The room was at capacity and good cheer was in abundance when Governor Phil Murphy showed up to congratulate Bergen County’s Women Empowered Democratic Organization (WEDO) at their third annual gala.
Billed as WE DO’s special guest for the evening, Governor Murphy was greeted by warm smiles and hugs from members and supporters of this organization, many of whom were early backers of the Governor.
“WE DO was started three years ago by five women standing around discussing how we can help women get elected, and has grown in that short time to what you see here tonight,” said WEDO President and Fair Lawn Councilwoman Cristina Cutrone about the packed room at the Stony Hill Inn. “It took hard work and dedication by all of our WE DO members and we are proud to have 44 women running for office in Bergen County this cycle. The Governor is a friend of women and a great proponent of policies that will advance the well-being of women across all socio-economic categories. We are thrilled to have him with us and thank him for being here.”
The crowd, in addition to WE DO Board President Cristina Cutrone, VP Julie O’Brien, Treasurer Debra Amato, Secretary Ellen Busteed (Councilwoman in River Edge) and Advisor Donna Abene, was made up of powerhouse women from Bergen County including Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywomen Valerie Huttle and Lisa Swain, Freeholders Mary Amoroso, Germaine Ortiz and Tracy Zur and DCBC Vice-Chair Balpreet Greewal-Virk . Also present were activists and longtime supporters Anna Wong, Patches Magarro and Women for Progress President, Erin Chung.
“All the money we raise, goes to women candidates,” continued Ms. Cutrone. “We also provide training at our yearly Candidate Boot Camp, hold several Elected Women’s Round Table Discussions, and run a mentorship program for new candidates. Every year we provide more services and more money to women entering the political arena. We, of course, will not rest until all levels of government are made up of 51% women, or maybe more. We’ll get there.”
In amongst the many blue dresses, were dozens of gentlemen, mostly in blue suits and ties, who attended including DCBC Chairman Lou Stellato, Freeholder Steve Tanelli, Bergen County Board of Elections Commissioner Paul Juliano, and District 39 Chair Todd Sherer—but the night clearly belonged to the women.