More than 1,500 women and a long list of elected officials attended U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Ultimate Women's Power Lunch Friday at the Hilton Chicago. The 9th District Democrat, whose district includes much of the northern suburbs, held the event to mobiize women for the upcoming fall election.
The elected officials attending included Governor Pat Quinn, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Democratic Congressional candidates Tammy Duckworth, Brad Schneider, Cheri Bustos, Bill Foster, David Gill, Dennis Anderson and Leslie Coolidge.
In introducing the seven Democratic candidates for Congress in Illinois, Schakowsky said, "Illinois is ground-zero for putting the Speaker's gavel back in the hand of Nancy Pelosi. We have many great opportunities for victory."
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said Republican Tea Party policies in the Senate pose challenges to women. She pointed out every GOP Senator who voted against the Violence Against Women Act was a man, and said it only passed with the help of moderate Republican women.
Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, who headlined Schakowsky's Power Lunch last year, made a another appearance, doing a reading of an original poem urging voters to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Schakowsky said, "This Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch is all about putting women power to work. I will focus on (1) the all too real war on women, and (2) how it is that we, women, women voters are the power that can win the 2012 elections."
"You can substitute any other Republican in the House or Senate for Mitt Romney, because regardless of how benign they seem, how moderate they try to appear, every single one voted for the Republican budget, almost all voted to defund Planned Parenthood."
"Women are the key to Democratic victories in November and losing is not an option. We need to mobilize Democratic women, independent women, moderate Republican women whose party has turned against them."