Congresswoman Lee is the Honorary Chair of Representation Matters. She is the highest ranking African American woman appointed to Democratic leadership. She is a mentor and role model to many of the junior women of color in Congress, as well as women of color candidates running for elected office for the first time. She has a deep commitment to ensuring that there will be many women of color in Congress and other elected office to follow in the path she has paved. Her leadership of this effort exemplifies her unwavering conviction to “lift as you climb.”
Representation Matters is a volunteer effort organized by Dale Schroedel and Lisa Honig, Co-Founders, in collaboration with Sudip Dutta, Finance Advisor.
Dale has spent much of her life committed to issues related to gender, racial and economic justice. She is passionate about electing more women to public office, and particularly more Black women and women of color. In 2020, she co-founded Representation Matters as an effort to play at least a small role in addressing systemic and institutional racism by changing the face of power. Since 2008, she has been a political organizer and fundraiser for projects focused on electing more women, including co-founder of Electing Women San Francisco, Volunteer Candidate Coordinator for Emerge America, Outreach Director for WomenCount, and Programs Director for The 2012 Project. She has worked on multiple campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s two presidential campaigns. She served on the Women’s Committee of Mayor London Breed’s Policy Transition Team and is currently serving on the Finance Committee for Mayor Breed’s re-election campaign. She is Chair of the Board of Equal Rights Advocates, and Treasurer of the Board of Emerge’s 501(c)(4) arm, WLE. Prior to involvement in electoral politics, Dale was a private investigator for 18 years with a specialty in employment discrimination and criminal defense investigations, a contract attorney for Equal Rights Advocates briefly, Executive Director of the National Women and the Law Association for five years, and a psychiatric nurse in major New York City hospitals and institutions for five years. Dale has a B.S. in Nursing (Hunter College, NY), an M.S. in Psychiatric Nursing (New York University), a J.D. (Cardozo School of Law), and is a Licensed Private Investigator. When not fundraising for women candidates or fighting for gender and racial justice, Dale can be found doing jigsaw puzzles, hiking, or walking on the beach – and always networking.
Lisa Honig has been an activist from very early on – picketing against housing discrimination at age 6, challenging San Francisco public school’s policy forbidding girls from wearing pants at age 14, marching against the Vietnam War, and protesting the U.S. involvement in El Salvador. She attended Bennington College and Brown University, and began a career as a fundraiser and benefit concert producer at Bread & Roses, which took entertainment to prisons, hospitals and other institutions. She then became an independent fundraising consultant and concert producer. Her fundraising efforts included raising funds for several public interest lawsuits such as the Karen Silkwood case and cases fighting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. She co-founded the Grassroots Fundraising Journal, a publication that provided advice for developing grassroots fundraising efforts. She was the first Development Director for Equal Rights Advocates. In 1988, she got a J.D. at UC Berkeley School of Law, and went on to clerk at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She then practiced primarily employment law for 15 years, specializing in individual and class action civil rights cases, including racial and sexual discrimination and harassment. When she left her law practice, she returned to an old passion of weaving, and opened a weaving studio in San Francisco. She has served on many Boards of Directors, including the ACLU of Northern California for several decades as well as the National Board of the ACLU. After Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Lisa reactivated her bar membership so she could defend people arrested at protests related to the new administration. She co-founded Representation Matters in 2020 to try to change the face of power. She continues to weave rugs and scarves, in addition to pursuing her passions of cooking, reading, and hiking.
Sudip serves as the Finance Advisor for Representation Matters. He is the National Finance Director and Senior Advisor for Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s campaign, Barbara Lee For Congress, and her affiliated Leadership PAC, One Voice. He has been a professional fundraiser and consultant to Democratic Party elected officials, campaigns, committees, and causes for over 15 years.
Representation Matters events are co-hosted by community leaders, activists, and donors who have a deep commitment to supporting and uplifting Black women and women of color candidates for elected office.
The candidates featured by Representation Matters are our true leaders. They all have unique stories and have overcome significant challenges and barriers throughout their lives. Their perspectives are invaluable. We honor their service to their communities and their commitment to making this country a more equitable democracy for all. Their courage, passion, and determination inspire us every day. They are changing the face of power and are the hope for our future.