DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - One of the remaining presidential candidates, Andrew Yang, will not be participating in Tuesday’s Democratic Debate in Des Moines.
(Credit: Jimmy Ban/@futureismath on Twitter)
However, Yang has supporters from across the state, including a unique group in Davenport who met online through their shared support for the presidential candidate.
Meet the Sorority of Yang, a group of women from around the United States living in Davenport, who share more than just their passion to change the world.
They also share a house.
Co-founder of Sorority of Yang, Danielle Hernandez, said “We’ve got people from all the way from Alaska, Florida, California, Illinois… Nevada… all over the country.”
The group is comprised of women from around the country, who canvas for the candidate and volunteer their time.
“We’re mothers, we’re strong business women, we are activists, we are stay-at-home moms who have given up time to come here away from their family,” said Hernandez.
Despite the name ‘sorority,’ the home is open to more than just women.
Hernandez told TV6, “We’ve got gentlemen who are here assisting women at night. We want to make sure that everybody is safe.”
She said the men live in the home as well, and help canvas for the candidate. The group also holds community events locally.
The idea that once seemed small, soon grew into something Hernandez never saw coming.
She said, “It started out with five women and over the next three and a half weeks, it grew to 35 women. They could come for as long as they’d like. A day, two days, a week, the whole time.”
It started in mid-December when Katy Kinsey tweeted her idea to set up a place for women to support candidate Andrew Yang in Iowa.
Originally, the idea was to host women for two weeks. Now, some plan to stay through the caucuses in early February.
Hernandez said she messaged Katy and said, “Hi Katy, I’m Dani. I don’t need help. I’d like to help you help out these other women, let’s do this. So, we hopped on a call the next day and the Sorority of Yang was born.”
All the women had to do was provide their own transportation to Iowa, and after that, everything else was taken care of.
The organized effort has raised $25,000 to help the women who want to experience this do so. The group said $13,000 raised came with the help of Will Lex Ham, an artist who created the sign that stands on the sorority’s lawn.
The sorority is made up of women from all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, and they range in age from 21 to 71.
“We’ve got Republican women here, we’ve got Democratic women, and we have Liberals, and Independents, and Conservatives. It’s beautiful.”
Although the group is a support system for presidential candidate Andrew Yang, they’re also a support system for one another.
Caroline Gannon, 23, of Philadelphia said, “It’s been such an empowering and such a growing experience and just finally feeling like I have the power to make a difference.”
Anna, who traveled to Davenport from Salt Lake City told TV6, “I’m a DV [domestic violence] survivor and my abuser took away a lot of my power and hurt me and ashamed of who I am, but here I feel so empowered and I’m loving myself more. Everybody’s been so supportive.”
“I’ve learned to appreciate the talents that different women who are staying here have,” said Carol, who is a retired business owner from Portland, Oregon.
A bond that the group said will stretch far beyond the election in 2020.
Photographer for the group, Macaulay Kong said, “They're doing amazing work but Katy, who put this together, told me we're all about supporting men who support women and in a society becoming more and more divided, I think that's so important."
“It’s the Sorority of Yang and we started this because we want the world to see women are powerful, women can change the world, women do change the world.”