This letter is from 31 female House Democrats (including two members-elect) endorsing Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for Minority Leader.

Dear Colleague:

We strongly urge you to support Nancy Pelosi's bid for Democratic Leader in the 112th Congress. Throughout her tenure in leadership, Speaker Pelosi has worked nonstop on behalf of the entire Caucus, and she has also elevated both the prominence of issues important to women and the roles played by women members of the House. We have no doubt that as Democratic Leader she will continue to ensure that the issues most important to women will remain a focus of our Caucus' agenda.

As the first women Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has borne the brunt of unfair criticism and attacks, but her record of accomplishment speaks for itself - particularly to women. As Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi was instrumental in launching the Democratic Women's Working Group to ensure that women Members had a forum to highlight issues of importance to women and their families both in the United States and around the world. She was especially effective in drawing attention to the devastating impact that privatization of Social Security would have on women - a major reason we were successful in defeating then-President Bush's plan.

As Speaker, Nancy Pelosi promoted more women into Committee Chairmanships than ever before. From day one, she worked to advance policies important to women and families: the Fair Minimum Wage Act and the College Student Relief Act in 2007 and in the 111th Congress the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. Throughout the consideration of health reform legislation, Speaker Pelosi guaranteed inclusion of maternity coverage and prohibitions on pregnancy being considered as a "preexisting condition" and the practice of gender rating.

Beyond the halls of Congress, Speaker Pelosi has maintained close and productive relationships with outside organizations representing American women. She has assured that although women are underrepresented in elected office - less than 20% of the House or Senate - their voices are heard and their priorities are the priorities of Democratic leadership.

At a time when the incoming Majority is expected to threaten the progress we have made for women and families, we need Nancy Pelosi as Democratic Leader to help us stay unified and fight back. We need her leadership to protect the interests of American women and we urge you to join us in enthusiastically endorsing her bid for Minority Leader.

Sincerely,

Lois CappsMember of Congress

Jan SchakowskyMember of Congress

Diana DeGetteMember of Congress

Rosa DeLauroMember of Congress

Louise SlaughterMember of Congress

Gwen MooreMember of Congress

Carolyn MaloneyMember of Congress

Nita LoweyMember of Congress

Doris Matsui Member of Congress

Anna EshooMember of Congress

Allyson SchwartzMember of Congress

Donna ChristensenMember of Congress

Barbara LeeMember of Congress

Lucille Roybal-AllardMember of Congress

Debbie Wasserman SchultzMember of Congress

Maxine WatersMember of Congress

Zoe LofgrenMember of Congress

Betty McCollumMember of Congress

Loretta SanchezMember of Congress

Donna EdwardsMember of Congress

Marcia FudgeMember of Congress

Eddie Bernice JohnsonMember of Congress

Mazie HironoMember of Congress

Karen BassMember-elect

Terri SewellMember-elect

Judy ChuMember of Congress

Chellie PingreeMember of Congress

Laura RichardsonMember of Congress

Grace NapolitanoMember of Congress

Jackie SpeierMember of Congress

Lynn WoolseyMember of Congre