Local MPP aims to inspire with documentary screening

New Democrat London West MPP Peggy Sattler. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

A London New Democrat MPP is hoping a documentary about four unlikely female congressional hopefuls in the U.S. will help inspire more women and girls in this city to get involved in politics.

Peggy Sattler will host a free community screening of the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House at the Hyland Theatre on Wharncliffe Road South at 6:30 p.m on May 27.

“I watched the documentary myself and found it incredibly inspirational, moving, and motivating,” said Sattler, MPP for London West. “Netflix was making it available for free community screenings and I thought this is a great opportunity. Lots of people don’t have Netflix and can’t see the documentary otherwise, so I decided I was going to host this event.”

The one hour and 26 minute documentary follows the 2018 U.S. congressional election campaigns of first-time candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean. Each a regular working woman who, due to circumstances outside of their control and a desire for change, is drawn into politics. They mount their campaigns without corporate money and challenge longtime incumbents in Congress.

“I think it is valuable for other women to see the kinds of things that motivate women to get into politics,” said Sattler. “They often say that women enter politics for different reasons than men. It is not because of a desire to be a politician, it’s because of a commitment to making significant change.”

So far, more than 130 people have signed up to attend the screening and Sattler is confident more than 200 will be in the crowd the night of the showing.

The evening will conclude with a 45 minute panel discussion with four local women who share a passion in politics. The panel includes political scientist and former Liberal candidate in the provincial riding of London North Centre Kate Graham, Ward 13 City Councillor Arielle Kayabaga, London West NDP candidate and Women & Politics founder Shawna Lewkowitz, and current chair of Women & Politics Anne-Marie Sánchez.

“Our time is really tight. So I am going to moderate and I will have some questions I will ask each of them, ask them to reflect on their experiences. I think it would be great, if we have time, to take some questions for the audience,” said Sattler.

For more information or to register for the screening click here.