A century ago, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution made voting, our country’s most fundamental mode of civic participation, a right regardless of gender. But this watershed moment in our democracy excluded millions of women, including women of color, from the ballot box for generations. The reality is suffrage remains a work in progress for many in this country, particularly women living in states where voter suppression exists and tens of thousands of transgender Americans who face barriers to voting.
Today, women make up more than half of the American electorate and are more engaged than ever in our politics — marching on state capitols, voting at higher rates than men, and running for local office and seeking the presidency in record numbers. Yet they remain underrepresented in government and in the nation’s executive ranks. Women and gender diverse people are also underrepresented in politics and policy journalism and in newsroom leadership, which influences what stories are told, how the news is covered and whose voices are elevated.
Number of women who voted in 2016 — nearly 10 million more than men
Seats in Congress held by women in 2020
Percentage of state legislators who are women of color
Number of transgender people who could be turned away at the polls in 2020 because they lack an ID to vote
In short: The 19th Amendment remains unfinished business, a fact we acknowledge in our logo with an asterisk — a visible reminder of those who have been omitted from our democracy. The expansion of the franchise continues today, and The 19th aims to capture this ongoing American story.
Our goal is to empower those we serve — particularly women, people of color, and those historically underserved by American media — with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy. We will do this through:
Here’s what you won’t find at The 19th: Cheap shots or cheerleading. Opinion or false equivalency. Partisanship. Horse-race politics. Turn-of-the-screw stories. Clickbait. (Sorry, not sorry.)
The 19th is a nonprofit newsroom supported by a mix of membership, philanthropy and corporate underwriting. Our goal is long-term sustainability to support a lasting future for news and information at the intersection of gender, politics and policy.
All of the money we raise goes back into our journalism — and we list all donors and corporate sponsors who’ve given $1,000 or more on our website. Any donor or sponsor at this level who’s mentioned in a story will be identified in that story.
Donors and sponsors don’t get a thumb on the scale; they play no role in our journalism, in our storytelling or in the planning and execution of our events.
The 19th aims to be a source of news and information for all women, with a special emphasis on those who have been underserved by and underrepresented in American media. Among our values:
Emily Ramshaw is our co-founder and CEO. She was previously editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, an award-winning nonpartisan digital news startup. She serves on the board of the Pulitzer Prize.
Amanda Zamora is our co-founder and publisher. She spent nearly two decades as a digital editor, product manager and audience strategist at newsrooms including the Texas Tribune, ProPublica and The Washington Post.
Andrea Valdez is our editor in chief. Previously she served as editor in chief of the Texas Observer, editor of WIRED.com and editor of Texas Monthly’s website. She wrote the book “How to be a Texan: The Manual.”
Errin Haines is our editor-at-large. An award-winning journalist with nearly two decades of experience, Errin was previously national writer on race for the Associated Press. She’s also worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.
Johanna Derlega is our chief revenue officer. She previously oversaw revenue efforts, events and marketing as publisher of The Hill and senior vice president at National Journal. Most recently, she launched the consultancy Broad Branch Strategies.
Jessica Lessin (Board Chair)
Founder & CEO, The Information
Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The New York Times, Co-Founder of Spoon University
Chief People Officer, VICE Media Group
Katy Drake Bettner
Co-Founder, Playful Corp, and Producer, BetRed Stories
Host and Producer, Univision Radio Network
Host of PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover”
Founder and CEO, McPherson Strategies
Co-Founder and President of the Quadrivium Foundation
Web Pioneer, Philanthropist, Activist
Managing Director, ASU Media Enterprise, and Professor, Cronkite School of Journalism
Head of Content, Gimlet
Editor-in-Chief, The Oaklandside
Managing Director, Texas Competes & America Competes
Partner, Elsewhere Partners, and Co-Founder, American Journalism Project
Ann Walker Marchant
CEO, the Walker Marchant Group