“There was this unbelievable energy happening with women, and I wanted to see if there was something we could do to take this moment and make it a longer lasting movement,” Richards told me in June during a live recording of “Cape Up” at the “Opportunity 2020” conference hosted by the centrist think tank Third Way and the Black Economic Alliance in Charleston, S.C. She then teamed with Ai-jen Poo, who heads the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The idea was, how do we actually pull together all the threads of women who have been self-organizing, hundreds of new women’s organizations that have popped up all around the country,” explained Richards, “and actually provide more organizing-training, advocacy skills, intentional work across racial and generational lines.” She said the goal is to “galvanize and aggregate 2 million women” by next summer.
“I believe women will be the determining factor. They always are, but in 2020, women will determine the future of that election, and, frankly, the future of the country,” Richards said. “Our goal is to spend this next 12 months aggregating 2 million women,” Richards said. “Training them, organizing them, connecting them, and providing them the skills so that we can run the biggest voter mobilization of women-to-women outreach that we’ve ever seen in the United States of America, and change who’s in the White House, and change elected office holders all across the country.”
One of the things Richards said Supermajority will be issuing soon is a women’s New Deal that will have economic equity and access to health care among its pillars. The reason for this is simple: “When women elect the next president, I want to make sure that they have women’s issues front and center and that they aren’t put by the side.”
Listen to the podcast to hear Richards get personal talking about her mother, the late legendary Texas governor Ann Richards, and her daughter Lily Adams, who is the communications director for the presidential campaign of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). “I feel like, actually, I’m just the genetic link between Ann Richards and Lily Adams, really,” Richards said. “I feel like Lily got all of mom’s DNA.” And hear Richards’s advice to women to stop waiting to do something.
“For women, for most of our lives, we waited until everything was perfect — like we had [to wait until] the kids were the right age or we had all the right degrees or we had all the right experience,” Richards told me. “And, so, my message to all women right now is start before you’re ready. Don’t wait. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Don’t wait for someone to ask you.”