Update on Wisconsin and Madison NOW Candidate Endorsements

For immediate release
July 4, 2020

Media contact:

Mara Jarvis
President, Madison chapter of the National Organization for Women
Board member, Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women

The Wisconsin and Madison chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) are announcing an update to political candidate endorsements as of July 4, 2020. Mara Jarvis, Madison NOW President and Wisconsin NOW Board Member, released the following statement:

I want to say thank you to our local candidates for asking for a Wisconsin/Madison NOW endorsement for their campaigns. It truly is an honor. We want to thank them for their patience as we are working through our endorsements. 

Our president, Toni Van Pelt, has recently been called out for her racist actions towards staff and other members. It has also been reported that she is transphobic. The Daily Beast was the first to report on the issue but other publications have published articles as well. Wisconsin NOW has signed onto a letter, along with 24 other state chapter leaders, asking for Toni Van Pelt to resign. The Washington, DC chapter board has resigned in protest. As of this email, Toni Van Pelt has not yet resigned. 

Let me be clear, Wisconsin and Madison NOW stand with Black Lives Matter and our trans siblings, and we will not tolerate racist and transphobic behavior. Please read our chapters’ statement calling for the resignation of Toni Van Pelt and demands presented by a coalition of state chapter leaders, including Wisconsin NOW’s board.

In light of this and as a form of protest, together with other state and local chapters, Wisconsin and Madison NOW have decided to postpone any more endorsements in this election cycle. We are also asking the candidates that we have already endorsed to not use our logo in your promotion material

We are sorry for this inconvenience but we believe it is for the best. If candidates have any questions on this, please let us know. 

We thank our local candidates again for running for office and for asking for the support of NOW.”


About the National Organization for Women (NOW)

The Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women (www.wisconsinnow.org) is a multi-issue, multi-generational organization working to bring about increased rights and increased involvement for Wisconsin women. The National Organization for Women (www.now.org) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.