My name is McKayla Wenner and I am from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I am a senior at Georgetown University majoring in Government and English and minoring in Spanish, and I will be working as a research intern for RepresentWomen this fall.
While I have been invested in politics and gender equity since high school, my passion for electoral reform began last year, when I took a course on Congressional politics. In the class, we learned about how women and people of color are drastically underrepresented in Congress. I was particularly drawn to the notions of descriptive and substantive representation, and how the two are linked; having representatives who are members of minority groups in the legislature means that they are more likely to propose policies to benefit the groups of which they were a part, policies that would likely not otherwise be considered. I also spent part of my spring semester at la Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, where I learned about how measures such as gender quotas and ranked choice voting have helped to dramatically increase the presence of women and people of color in politics.
I knew then that electoral reform was a goal that I was deeply passionate about, and that I wanted to continue researching and working toward after graduation. I was thrilled to learn about RepresentWomen, and the critical work that they are doing to increase gender parity in the government. As a research intern, I am the most eager to study district design and ranked choice voting measures, but I am also looking forward to discovering new approaches to increasing female representation in politics.
When I am not in classes, you can find me reading, listening to podcasts, knitting, camping, or playing with my black labs, Max and Midnight. After quarantine, I am excited to travel again--my time abroad was far too short, and I am excited to see what the world has to offer!