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From the DNC Convention Floor, Stephanie Schriock Talks Women in Politics

September 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
Ray Suarez talks to EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock about raising seed money for women politicians to run viable campaigns.
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RAY SUAREZ: Well, I’m down here on the floor with Stephanie Schriock, who runs EMILY’s List.

And, Stephanie, it’s a name that’s very familiar to political pros and certainly women who want to run for office, but tell other people who are hearing it for the first time, what is EMILY’s List?  

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK, President, EMILY’s List: EMILY’s List is a 27-year-old organization that is committed to electing pro-choice Democratic women across the country.

It’s now today 1.6 million members strong, and we’re having a historic year in 2012 supporting candidates like Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. So that’s exactly what we do, and we are committed to that.

RAY SUAREZ: I think the acronym stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast, right?

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: Right.

RAY SUAREZ: What is it the vital role that early money plays in a political system where men have often found it easy to run and women a little tougher?

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: Well, that’s exactly right.

And what EMILY’s List is about is a community of women and some really good men who are part of us who pull their resources together to get those important dollars for candidates to get started. For women, it’s still hard to get that seed money. And what we’re there to do is help recruit, train, support those candidates, get that early money in those campaign coffers, so they can build the staff and the political organization they need to run a viable and successful race.

RAY SUAREZ: How do you decide where money goes?  

More women than ever are running for public office at all levels of government now. How does EMILY’s List strategize using that cash?  

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: It’s a wonderful problem to have, and we’re hoping to see more and more women to continue to run.

For EMILY’s List, we really, really look at our best opportunities across the country.

I mean, honestly, we still don’t have enough women running that it is a gigantic problem yet. But the truth is we are going to recruit more and more. And what we do is, we look for folks who have strong political organizations and ties to their communities, who understand what’s going on in people’s lives, in the workplace, in their schools.

And we look for those opportunities to work with those women. And then we target them fully with our community and our resources.

RAY SUAREZ: Stephanie Schriock of EMILY’s List, thanks a lot.

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: My pleasure. Thank you so much.