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The Progressive Women’s Alliance influences public policy through the election of candidates and the advocacy of progressive values.


Communities are better – more equitable, just, inclusive, and economically viable – when progressive voices are at the table and progressive values are represented in government, policy, and law. In this way, we raise up all members of our community.  Read more...

In the fall of 2003, a group of West Michigan women leaders began what would ultimately become a powerful political force – one where progressive voices and priorities could find root on our community’s political electoral stage.


They formed the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan – the area’s first and only women-led, independent, non-connected, multi-issue political action committee (PAC) dedicated to progressive values.


PWA’s founders combined their considerable experience in political fundraising and civic organizing with the goal of increasing women’s political leadership and participation.

Guided by their vision, PWA has raised significant funding to support progressive campaigns, endorsed candidates at all levels of government, offered programming to educate our community about key issues, and become a statewide model for effective progressive organizing. 

The impressive results continue with each electoral cycle.

With gratitude for their vision and hard work, we thank our founders:

Christine Albertini

Micki Benz

Joan Bowman

Sharon Handy

Karen Henry

Phyllis Hooyman

Kathy Humphrey

Helga Kleinschmidt

Deb Mankoff

Noreen Myers

Kate Pew Wolters

Bette Sebastian

Cindy Sharp

Meg Sorenson

Melvene Tardy

Unless women are
prepared to fight politically, they must be content to be ignored politically.”

– Alice Paul, 1920

2024 PWA Board of Directors

Karla Amaya-Leone

Shayna Haynes Heard

 Emily Heffling
Anne Hiskes

Kirsten Holz
Sondra Loucks Wilson
Jodi Michaels

Kelli Langan Pfister

Bridget M. White

Sherrie Barber Willson
Ellyn Wolfson
Karen Zivi

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What Is A PAC?

The Progressive Women's Alliance of West Michigan is organized under Michigan law as a nonpartisan "Independent Committee" and under federal law as a nonpartisan "Non-Connected Political Committee."  These forms of political action committees (PACs) are permitted to solicit unlimited donations from individuals and to use those funds to influence campaigns for public office and ballot proposals.


Because a PAC can make much higher donations to a campaign than individuals, your contribution to PWA will have a greater impact on elections and public policy. 

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