About Fund Her
As Americans, we pride ourselves on being leaders and innovators who are building the future. We conquer the unknown, we believe everyone can achieve their full potential, and we dare to dream big.
But there is still a lot of work to be done—even in leading progressive states like California, and across the country.
For example, California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and Californians take pride in leading the nation on equal pay, climate change policy, and gun safety legislation. Yet California also has the nation’s highest poverty rate and ranks in the bottom fifth of the nation when it comes to education spending. And, while heralded for its strong women leaders, California has never had a woman Governor and women comprise only 31% of its State Legislature.
California needs progressive women, who tend to legislate more than men on poverty and education, and who have carried our most important progressive education—from equal pay to climate change to gun safety.
Our strategy works. In 2018, within one year of our launch, California saw its largest ever single-year gain for women's representation.
On the heels of this success, we're excited to include Virginia in our program in 2019. Like California, Virginia is a coastal state threatened by rising sea levels and other disastrous impacts of climate change. Like California, mass shootings have threatened the lives of Virginia's people. But unlike California, both houses of Virginia's legislature are controlled by Republicans—and progressive women are stepping up, across the state, to say enough is enough.
Now, Virginia's legislature has been flipped to Democratic control and is poised to cast the final vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Progressive women were crucial in flipping both the State Senate and the State Assembly.
Whether it's Orange County, California or Richmond, Virginia, progressive women are taking on Republican men who vote against women, against families, and against the environment.
To learn more about our work in California, watch our video:
If women can lead our states, we can lead the nation. And if we can lead the nation, we can lead the world.
What We Stand For
Fund Her’s core values are women’s equality, reproductive freedom, social justice, and climate responsibility. We endorse women who share our dedication to those principles and are committed to fighting for them once elected.
Equality goes beyond equal pay. Our endorsees are champions for women’s rights and equal opportunity for all women everywhere, from the classroom to the boardroom, including the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination.
We're seeing an unprecedented surge in attacks on women's rights, including a coordinated effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. We support candidates who will legislate in favor of women’s agency over their own bodies and will protect women's access to healthcare necessities, including family planning services.
We support candidates who will work to elevate the voices of California’s marginalized communities and bring issues of social justice to the forefront of policy discussion. This includes addressing criminal justice reform, equal opportunity in our education system, and uplifting women of color in our communities and in our capitol.
We are committed to tackling climate change. Environmental factors impact our daily lives in incalculable ways, from increasingly extreme natural disasters to the public health impacts of pollution to the devastating consequences of rising sea levels. We support candidates that will fight for bold solutions, including environmental protections and clean technology.
Fund Her’s first year has been incredibly successful—and people are taking notice. Check out the latest news on the work we’re doing to put women at the helm of California.
Fund Her Press Release, July 31, 2018: Fund Her Expands Support to Include Women Running for Statewide Office in California
NBC News, July 29, 2018: 'Giving Circles': Female fundraisers are powering women candidates
UC Hastings, June 7, 2018: Profile of Valerie McGinty, Fund Her Founder
Los Angeles Daily News, May 25, 2018: Candidates wonder if #MeToo will matter to voters
Los Angeles Daily News, April 4, 2018: In LA-area California Assembly Elections, a ‘huge moment’ for women and a teen candidate
Los Angeles Daily News, March 23, 2018: Special elections in LA next month could say a lot about 2018 midterms
Endorsements we've received:
“I am thrilled to see California add to its arsenal with the birth of Fund Her. Now, women running for the state legislature in California are going to be able to access the resources they need to be competitive and win!”
Andrea Dew Steele
Founder and President
“I’ve seen the tenacity, creativity, and bold leadership that women legislators bring to Sacramento. Fund Her is the missing piece that will help elect more women and allow California to continue to lead the nation.”
"California can reach gender parity in its legislature that much sooner because women now have an ally against Independent Expenditure attacks: Fund Her.”
close the gap CA
"Whether it's fair pay, climate change, affordable housing, or higher education - we see time and time again, women leading the charge on progressive issues."
"Nothing will do more to change the culture that suppresses women in leadership than electing more women to lead! Thank you Fund Her for helping elect more women to the California State Legislature!"
Lt. Governor, California
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Fund Her unique?
Fund Her is the only political action committee dedicated to putting progressive women at the helm of our state governments, with the goal of reaching gender parity in California's State Legislature by 2028 and flipping Virginia's Legislature in 2019.
How does Fund Her decide which states to focus on?
In each election cycle, we focus on the highest-leverage opportunities for progressive women to lead in state government. This will always include California, because of its status as the most populous state and the largest state economy, and will also include state(s) where progressive women can make the biggest difference for Democrats at the state level.
How does Fund Her decide who to endorse?
Fund Her evaluates candidates based on their viability and demonstrated leadership on four cornerstone values: reproductive choice, women’s equality, social justice, and climate responsibility.
Why do we need to support progressive women?
Studies show that women lack access to traditional funding sources and have a harder time raising money to mount campaigns. But when women are elected, they pass 50% more laws than their male colleagues. Data also shows that women tend to legislate more than men on critical issues facing society today like poverty, education, and healthcare.
Why should we invest in state races?
We focus exclusively on state races for three reasons. First, states wield incredible power: they draw the boundaries for both state and Congressional districts, and legislate on issues central to our four cornerstones—reproductive freedom, equal pay, gun safety, and climate. Second, state governments are becoming increasingly important in our current political climate as progressive policies and protections are rolled back at the federal level. Third, we are playing the long game—building a strong bench of progressive women leaders will pay great dividends at the national level. We are looking beyond the election of our first woman president, beyond even the election of several women presidents, to a future where America is led equally by women and men.
Why should we invest in California?
No State Legislature wields the national and global influence that California does. We’re the world’s fifth-largest economy and the most populous state in the union: with nearly 40 million residents, we represent about 12% of the total population of the United States. Yet California ranks 20th in the nation when it comes to female representation at the state level. California has the opportunity to be a model for what can be achieved when we are led by women and men in equal numbers.
Why did we invest in Virginia?
Democrats needed only four seats for a majority in the Virginia Legislature—and we knew progressive women could deliver in Virginia, like when they flipped 11 seats in 2017. A Democratically-controlled Virginia will get to redraw badly-gerrymandered districts, an opportunity that won't come again until 2030. Virginia is also poised to cast the final and 38th vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, change laws that limit reproductive choice, and legislate on gun safety and climate, all efforts that Virginia Republicans have thwarted.