Many of you know that since the pandemic, California NOW State President Kolieka Seigle and Mass NOW Co Director Sasha Goodfriend, have been active partners in organizing NOW state chapters from around the country to hold National NOW accountable towards fiscal transparency and reinvesting in the grassroots efforts to pass feminist policy on the state and local level. Unfortunately, we along with many other young feminists throughout the country have experienced non-stop harassment over the last year during the Nunes-Atwood administration.
Most notably, this resulted in their decision to not let a Seigle-Goodfriend slate run for the National NOW Office. In an unprecedented turn of events, National NOW ruled Goodfriend ineligible to run, even though she was just approved to run for the same position this past September. The Nominating Committee deemed her ineligible without sharing any documentation, despite numerous requests from both Goodfriend and chapter leaders from 16 states in a signed letter. The Nunes-Atwood administration chose the Chair, briefed the nominating committee, parliamentarian & lawyer, and wouldn’t let Goodfriend’s pro-bono representation from Ashcroft Sullivan attend the open board meeting. Unfortunately, despite the facts the majority board voted 6-5 to uphold the Nominating Committee’s decision.
The National Board then voted to refuse Seigle the opportunity to run with another slate mate, as has been done in the past and as the Elections Committee had suggested. NOW President, Christian Nunes, did not recuse herself from voting, even with the obvious conflict of interest.
Out of NOW’s 85,000 members nationwide, there were 746 people registered for the National NOW Conference and eligible to vote: 8% of NOW’s national membership. 577 of eligible voters voted, with 368 votes making the Nunes-Atwood administration the winning slate. We know National NOW is extraordinarily far from being a representative, grassroots feminist organization and will continue to work towards modeling our vision for a feminist democracy on the local and state level.
We’re heartbroken that we won’t be able to use our resources at National NOW to invest in the changes that we know we desperately need to see at the state level across the country. Nevertheless, we remain committed to our work on the ground here and will continue to grow our own capacity to expand our organizing efforts. Over the last year and a half we’ve broken decades of siloed state chapters and opened avenues for more collaboration between chapters, National NOW, and regions across the country. As violent oppressive legislation is being passed this year more than ever before around the country, we cannot afford to stop or slow down our advocacy efforts.
Thank you for being a part of the Mass NOW community and making our unapologetic pursuit for justice and intersectional feminism possible.