Suvarna Garge

Terry O'Neill (feminist)

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Terry O'Neill (feminist) wwwlifenewscomwpcontentuploads201405terryo
Occupation  President of National Organization for Women
Known for  Law professor at Tulane University Law School, Membership vice president of National Organization for Women
Education  Tulane University, Northwestern University, Choate Rosemary Hall
Similar  Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Muriel Fox

Terry O'Neill (born c. 1953) is an American feminist, civil rights attorney, and professor. She has been president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) since July 2009, and president of the NOW Foundation and chair of the NOW Political Action Committees.


Education and family

O'Neill graduated from Rosemary Hall (now Choate Rosemary Hall), and holds a bachelor's degree in French with distinction from Northwestern University and a law degree magna cum laude from the Tulane University Law School. She has one daughter. According to O'Neill her first husband beat her after a dispute when she was 22 years old, and she left him to live with her parents in New Orleans. She is amicably divorced from her second husband.

Early career

O'Neill got her start in politics in the early 1990s when David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana. At the time she was a professor of Law at Tulane University in New Orleans. She signed on with the Stop Duke Campaign and contributed by going door to door in her uptown neighborhood getting out the vote against Duke. The following year she joined NOW.

She served as NOW’s vice president for membership from 2001 to 2005. She taught feminist legal theory and international women's rights law, corporate law and legal ethics at Tulane and the UC Davis School of Law. She is a past president of Louisiana NOW, Maryland NOW and New Orleans NOW and member of the National Racial Diversity Committee. She served on the NOW National Board, representing the Mid-South Region (2000–2001) and the Mid-Atlantic Region (2007–2009).

NOW election

O'Neill was elected as part of a four-member team called "Feminist Leadership NOW" that took office July 21, 2009. Bonnie Grabenhofer of Illinois is executive vice president, Erin Matson from Minnesota became action vice president, and Allendra Letsome of Maryland became membership vice president. O'Neill resigned from her position as chief of staff to Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg of Montgomery County, Maryland in June 2009, to work full-time for NOW. The election was very close—won by eight votes, with outgoing president Kim Gandy supporting the other team led by Latifa Lyles, a 33-year-old African American who emphasized youth, diversity and new technology.

NOW agenda

The Washington Post said she "campaigned to reenergize what she called an outsider strategy of 'tapping into energy and outrage' felt by grass-roots feminists across the country over 'the ground we lost' during the Bush administration".

Among twenty or thirty key issues identified, the six top priority issues that NOW addresses are abortion rights / reproductive issues, violence against women, constitutional equality, promoting diversity / ending racism, lesbian rights, and economic justice.

She was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which attempted to place limits on taxpayer-funding of abortions (except in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother) in the context of the November 2009 Affordable Health Care for America Act. The amendment was ultimately not included in the bill.


Terry O'Neill (feminist) Wikipedia

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