Network Kicks-Off Unprecedented Grassroots Initiative to Have 1 Million Women Register to Vote for the 2008 Election
Geraldine Ferraro and Susan Molinari Named National Co-Chairs
Kelly Ripa, Kerry Washington, & LeAnn Rimes Sign on to Raise Awareness for the Campaign
Broad Based Initiative to Unite the Resources of Women's Voices. Women Vote; America's Promise Alliance; Women's Campaign Forum; The Creative Coalition and cable partners NCTA, WICT and ACC
New York, NY – October 22, 2007 – Leveraging the unique resources of its public affairs initiative, WE Empowers Women, along with a diverse partnership of the nation's top advocacy groups, WE tv announced today that the network will create and implement an unprecedented national grassroots initiative. The campaign will look to register over 1 million women to vote in the 2008 election while educating them on important key issues of interest to them. The multi-tiered year-long campaign, WE Vote '08, will be co-chaired by 1984 Vice Presidential Nominee Geraldine Ferraro and former U.S. House of Representative Susan Molinari and bring together a historic group of non-profit, non-partisan organizations, including Women's Voices. Women Vote; America's Promise Alliance; Women's Campaign Forum and The Creative Coalition, in addition to cable organizations such as NCTA, WICT and ACC. Talk show host and actress Kelly Ripa, Grammy award winning artist LeAnn Rimes and actress Kerry Washington have signed on to raise awareness for the campaign on a local and national level.
Kicking off the campaign will be a series of network interstitials featuring high profile female celebrities promoting WE Vote '08's mission, along with a multi-platform marketing campaign which will drive voter registration on the national and local level. In addition, the network will implement a unique, custom made grassroots plan, in target markets across the country, combining celebrity driven events, door to door registration drives, educational forums, and WE Vote parties. In conjunction with today's announcement, the network will also launch today WEvote08.com, a continuously updated online resource center available throughout the election year, which will serve as a mechanism to easier voter registration, candidate stances on key issues important to women, daily news on the election, key voting facts, featured columnists and blogs, polling information and user-generated content.
"Over the last few years, WE tv has grown beyond an entertainment brand and has become a focal point of empowerment and useful information for millions of women. The WE Vote 2008 initiative will build on our accomplishments and leverage our resources to help ensure that women have the strongest possible voice in the 2008 election," stated Kim Martin, Executive Vice President and General Manager WE tv. "What we are building here is a national grassroots campaign that hopes to reach every corner of the country and it is our hope that this initiative, this investment, will galvanize women across the country to register to vote en mass. WE Vote 2008 is the culmination of months of planning, outreach and research at the network, and we are very proud to have so many women leaders and key groups onboard."
"I am delighted to be asked to co-Chair WE Vote '08 with Susan and look forward to the opportunity to help mobilize this important effort," stated Geraldine Ferraro. "The path to equality begins with an active and informed base and WE tv is providing a valuable catalyst that will activate and inform millions of women across the country. This non-partisan effort supports no other cause other than the opportunity to get involved. I am proud to lead WE Vote '08, to work with the various groups who are supporting the initiative and to help dramatically increase the participation of women in the political process."
"Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, 2008 will be a very important year for women voters," stated Susan Molinari. "The power of the WE tv brand, the multi-tiered strategy of WE Vote '08 and the unparalleled unification of celebrity involvement and advocacy organizations has created the perfect platform to raise awareness about key issues effecting women across the country. We all have a responsibility to participate in the electoral process and I commend WE tv for investing in this initiative and providing all women the opportunity to get involved and truly affect policies. I am very excited to be involved in this project and look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work."
"Before we know it the next presidential election will be upon on us and it's important now more than ever that women are educated on the key issues that affect them," said Kelly Ripa. "If one more person can become empowered to exercise their right to vote in this next election then WE Vote is a success."
Speaking on behalf on the consortium of non partisan organizations supporting the WE Vote '08 initiative, Page Gardner, Founder and President of Womens Voices. Womens Vote stated, "What WE tv has created is an ambitious and unique campaign that will ensure that more women are part of the political process than ever before. Accounting for 25% of all voters, single women have the potential to determine the elections outcome, and partners for WE Vote 2008 are helping to get them to the polls. All of the organizations involved in this initiative represent key strategic constituencies and each will play a valuable role in outreaching women on the local and national level. WE Vote 2008 has built a united front to get more women involved and we believe the result will create a strong impact within the electorate."
