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Democratic Activist Women's Network. District 1



After the November election in 1992, a group of politically concerned women met in Boone, Iowa to discuss the status of women in elected positions in the state of Iowa. This group concluded that, although women constituted fifty-two percent of the population in Iowa, eighty-two percent of Iowa state senators and eighty-four percent of Iowa state representatives were men. Furthermore, at the time, Iowa had never had a female governor, Speaker of the House, majority leader in the Senate or House, or Congressperson. A related concern was the Republican dominance of Iowa politics and its perceived impact on equal representation.

The Democratic Activist Women's Network (DAWN) was created for the purpose of recruiting, educating, supporting and helping to elect Democratic women to public office in Iowa at the local and state levels. The organization was modeled after EMILY's List, establishing networks for candidate selection and endorsement through the provision of financial and moral support. In particular, DAWN actively recruits candidates to run for office and funnels member donations to them, as well as providing campaign volunteers, advice, and woman-specific campaign training. Candidates endorsed since the organization's inception include Elaine Baxter, Bonnie Campbell, Minnette Dodorer, Sandra Glenn, Patty Judge, Robbie Fye Leach, Anne Pederson, Linda Santi, and Kathy Walter.

DAWN is structured to correspond to the five Iowa Congressional districts, with local chapters in each district. In 1993, former Iowa Senator Beverly Hannon became chair of the newly created District 1 chapter. In 1996, Hannon resigned her position and membership, due to disagreements among members over candidate positions on abortion and reproductive rights. DAWN continues to recruit and endorse Democratic women candidates today.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Democratic Activist Women's Network, District 1 records

Identifier: IWA0602

Organization created to recruit, educate, and elect Democratic women to public office in Iowa.

Dates: 1981-2009