When Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election in 2016, Sarah Sherman, Georgetown Day School (GDS) class of 1993, decided she had to do something. Sherman has been politically active since her days at GDS, but this time, she decided to take action by starting her very own super Political Action Committee (PAC) called “Vote Me Too.”
The “#MeToo” hashtag trending in 2017 empowered women across the world to speak up about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Sherman decided to combine the momentum of the “Me Too” movement to challenge the gender power imbalance in the government by forming a super PAC to help elect more women to the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2018 and 2020. Sherman, a passionate mother of twins, and a survivor of a high school sexual assault, launched the PAC out of her own home in Baltimore.
Sherman traces her advocacy back to GDS, and remembers attending marches downtown for AIDS, protesting the South African embassy during apartheid, and going to pro-choice rallies with her mother and friends in the 1990s. “GDS is in my bones in terms of activism. It was synonymous with my growing up in Washington,” said Sherman.
However, Sherman is both motivated and ashamed at the fact that she is still marching for the same reproductive rights she was 25 years ago. “At least I am still marching with my fellow GDS compatriots. GDS fostered this idea that you speak up for yourself and advocate for others… It was written into the bylaws of being a GDS citizen,” Sherman added.
After high school, Sarah Sherman went on to study at the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she majored in English and Women’s studies, one of the first women’s studies programs in the country. A member of Planned Parenthood and advocate of liberal political campaigns, Sherman had an ‘I have to do something’ moment in 2016 after Hillary Clinton lost the presidential race.
Sherman described Trump’s election as re- traumatizing for herself and survivors of sexual assault. “I think the connective tissue for me was that he was so recognizable as a perpetrator and a self-proclaimed abuser, that having him in the White House was just a giant middle-finger to me and other survivors,” she explained. “Whether or not you have been abused is irrelevant because every woman can recognize the nastiness that lies beneath someone like that.”
The super PAC “Vote Me Too” specializes in creating unique and compelling videos for a slate of first-time, pro-choice female candidates running for office. Sherman partnered with her husband, John Sherman, a fellow GDS graduate who works in video production and assisted the campaign of Doug Jones in December 2017 against alleged sexual harasser Roy Moore. John Sherman has been in the news industry for a long time and had been doing video component work for political candidates. “I got so tired of him coming home and supporting all of these male candidates, when, in fact, women needed to be represented, and right now we are not,” Sarah Sherman noted.
Although more than half of donations to super PACs come from white men, Sherman remains undiscouraged. She remains committed to the “Vote Me Too” PAC and accepts donations as small as five dollars to support female candidates. Sherman said, “If women can give five dollars here and there, we can to do as much as we can to eventually support their video needs after they win their primaries and place the ads in the video markets when they need it.”
Currently, women hold only six out of 50 governorships in the United States and make up one fifth of the members of Congress. However, history is in the making. Nearly 60% more women are running for office in the House and Senate in 2018 compared to the 2016 election. A record-breaking number of women are seeking elected office this year and Sarah Sherman is committed to assisting these women until they cross the finish line in November.
For further information about Vote Me Too, visit www.votemetoo.org.
By Amelia Myre’20