Announcing the 2021 Women Out to Win Cohort
Through generous funding from The Ascend Fund, Victory Institute produced a first of its kind report, “The Decision to Run: Uncovering the Barriers and Motivators for LGBTQ Women Running for Office” to learn more about the challenges LGBTQ women experience while running for office, along with the reasons they choose to run.
One of the standout learnings was that LGBTQ women need more mentorship from elected officials who are also LGBTQ women. Representation continues to matter – in regions where there was already LGBTQ representation, more LGBTQ women were likely to run and thought an LGBTQ woman was more likely to assume office. In areas where there was no LGBTQ representation, 83% of respondents were either very concerned or somewhat concerned that an LGBTQ person could not win a seat.
There is a clear need for mentorship and representation. As an organization, we decided to take action to make sure we’re doing our part to support LGBTQ women as they pursue public leadership positions. The Women Out to Win Mentorship Program will provide participants with supportive programming and mentorship so that they can face campaign challenges head-on. Women Out to Win is an advanced campaign training that includes personalized coaching through mentorship to discuss challenges specific to women candidates, such as imposter syndrome, sexism, and fundraising.
Meet the 2021 Women Out to Win Cohort
Casey Clowes is a caring and passionate Tempe advocate who has spent her personal and professional life working to improve the lives of others.
Casey grew up in Tempe. After graduating from her local high school, Casey pursued a degree focused on community issues and service, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy with specific certifications in Public Administration and Public Management at Arizona State University. Casey went on to receive her Juris Doctorate at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU because of her desire to advance innovative solutions to current issues by bridging the gap between legal realities and community needs. Over the course of Casey’s academic career, she served as a leader in her community, supporting underrepresented populations, finding efficient legal solutions to environmental concerns, and creating lasting changes by collaborating with various stakeholders.
Casey has experience as a community organizer working on climate justice, voting rights, and disability justice issues. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Tempe Family YMCA and volunteers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Casey currently works as an attorney and has experience in both negotiating a wide variety of contracts and in civil litigation. Her experience allows her to efficiently and effectively devise solutions to complex policy issues, collaborating with and benefiting individuals from various backgrounds.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mariah Moore is an award-winning social justice advocate, National Organizer at the Transgender Law Center, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the House of Tulip. Born at Charity Hospital with deep roots in the city’s 7th and 9th wards she spent much of her childhood in foster care. After returning to New Orleans post-Katrina, Mariah, like so many New Orleanians, struggled to secure stable housing, a job that paid a living wage, and a foothold in the city that she and generations before her had called home. She knew that she deserved more and her city deserved more.
Inspired by her great aunt, Bernice Keys, and her grandmother, Lavergia Hicks—two strong, Black women who had shown up for her when no one else would—Mariah fought for friends and neighbors that the system was failing and no one else was standing up for. When members of Mariah’s community were denied loans, jobs and housing she went to bat for them, and this community helped her through this challenging time in return.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, leaving the city’s most vulnerable residents at the highest risk, Mariah and fellow organizer Milan Sherry drafted plans for House of Tulip, a non-profit collective that provides housing for trans and gender nonconforming folks. While hundreds of thousands of Louisianans were still struggling to get in touch with the state’s office of unemployment, Mariah and the House of Tulip Founder’s Circle were raising over $1 million to support their community in a time of crisis and helping secure desperately needed access to employment, healthcare, legal aid, and more.
Mariah is running to represent District D because she knows what it’s like to choose between spending your last dollars on the bus fare to work or buying dinner. She knows what it’s like to be priced out of the neighborhood your family has called home for generations. She knows what it’s like to have someone you love ripped away because of gun violence. But most importantly, Mariah is running because she knows what we are capable of when we come together to demand change and craft creative solutions.
She knows that we can have a New Orleans where everyone thrives because she’s already made that a reality for some of the city’s most marginalized residents. Mariah knows New Orleanians deserve more, more for our future, more for our neighborhoods, and more for our city. She hopes you’ll join her in the fight to create a future for District D that is as bountiful as New Orleans culture.
Janelle Perez was born and raised in Miami, FL a daughter to Cuban exiles fleeing Castro’s dictatorship. Upon her graduation from Florida International University where she majored in Political Science, Janelle moved to Washington, DC, to begin her career on Capitol Hill working for Members of Congress and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Affairs. While seeking a Master’s in Government from The Johns Hopkins University, she participated in various organizations and served as the Government Affairs Associate for Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Janelle led the educational and advocacy activities on Capitol Hill to support federal funding for the world’s largest public health financier, the Global Fund. At the age of 28 however, Janelle received news of an even greater challenge: a diagnosis of Stage IV Follicular Lymphoma, a very aggressive incurable cancer. Though her professional career would come to a two-year pause, Janelle moved back to Miami to prioritize her health and start a family with her wife.
Today, she is one of the owners of Doctors HealthCare Plans, Inc., a Hispanic-owned Medicare managed care company headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida’s largest county with the highest concentration of low-income elderly Hispanics. It is one of Florida’s fastest-growing Medicare managed care companies, providing affordable, high-quality medical services to Medicare beneficiaries in the county.
Janelle’s extensive and personal experience with legislation, non-profit organizations and healthcare industries have contributed to her success and deepened her understanding of potential opportunities and growth across the governmental landscape.
Janelle currently lives in Miami with her wife, Monica, and daughter, Olivia.
Asheville, North Carolina
Allison is a multigenerational Asheville/WNC local. She is a trans woman who advocates for LGBTQ Southerners as the Director of Impact & Innovation for the Campaign for Southern Equality. In 2018 she was chosen by USA Today to represent North Carolina in their 50 Faces of Pride for NC, and she has also been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Associated Press, NBC, The News & Observer, along with other national and statewide media. Along with being a featured speaker for Creative Mornings, she served as co-chair for the Biden for President North Carolina LGBTQ+ Leadership Council. Allison is a community organizer and bridge-builder who has coordinated with school systems, medical practices, churches, businesses, news agencies, and politicians regarding equality for LGBTQ people.