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Elinor Coleman Guggenheimer: Cultivating Clout

[ photo: Elinor Coleman Guggenheimer ]

Cultivating Clout

Elinor Coleman Guggenheimer '33, a lifelong activist, was a genius at coalition building. A prominent New Yorker and philanthropist, Guggenheimer was also a working mother and a pragmatist who understood that you can accomplish a lot more in less time with fewer resources if you hook up with other like-minded people. Over the course of 70 years in public service, Guggenheimer founded the Day Care Council of New York, the Day Care and Child Development Council, the Child Care Action Campaign, the New York Women's Agenda, the International Women's Forum, and the Council of Senior Centers and Services, and cofounded the National Women's Political Caucus. Every one of these organizations, with the exception of the Child Care Action Campaign, is still going strong, and every one, including the CCAC, has made significant contributions to public policy. The National Women's Political Caucus, for example, was founded in 1971 to improve the status of women by promoting and supporting women candidates and advocating for the appointment of women to policy-making posts in government. When the organization began, there were only 15 women in the 92nd Congress. In the 113th, there are 98.

VV June 1991
Photo credit: NYWA