Chicago Women Take Action Before Elections

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Nikoleta Morales

On October 18th, Chicago women from different organizations gathered at the Cornerstone Center, at 1111 N. Wells St., to talk about, discuss and share ideas about women issues. Chicago Women Take Action (CWTA) brought together more than 15 diverse women’s organizations, informal networks and individuals to collectively forge a Chicago Women’s Agenda – a guide to civic and electoral action.

“We didn’t want to turn into another forum. We came up with this idea and reached out to 2500 women’s groups and about 20 groups said this is very interesting. We put together this assembly in literally eight weeks,” said longtime activist and co-founder of CWTA Marylin Katz.

To ensure both an informed and wide-ranging discussion, CWTA created a website through which individuals and organizations can both register and submit ‘planks’ for the agenda. The ideas submitted were put to group refinement, discussion and votes at the assembly, to forge an agenda that will serve as a framework for potential joint action among the varied groups as well as serving as a guide for women when making decisions in upcoming elections.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

“Women should think about these issues when judging the candidates. We wanted to become the standard in which women judge corporations and governors,” said Katz. Some of the issues discussed at the event were environment, finances, education, sexual violence, minimum wage, etc.

“In my community there are single mothers and they are raising children alone in a violent community. I see a lot of women struggling because men are not involved in their families,” said 17 year old feminist Ydsena Gutierrez from Little Village, who attended the CWTA event as a student of Global Media and whose dream is to become a dentist.

Mujeres Latinas en Accion is one of CWTA’s partners and even though according to Katz didn’t make the event, they have a strong voice when it comes to women in the Latin community. “They came a little late to the game but played an integral part. What they do in the empowerment of [Latin] women is critically important,” said Katz. For more information on CWTA and their work, visit:

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