Virginia NOW is the state chapter of the National Organization for Women. Along with our local chapters, we are a 501 (c) 4 membership organization. We work on issue advocacy through education, voter mobilization and volunteering on campaigns. By state law, our state and local chapters cannot provide funds for preferred or endorsed candidates, so we formed a political action committee (PAC) to provide endorsements and funds for those who support our feminist goals.
The Virginia NOW Political Action Committee identifies, interviews, endorses and funds feminist progressive candidates for local and state level executive and legislative office. By state law, the PAC can receive donations from anywhere in the USA, regardless of NOW membership.
The Virginia NOW PAC cannot endorse candidates for federal offices such as President or Congress, but it sends recommendations from the state PAC to the National NOW PAC for its consideration and decision. Federal candidates should contact their nearby local NOW chapter leaders who will be consulted as the state PAC decides on these recommendations.
Virginia NOW’s endorsement criteria:
We ask that candidates support and promote:
- Constitutional equality for women, including ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
- Reproductive rights and justice without restriction to access and regardless of economic status
- Economic justice, including fair and equal pay, living wages, and worker benefits
- Elimination of gender-based sexual and domestic violence, passage and enforcement of the Violence Against Women Act
- Human needs programs, including Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security
- Civil rights and voting rights and ending racism and discrimination against all protected classes
- LGBTQIA rights, fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, health services, and child custody
- Comprehensive immigration reform
- Commonsense gun safety and reform laws
How candidates can secure the VA NOW PAC endorsement:
Candidates seeking our endorsement should directly contact Virginia NOW PAC. They will be referred to our Candidate Questionnaire. A phone call and personal interview with a PAC member or local NOW leader should follow. The goal of this questionnaire and interview is to determine whether the candidate is a feminist, the depth of commitment to NOW’s issues, and whether the candidate will prove to be a valuable ally in the future. Winnability is important but not essential. We also ask campaign managers to follow up on this.
We welcome referrals from our chapters, who alert us to likely candidates that they want to recommend.