Here’s Why We Care About Hillary Clinton Running For President In 2016

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Hillary Clinton finally ended years and months of increased speculation and announced her campaign for the 2016 Presidency a little after 3pm on Sunday April 12. It was the day many around the country had been waiting for, including us.

She made her announcement via Twitter and Facebook, and also released a video giving us a little glimpse into what she intends to focus on.

“I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” was the statement that was shared multiple times after its release.

Hillary becomes the first Democratic candidate to throw their hat in the ring, and if she is successful in being the party’s top choice, and then goes on to win the bid in 2016, she will make history as America’s very first female president. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet, there is a long way to go, and many more candidates from both the Republican and Democrat parties to be announced.

From the announcement video, her focus seems consistent with what she has often spoke of publicly throughout her political career, right from the time when her husband Bill was president in the 1990s. There is a huge emphasis on young women and young or growing families. That is certainly no surprise, as many pundits claim she is going to be the biggest draw card for young female voters, or “Beyonce” voters as they have being nicknamed.

Aside from the obvious focuses for Hillary, it was important to see she wants to champion for older people who are retiring, as well as the LGBT community. Yep, the video below features not one, but TWO gay couples and already that sends a huge message of inclusivity that what we have seen from the likes of the Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul who have openly shared their dislike for gay marriage in the effort to preserve religious freedom. Perhaps they have forgotten religious freedom is already in the constitution, where as gay rights aren’t and that is a more pressing fight.

For Hillary to openly declare that she wants to champion the cause of the LGTB community along with other marginalized sections of society is a big deal. When President Obama came out swinging in both his 1st and 2nd term by talking about gay marriage and minorities, it sent a loud and clear statement to the people of America: that all citizens should be treated equally and deserve equal rights under the law.

With the added media hubbub lately out of Indiana where Governor Mike Pence signed a controversial bill which seeks to protect religious freedom but also leaves room for discrimination against the LGBT community, needless to say gay rights is still a huge agenda that will no doubt be part of Hillary’s campaign.

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In her latest book ‘Hard Choices’, Hillary dedicates the majority of it talking about diplomatic relations with almost every country and region around the world during her time as Secretary of State, but toward the back she talks about human rights. Her famous speech from 1995 in Beijing where she declared “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights” was mentioned, as well as the amendment she made in more recent years where she added gay rights to that statement, ensuring her human rights initiatives are inclusive of everyone.

Her focus on the empowerment of girls around the world is evident with her work through the Clinton Foundation as well as the annual Clinton Global Initiative where leaders and influencers from all around the world come to find ways to solve the problems plaguing certain countries. Her recent work with the Gates Foundation on the ‘No Ceilings’ report shows gender equality is no small or “soft” issue for Hillary.

In her 2008 Presidential run, she made this now-poignant comment: “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it. And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”

Of course, the idea of having America’s first female president would be no small victory either. In a time when we are one of a handful of developed countries to elect its first female, it is time. Sure, she has to be voted on merit, that goes without saying. But her record should give some indication that her run doesn’t come out of nowhere and already she has far more experience that some of the republican men she is up against (since that will no doubt be an issue that will come up in future debates).

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While Hillary is not the first to throw her hat in the ring, we hope she won’t be the last, despite her result. In fact since the late 1800s women have been vying for the CEO position. On May 10, 1872 Victoria Woodhull became the first woman in America to announce her run for presidency. She was a socialist and a feminist who wanted to champion the cause of the underdog.

“Women must rise from their position as ministers to the passions of men to be their equals. Their entire system of education must be changed. They must be trained like men, [to be] permanent and independent individuals, and not their mere appendages or adjuncts, with them forming but one member of society. They must be the companions of men from choice, never from necessity. If Congress refuse to listen to and grant what women ask. There is but one course left then to pursue. What is there left for women to do but to become the mothers of the future government?”

This was the statement she made at the time which was quite revolutionary in itself. But Hillary’s candidacy for the Democratic party already puts her in a different league from this list of women throughout American history who have vied for presidency. Not one of them have been from the two major Republican and Democrat parties, until now. There were many women who campaigned for both the Republican and Democrat party’s top spot, but have yet to become either one of their official candidates.

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Feminist and activist Bella Abzug campaigned in 1972 for the Democratic nomination, along with Shirley Chisholm who became the first African American woman to run for a major party nomination (as well as the first black woman to run for Presidency), and was also the first African American woman to be elected to congress in 1969 where she stayed until 1983.

Needless to say there are a lot of eyes on Hillary as she becomes a viable candidate for the 2016 Presidency. Her campaign will come under intense scrutiny, more so than others, simply because of her gender.

In a not-so-coincidental coincidence, her daughter Chelsea Clinton was chosen as Elle Magazine’s latest cover girl and although she didn’t reveal anything about her mother at the time, she spoke on the need for America to have a female president, and shared some of why Hillary’s run comes at a crucial time in the history of gender equality in America.

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“We’ve made real progress on legal protections for women, but in no way are women at parity to men in our country in the workplace. And if we look in the political sphere, it is challenging to me that women comprising 20 percent of Congress is treated as a real success. Since when did 20 percent become the definition of equality? And so when you ask about the importance of having a woman president, absolutely it’s important, for, yes, symbolic reasons—symbols are important; it is important who and what we choose to elevate, and to celebrate. And one of our core values in this country is that we are the land of equal opportunity, but when equal hasn’t yet included gender, there is a fundamental challenge there that, I believe, having our first woman president will help resolve,” she said.

“And do I think it would make a substantive difference? Yes, we’ve seen again and again, when women have been in positions of leadership, they have had different degrees of success versus their male counterparts, historically being able to build more consensus so that decisions have longer-term effects, whether in economic investments or in building social capital. Who sits around the table matters. And who sits at the head of the table matters, too.”

Hillary has a long road ahead of her, but she definitely has a head start more so than other women in the past. Being a team of young women, we care about what Hillary cares about because we are yet to see a Presidential candidate, other than Barack Obama, who has so forcefully incorporated human rights and women’s issues as a crucial part of all the other “big ticket” issues such as education, climate change, economy, healthcare etc. Gender equality, the wage gap, and feminism

The diverse range of people groups she wants to be a champion for is also important. We want a candidate who can best represent us as young women yes, but who can also go to bat for every American when the time comes. Someone who understands international diplomacy, and someone who isn’t going to give up the fight for equality.

To keep up to date with her campaign, you can go to her website and sign up, donate, and read more about her background. Ok Hillz, let’s get started!

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