The Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF or Action Fund) 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 African Americans, Latinos, other people of color and millennials, comprise the Rising American Electorate (RAE). They are the majority of the voting eligible voting population (56.7 percent) and the key to success for progressives in 2016 and beyond.
Unmarried women were major drivers behind progressive victories in 2008 and 2012. They could do it again in 2016 — if they show up to vote their progressive values in numbers that represent their growing demographic strength. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of unmarried women in America is 56.8 million. And growing. By 2016, for the first time, a majority of women are projected to be unmarried.
But unmarried women participate and vote less often than their married sisters. In the 2012 election, 31 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, turn out 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 with unmarried women and provide them 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.