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SDANW News Updates

Be an Advocate!

Start by remembering what you told yourself when the Supremes handed down Dobbs in 2022. You know. You vowed to speak up -- for yourself and all who identify as women. Not just for choice, but for pay equity, childcare, personal safety, and against dozens of barriers that keep us from full participation in our communities, state, and nation. 

Now's your chance to make good on that promise! 


South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women sets Platform Priorities at 2023 Annual Conference

SDANW members and sponsors worked in small groups to put together platform priorities.

Representatives from Network sponsors and individual SDANW members met at Arrowood Resort and Conference Center at Cedar Shore, Oacoma, July 29 to tackle two big jobs -- reach agreement on legislative platform priorities for 2024 and discuss alternate SDANW governance models.  

Earlier in July, Steering Committee members had hosted legislative forums in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. There they took input from invited organizations and other guests regarding policy priorities and specific legislation for which the presenters are seeking the Network’s support. The result was an eight-page legislative report that conference participants used to ground their deliberations

Exactly what will be introduced in Pierre in 2024 is unknown; the start of the legislative session is months away. The Network does, however, have 25 goals from the 1977 National Plan of Action against which to measure efforts to advance women’s rights for safety, autonomy, equality and justice. 

From more than a dozen issue categories, the conference adopted four platform priorities:

  1. Support legislation that affirms the individual’s right to bodily autonomy, which includes the full range of reproductive healthcare and LBGTQ2S+ (a.k.a. LBGTQ+ and Two Spirit) access to gender-affirming care.

  2. Support legislation that expands early childhood education and improves access to affordable child care.

  3. Support legislation that increases access to voting and removes restrictions and/or barriers to voting.

  4. Oppose state interference in the administration of public education systems from Pre-K to higher education.

Having targeted basic platform priorities, participants agreed to pursue an alternate governance model that will allow the Network to operate with a smaller board of directors and an empowered Legislative Council comprised of a representative from each sponsoring organization and at-large representatives drawn from the individual membership.

East and West River Steering Committee members will weigh in on the development of new bylaws and on board member selection. SDANW’s three incorporators, Karen Hattervig, Jeri Reed, and Candy Hanson hope to complete this process and conclude SDANW’s application for 501(c)(4) status by Dec. 1, 2023.

Help Working Families Access Childcare!


As this year’s legislative session comes to a close, issues for summer study rise to the forefront. Over the past year, the South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women has monitored efforts by Early Learner South Dakota to address a serious workforce issue in our state – the diminishing access to and the affordability of childcare in our state.

Many SDANW members have participated in the regional meetings Early Learner convened. We are impressed by their efforts to reach out to business, civic, and community leaders in an effort to generate creative solutions to what is quite frankly a crisis in the childcare services sector. Providers struggle to meet service needs that are affordable to the working families who so desperately need quality care for our youngest citizens. As a result, many home-based providers have simply closed their businesses.

We believe it is time for state government to join in those discussions. We urge you to support efforts to convene a summer study addressing this issue. According to recent studies, South Dakota’s economy loses as much as $300 million each year due to the lack of affordable childcare services*.

SDANW is a nonpartisan organization sponsored by 10 additional organizations.  We urge all South Dakotans who support the well-being of our children and families to urge their elected representatives to support a summer study on childcare affordability and access.


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