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19th Events

Equal Participants in Our Democracy

Originally aired on May 15, 2024
Presented by

Since 1980 women have registered and voted at higher rates than men. Women are twice as likely to serve as poll workers. The 118th Congress has the most women in history, but they are just 28 percent of members. What will it take to see parity in the halls of Capitol Hill and in elected positions across the nation? And how can we work together to eliminate systemic obstacles and uphold our democracy?

On May 15 in Washington, D.C., The 19th News will host a series of conversations about the crucial role of women and LGBTQ+ people in our democracy — and what’s preventing them from full participation.

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Amanda Becker
Washington Correspondent, The 19th
A headshot of Rebekah Caruthers.
Rebekah Caruthers
Vice President, Fair Elections Center 
A headshot of Alma Couverthie.
Alma Couverthie
Chief of Programs & Interim Co-CEO, League of Women Voters
Errin Haines
Editor-at-Large, The 19th
A headshot of Nina Jankowicz.
Nina Jankowicz
Co-Founder and CEO, The American Sunlight Project
A headshot of Mel Barclay.
Mel Leonor Barclay
Politics Reporter, The 19th
A headshot of Sarah Longwell.
Sarah Longwell
Publisher, The Bulwark
A headshot of Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi
Speaker Emerita of the U.S. House
A headshot of Kira Sanbonmatsu.
Kira Sanbonmatsu
Senior Scholar, Center for American Women and Politics 
A headshot of Nicole Sawran.
Nicole Sawran
Senior Director for Advocacy and Public Affairs, Pivotal Ventures
Lizzie Ulmer
Lizzie Ulmer
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Communications, States United Democracy Center


National Union Building

918 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004


2:30 p.m. | Doors open

3 p.m. | Welcome

3:05 p.m. | One-on-one 

Longtime Republican strategist, Sarah Longwell, talks to Amanda Becker about her deep conversations with voters and what’s top of mind for them this election year. 

  • Sarah Longwell, publisher, The Bulwark
  • Moderator: Amanda Becker, Washington correspondent for The 19th 

3:25 p.m. | Panel conversation

This wide ranging conversation dives into the many ways women interact with politics at all levels, from voting to working as election officials and running for office.  Experts in disinformation, voter engagement, campaign finance, organizing and more will discuss the work being done now to equip women and LGBTQ+ people to be equal participants in our democracy. 

  • Rebekah Caruthers, vice president of the Fair Elections Center 
  • Alma Couverthie, chief of programs & interim co-CEO at the League of Women Voters 
  • Nina Jankowicz, co-founder and CEO, The American Sunlight Project
  • Kira Sanbonmatsu, senior scholar at the Center for American Women in Politics
  • Moderated by Mel Leonor Barclay, political reporter for The 19th 

4:00 p.m. | Sponsored segment from Pivotal Ventures

Supporting free and fair elections means supporting women. Making up more than 80% of local election officials – women make our elections possible. They too often face threats, harassment, and difficult working conditions. In this conversation, we’ll learn about women’s leadership in our elections and how we can support women and strengthen democracy.

  • Lizzie Ulmer, senior vice president of strategy and communications, States United Democracy Center
  • Moderated by Nicole Sawran, senior director for advocacy and public affairs for Pivotal Ventures

4:10 p.m. | Keynote interview

Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, talks to Errin Haines for a live recording of The Amendment podcast about her history-making leadership in the House of Representatives, the importance of gender representation in policymaking and what advice she offers to those interested in entering politics. 

  • Nancy Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Emerita of the U.S. House
  • Moderated by Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th and host of The Amendment podcast

4:40 p.m. | Solutions session

We’ll end with refreshments and conversation in an energizing and inspiring “solutions session” where folks can debrief, discuss, and learn about pathways forward from our experts and each other. Attendees are invited to participate in intimate and actionable small-group discussions focused on finding real solutions and encouraging more conversation in the room to build momentum ahead of November.

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