mateo (she/her) is the Executive Director of 18by Vote, a nonpartisan organization that helps 16, 17, and 18-year-olds understand how, when, and why to vote. She believes deeply in the power of youth and finds it her mission to spread opportunities for meaningful civic engagement among teens and young adults. At 18by Vote, Ava leads an entirely youth-led team in the development and execution of hyper-localized youth voter outreach programming.
Roxy Szal is the digital editor at Ms. and a producer on the Ms. podcast "On the Issues With Michele Goodwin." Before becoming a journalist, she was a Texas public school English teacher. She is based in Austin, Texas.
RepresentWomen’s inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts in the fields of voting rights, democracy reform, and election administration to advocate for meaningful, innovative solutions to the issues facing our democracy today.
Our inspiring panelists and speakers highlighted some of the many ways YOU can Take Action today to help upgrade our democracy into the 21st century! Check out recordings from each day along with the steps you can take.
Day Two experts discussed the National Popular Vote, the reauthorization of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and addressing unique barriers that specific marginalized groups face (e.g., Native populations, young voters, non-native English speakers, etc.) as solutions to protect voting rights of all Americans.
WATCH: Solutions Summit Day 2: Fair Access | [Click here to watch the video on our Youtube channel or watch below]
READ: the transcript here
Take Action Steps
A plain text version of these Take Action resources is available.
This is just the beginning! Check back for an in-depth Solutions Summit Take Action Resource Guide, coming soon.