The RepresentWomen interns spoke with Michelle Whittaker, the Communications Manager for Manna Food Center and former Communications/Digital Media Director at Democracy Initiative, last week. Whittaker was previously the Director of Communications at FairVote, where she worked on electoral system reforms such as ranked choice voting. She also worked as the Communications and New Media Director for the General Board of Church and Society, an agency of The United Methodist Church. She recently ran Brandy Brooks’ campaign for an At-Large County Council seat in Montgomery County, MD.
In our interview, Whittaker spoke about her career path, noting that a drive to serve her community has fueled her work. She also spoke about how public financing impacted the recent Montgomery County primaries, allowing more women and people of color to run. While noting the progress that has been made in terms of electoral system reforms, she emphasized that we have far to go before reaching parity in politics and a fair electoral system. Whittaker pointed out that a single reform won’t fix everything; rather, a series of reforms, including ranked choice voting, is needed.
Special thanks to Michelle Whittaker for making this interview possible.