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August 31, 2021 59 min

Ellen Malcolm helped found EMILY's List in 1985 and then served as EL’s President for 25 years. It’s hard to think of an organization over the last 30+ years that has changed politics more than EMILY's List, dramatically increasing the number of Democratic women in the both the Senate and the House. In this conversation, Ellen talks about how her early stops at places like Common Cause and the National Women’s Political Caucus prepared her to help found, launch, and grow EMILY's List. And Ellen outlines the key moments, decisions, and campaigns that have forged the successful political institution EMILY's List has become. 

IN THIS EPISODE

Ellen grows up in a Republican household…

The cause and candidate that pulled Ellen into progressive politics…

Ellen cuts her teeth at Common Cause and the National Women’s Political Caucus…

Ellen comes out of the philanthropic closet…

The one Senate race in 1982 that was the catalyst for the creation for EMILYs List…

Geraldine Ferraro’s role in energizing the women’s political movement…

How “pro-choice” and “Democratic” became integral to EMILYs List mission…

Ellen’s memorable first meeting with then newly-elected Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi…

Barbara Mikulski and EMILYs List make history in 1986…

The 1988 House race that became a prototype what would soon be EMILYs List political department…

Ellen remembers her deep emotional investment in Ann Richards races in Texas…

The 1992 “Year of the Woman” changes the trajectory of EMILYs List…

The 2004 House race that became a model of how EMILYs List tries to operate…

After 25 years as President of EL, how Ellen knew it was time to pass the torch…

Ellen’s advice for new or smaller organizations that want to be the next EL…

AND 12-2 meetings, 60 Minutes, Tammy Baldwin, Lindy Boggs, Mary Beth Cahill, chain letters, Common Cause, John Danforth, donor networks, Dwight Eisenhower, the ERA fight, Anna Eshoo, John Gardner, Jane Hickey, Anita Hill, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Gwen Moore, NOW, Mary Rose Oakar, David Obey, Tip O’Neil, Jen Pihlaja, Sally Ride, Run to Win, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sherman, Simon & Garfunkel, Martha Smiley, Lael Stegall, Adlai Stevenson, Clarence Thomas, Jolene Unsoeld, Willi Unsoeld, Watergate, Henrietta Windom, Harriet Woods…& MORE!

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