The following information details those involved in the WE Vote '08 initiative:
WE Vote '08 National Co-Chairs
Geraldine Ferraro – Ms. Ferraro earned a place in history as the first woman vice-presidential candidate on a national party ticket. She was first elected to Congress from New York's Ninth Congressional District in Queens in 1978 and served three terms in the House of Representatives. She has handled matters before agencies of the United Nations, the U.S. Government, the Congress, and the Conference of Mayors as well as certain state and local entities. From 1996 – 1998, Ms. Ferraro was a co-host of Crossfire, a political interview program, on CNN. In 1994, she was appointed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission by President Clinton and served in that position through 1996. She served as a public delegate to the Commission in February 1993 and was also the alternate United States delegate to the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in June 1993 and Vice-Chair of the U.S. Delegation at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, September 1995. An active participant in the nation's foreign policy debate, Ms. Ferraro serves as a Board member of the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Ferraro is currently a political analyst for FOX News and a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate. Geraldine A. Ferraro is a Principal in the government relations practice of Blank Rome, a national law firm.
Susan Molinari – Ms. Molinari is a former Member of Congress from New York. After just 4 years in Congress she was elected vice chair of House Republican Conference, making her the highest-ranking woman in Congress. She was unanimously re-elected to the House leadership in 1996 and was selected as keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in San Diego. A member of the House Budget Committee, Susan chaired the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Railroad Subcommittee. Prior to serving in the Congress, Susan was the minority leader of the New York City Council. Ms. Molinari quickly became "one of the most distinctive Members of the House" and "one of the most visible voices for her party" according to the authoritative Almanac of American Politics. She was one of Time magazine's "Most Influential People Under Age Forty," in 1994, Glamour Magazine's "Women of the Year," in 1996 and one of Toastmasters International "Top Five Speakers," in 1998. Today, she can regularly be seen on television analyzing politics, government and current events. She is married to former New York Congressman Bill Paxon and they have two children and reside in Virginia. She currently serves the dual role of chairman and chief executive officer of The Washington Group and President of Ketchum Public Affairs.
WE Vote '08 Non Profit, Non Partisan Partners
America's Promise Alliance – Building on the legacy of our founder, General Colin Powell, we are the leader in forging a strong and effective partnership alliance committed to seeing that children experience the fundamental resources they need to succeed – the Five Promises (caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities to help others) – at home, in school and out in the community. For more information, visit americaspromise.org.
The Creative Coalition – The Creative Coalition is the premier non-profit, non-partisan social and political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 by prominent figures in the creative community, including actors Alec Baldwin, Ron Silver, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon, Blair Brown and Stephen Collins, TCC educates and mobilizes leaders in the arts community on issues of public importance, specifically in the areas of First Amendment rights, arts advocacy and public education. To learn more, visit creativecoalition.com.
Women's Voices. Women Vote. – Unmarried Americans are the fastest-growing large demographic in the country and by 2008, a majority of Americans will live with an unmarried head of household. But despite their numbers, unmarried Americans are under-represented in national elections and their voices are not being heard in our democracy. Women's Voices. Women Vote was created to activate unmarried Americans in their government and in our democracy. To learn more, visit wvwv.org.
Women's Campaign Forum – The Women's Campaign Forum is dedicated to ensuring women become leaders in public life. As volunteers, donors, campaign professionals, and most importantly, candidates, we know women from all walks of life can change the face of this nation. WCF proudly advocates for women's participation in public life, educates women to be more effective political participants, and donates our support to women as candidates for public office. For more, visit wcfonline.org
WE Vote '08 – Cable Industry Partners
NCTA – The principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. Founded in 1952, NCTA's primary mission is to provide its members with a strong national presence by providing a single, unified voice on issues affecting the cable and telecommunications industry. For more information visit, ncta.com.
WICT – Developing women leaders is our mission. As the oldest and largest organization serving women professionals in cable and telecommunications, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) is at the forefront of an industry undergoing constant change. For more information, please visit www.wict.org.
ACC – its mission is to develop and promote cable communications excellence through professional development to help achieve industry and corporate goals. ACC works to enhance each member's status and influence through skill building and professional development. For more information, please visit cablecommunicators.org.
About WE tv
WE tv is the content destination where strong, confident women connect to fun, entertaining programming focused on pop culture, personal style and relationships. With quality original programming including the hit series "Bridezillas," unique movie packages like "Cinematherapy," topical specials and its public affairs initiative WE Empowers Women, the network supports women and appeals to their interests. WE tv is a subsidiary of Rainbow Entertainment Services and is currently seen in over 64 million homes.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.