Quick News


Women's Representation & Ranked Choice Voting in four Bay Area Cities

Posted on Blog on June 08, 2018

Four cities in the Bay Area—San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro—have made the switch to an electoral system called Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). RCV is a voting system that allows voters to rank candidates as their first, second, third choice and so on. If no candidate has a majority when votes are counted, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated, and ballots that have those candidates marked as their first choice are counted towards the candidate they selected as their second choice. This process results in elections that are fairer and better represent voters’ preferences.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 8, 2018

Posted on Blog on June 08, 2018

Women now comprise two thirds of the cabinet of the newly-elected government in Spain according to this story in the The New York Times: Spain’s new prime minister on Wednesday unveiled a government that has more women than men and includes a foreign minister from Catalonia who has led the fight against the region’s independence movement. After meeting with King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told journalists that his team was “a government for an equal society, open to the world but anchored in the European Union.”


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 1, 2018

Posted on Blog on June 01, 2018

There were several articles this week that caught my eye including this one from Oklahoma Watch about the gender gap that still persists despite the increase in the number of women running: This year, there will be nearly four times as many women running for the same number of seats. And following a trend across the nation, women will be better represented on the ballot than in at least a decade – and likely ever. Female lawmakers say women bring a different perspective and tone to the often-contentious world of lawmaking. But Oklahoma’s gender disparity in the Legislature, which is among the most heavily male dominated in the country, is likely to continue despite movements such as the Oklahoma teacher walkout, the #MeToo movement and liberal opposition to President Donald Trump that have motivated more women across the country to enter politics. An Oklahoma Watch review of legislative candidate filings for the 2018 elections, social media pages and campaign websites shows that women make up 32 percent of this year’s field. That’s a significant increase over the past four election cycles, when female representation among legislative candidates ranged from 15 percent to 22 percent.



Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 25, 2018

Posted on Blog on May 25, 2018

Four states held primaries/runoffs this week: Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Arkansas. I worked hard in 1989 to elect Douglas Wilder to be the first male Black governor elected in the United States so it's particularly exciting to report that Stacey Abrams won the primary in Georgia and now moves forward to the general election. A win in November would make Abrams the first female Black governor in the US. The New York Times reported on her win and Kelly Dittmar from the Center for American Women & Politics provides yet another terrific summary of election outcomes:


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation April 6, 2018

Posted on Blog on April 06, 2018

The big story this week in the United States is the record number of women running for the House of Representatives in 2018 - so far. Read CAWP's press release for more details. While it's fabulous that so many women are declaring their intention to run it's also important to keep this news in perspective:


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 30, 2018

Posted on Blog on March 30, 2018

There was a fascinating story in Civil Georgia about the defeat of proposed gender quota legislation in Georgia which had the support of the prime minister, many members of parliament and civil society groups. I will include the entire article because I think it's so important to appreciate how much more advanced the conversation about parity is outside of our borders: The Parliament of Georgia has voted down today the legislative proposal which was to set mandatory quotas for women to help increase their representation in the Parliament and Sakrebulos (municipality councils).


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 23, 2018

Posted on Blog on March 23, 2018

Deb Haaland stands to make history. If the New Mexico Democrat's campaign is successful, the single mom could become the only Native American woman to ever serve in the United States Congress. A citizen of the Laguna Pueblo nation, Haaland grew up the daughter of military parents. She went on to put herself through college and law school at the University of Mexico, often scraping by on food stamps and student loans to get by. In 2008, she worked the phones as a full-time volunteer for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Four years later, she was back on team Obama for his reelection campaign — this time as the Native American vote director. That experience encouraged Haaland, now 57, to step into the political foreground and run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014.


Running Start uses ranked choice voting to elect #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador

Posted on Blog on March 20, 2018

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend Running Start’s 12th Annual Women to Watch Awards with my colleagues at RepresentWomen and FairVote. Running Start is a national nonprofit that works to inspire and train the next generation of young women political leaders. It was inspiring to be in the room with young women from all backgrounds and political affiliations determined to create change in our world and challenge what it means to look like a politician.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation March 16, 2018

Posted on Blog on March 16, 2018

Last Saturday, The Hill ran my piece entitled "Congress, like Hollywood, has a female representation problem" which I wrote to encourage a conversation about concrete steps that we should be taking to advance women's representation and leadership that will lead us to parity in our lifetimes - not in some distant century or millennium. Judging from the comments on the piece not everyone agrees with my proposals but I am hoping those of you on this listserv will read the piece and let me know what you think! Here is an excerpt:


Join us in turning public passion for gender parity into action and results