Page S. Gardner
Page S. Gardner is the founder and president of the Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund and The Voter Participation Center (VPC), formerly known as Women’s Voices. Women Vote (WVWV). The name was formally changed in 2011 to reflect the fact the organization expanded its focus beyond its original emphasis on unmarried women to include the entire RAE.
After the 2000 election, Gardner wanted to improve her understandings of how to identify and mobilize non-voters. She examined exit polling and Census data and found that there was a stunning difference between the voter participation rates of married and unmarried women. Most civic participation efforts addressed women voters as a group. But, as Gardner realized, there is no such thing as “women voters” because married and unmarried women have very different lives, views, and voting patterns. Gardner was the first to focus on the nation’s largest, fastest-growing, but underrepresented demographic group – unmarried women.
In 2003, Gardner, along with Chris Desser, founded VPC (then WVWV) –with the goal of increasing unmarried women’s participation in the political process. Over six years and three election cycles, VPC has helped unmarried women to bring their share of total voters closer to their presence in the population – 26% of adult Americans. With Gardner’s leadership, VPC has achieved these results through an ever-expanding array of rigorously tested and proven programs. The VPC is a pioneer in the area of metrics-based voter registration, voter turnout, and advocacy. The VPC is a leader in developing new ways to enfranchise and empower the historically under-represented groups that now comprise the new American electorate: unmarried women, African Americans, Hispanics, and young people.
Before founding VPC, Gardner worked at senior levels for the highest level competitive presidential, senatorial, gubernatorial, and congressional campaigns throughout the country for more than 20 years. She has also managed issue campaigns on some of the most heatedly debated public policy questions, including reproductive rights, civil rights, national budget priorities, technology and trade. She is a nationally known political strategist and communications specialist.
A prominent political practitioner and commentator, Gardner has written articles for many publications, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, and PBS.Ms. Gardner graduated magna cum laude from Duke University.