The women of South Dakota need you!!

In lieu of actually blogging, an email from a longtime email friend:

September 10, 2008 - 2 weeks to early voting!
Dear friends of WomenRun!SD,
Today proponents of the abortion ban on the South Dakota ballot announced a thinly veiled plan to enlist all 1,600 churches across the state in Get Out the Vote efforts to support the ban, Measure 11. The far-right Alliance Defense Fund is prepared to back any church challenged by the IRS for political campaigning, just as ADF provided the support for the 2005 total abortion ban bill and 2006 ballot measure (defeated). We've been meeting their enormous political and rhetorical challenges for some time now in this small, rural state with few resources save for each other and the good help of people like you who are alarmed at the threats against choice and progress for women.
The challenges are deep but so are our commitments. Will you help us meet them?
P.O. Box 2983
Mpls., MN 55402
WR!SD's challenge in South Dakota is to create progress for women. WR!SD 's commitment is to help prochoice, PROGRESSive women win legislative seats in the Capitol, where bills are introduced, laws are made that affect reproductive, economic, environmental and social justice and where appointments to state offices and policy-making panels are made. SD women rank dead last in the number of women in government leadership positions. And women still hold only 16% of legislative seats. We're going to change that - with your support.
Since the alarms went off in 2005 with the total abortion ban legislation, progressive women in SD have rolled up their sleeves. We now have the Women's Advocacy Network which sponsors the Women4Women Lobby Day and the efforts of two groups devoted to defeating the ban in Healthy Families and StandUp!SD. The Natl. Women's Political Caucus found its way to SD and held a candidate's training this year.
We've made progress. But there's more... .
With guidance and support from WR!SD Senate candidate Charon Asetoyer the Indigenous Women's Political Caucus kicked off at the 2007 legislative session; I've been there as its legislative liaison since, with around 85 Native women following legislation through our bill updates and coming to the Capitol to testify. IWPC convened an inspiring Native Women's Leadership Training co-sponsored with the Sheila Wellstone Inst. and SDCADVSA and will host more events in the future.
Native women of the 9 First Nations within SD borders are participating in state politics as never before. They've cracked the history books again this cycle - 5 Native women are now Dem Party County Chairs in SD!
Including Charon, WR!SD is directly supporting 7 women running for state legislative seats, 5 of them from First Nations. Sen. Theresa Two Bulls was the first Native woman in SD to win a legislative seat and is running for her third term (she won her Dem primary only to have her opponent change parties for the general!). The others are Theresa Spry, Lisa Cook and Diane (Long Fox) Kastner along with incumbent Sen. Nancy Turbak Berry and Martha Vanderlinde. What a show of progress they would make in the SD state legislature. With more donations we could help out all 21 prochoice, Dem women running this cycle. With more resources... .
Over 11,000 new Dem voters have registered in SD already! WR!SD and all our candidates are immersed in early voting and GOTV plans - but with few resources to count on. We are making a special plea for your contribution to WR!SD so their plans can be put to action. GOTV in the First Nations and in Native urban areas is intensive - we must have enough funding to put vans on the road and the people to do the door to door work it takes. Now is the time, too, for ads and mailings, which don't get printed, aired or stamped without resources.
1,600 SD churches were asked today to help get out the vote for the abortion ban - will you help mobilize the networks we've built to get out the vote for SD women? Whether because of the presidential race or the economy itself our donations at WR!SD are well behind what we did in 2006 and what we need to meet our challenges. I've even had a request for funds from the Republican Speaker of the House, who is being challenged by our Charon Asetoyer! Things are tight all over but we know, too, that we're finally putting some pressure on in District 21 with its 3 First Nations and huge Native vote - which we must move to the polls for our 2 Native candidates in 21!
In two weeks, Sept. 23rd, candidates' best laid plans will either hit the road running or whither for lack of money. Period. That's the reality.
WR!SD is taking up the real challenges rural women face head on and creating progress.
Please help us meet our commitments. Send a donation to WR!SD today - or directly to our candidates!
Thank you for committing yourself to progress for women and your support of WomenRun!SD

Love always,
Laura Ross

Note: If you're giving over $100. to a candidate directly please send along a note with your employer's name and your address. SD statutes limit individual contributions to candidates at $1,000. per year. Individual contributions to SD PACs are limited to $10,000. per year. WR!SD is a state-only PAC; contributions do not affect federal contribution limits.

Authorized and paid for by WomenRun!SD, Laura Ross, Treasurer