The Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501 (c)(4) organization founded in 2005 and dedicated to increasing the voting participation and issue advocacy of unmarried women.
Unmarried women — single, separated, divorced or widowed — make up over 25 percent of all voting age Americans and are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in America. Unmarried women, together with people of color, and young voters comprise the Rising American Electorate (RAE), the majority of the voting eligible voting population (53 percent) and the key to progressive success in 2012 and beyond.
Unmarried women are the largest part of the RAE and they were major drivers behind progressive victories in 2006 and 2008. They could do it again in 2012 — if they show up to vote their progressive values in numbers that represent their growing demographic strength. By November, 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau expects the number of unmarried women to number close to 55 million.
But unmarried women participate and vote less often than their married sisters. At the start of the 2012 election cycle, close to 40 percent of unmarried women — a key segment of the progressive base of support — were not registered to vote.
Increasing the number of unmarried women and other progressives who register, turnout and participate in our democracy and our government is the primary goal of WVWVAF. To that end, the Action Fund uses innovative, research-driven voter education, get out the vote and advocacy programs, advertising and messaging to engage and provide unmarried women with access to the ballot and information that gives them a stake in the outcome of political debates and elections.
Founder Bio – Page S. Gardner
Page S. Gardner is the founder and president of the Voter Participation Center (VPC), formerly Women’s Voices. Women Vote, (WVWV) and of the Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF). The VPC and WVWVAF have developed new ways to enfranchise and empower the historically under-represented groups that now comprise the Rising American Electorate (RAE): unmarried women, African Americans, Hispanics, and other people of color, and young people. Under Gardner’s leadership, the VPC and WVWVAF have emerged as leaders in the area of metrics-based voter registration, turnout, and advocacy.
Gardner discovered a profound difference between the voter participation rates of married and unmarried women and to realize that marital status is a key determinant of whether and how one votes. Gardner co-founded the WVWV in 2003 with the goal of increasing unmarried women’s participation in the political process. She was also the first to identify and focus on increasing the registration and turnout of the entire RAE given that race and age are also key determinants of participation.
Before founding VPC/WVWVAF, Gardner worked for over 20 years at senior levels for several of the most competitive national, state and local campaigns in the country. She also managed issue and communications campaigns on some of the most heatedly debated public policy questions facing the nation. She is a nationally known political strategist and communications specialist who has written articles for many publications, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, and PBS.