Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 4, 2018 Postscript

By Cynthia Terrell on May 04, 2018

Good morning!

As a postscript to my message yesterday about the questions posed by a reporter to mayoral candidate Jane Kim, I thought I would share the following:

* The San Francisco Chronicle has taken the reporter off coverage of the San Francisco mayoral race. Tim Redmond of 48 Hills has a helpful account of what happened. My underlying point remains the same, the media can play a key gatekeeper role, and often holds women candidates - particular in executive races like mayor, governor, and president - to a higher standard than it holds men. 
* The mayoral race is notable for having six women among its eight candidates. San Francisco will use ranked choice voting (RCV) for this contest. Its voting equipment will finally be replaced next year, but currently limits rankings to three. Because three candidates (Jane Kim, London Breed, and Mark Leno) are recognized as the frontrunners, it is likely most voters will rank a finalist and have their ballot count despite the large field and potential vote-splitting. This is in contrast to controversies in the "top two primary" races being used for state and federal primaries, where crowded fields are raising concerns that the top two candidates may not be very representative of what most voters want in some contests.
* On the ranked choice voting account, I enjoyed reading 15-year-Berkeley writer Lucia Barnum's case for ranked choice voting in Affinity Magazine, which is written by teens for teens. Barnum has experienced RCV in her home city of Berkeley, which elected a young Latino mayor with RCV in 2016 and is next to two cities (Oakland and San Leandro) that elected women as mayors with RCV.
* An impressive group of NYC officials and candidates participated in a press conference this week to voice their support for ranked choice voting there - it was a great example of local stakeholders coming together to support a reform that saves taxpayers millions of dollars (by eliminating costly runoffs) and gives voters more power to elect candidates who represent them.
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