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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 17, 2022

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on June 17, 2022

In March of 2022 RepresentWomen hosted a Democracy Solutions Summit featuring women experts speaking on a wide range of challenges facing our nation including election administration, campaign finance, voting rights, the Electoral College, antiquated voting rules, and fair representation. 
The purpose of the Summit was to elevate women's voices in the democracy reform ecosystem, build community across issue silos, and provide advocates with specific recommendations about how to get involved. 
This week the team at RepresentWomen released a comprehensive Take Action Resource Guide that includes links for how all of us can get involved and help to build a 21st century democracy:

The Solutions Summit culminated in the creation of a resource guide of take-action items that were identified throughout the course of the Summit. The guide includes suggestions of practical ways to help combat systemic representation inequalities in politics, links to sign up for volunteering and advocacy efforts, and a variety of further readings and resources to take the next step in learning about the various issues discussed at the summit. Additionally, it highlights the female changemakers who spoke about each issue at the summit and provides links to further background about each speaker.

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Introducing the Solutions Summit Resource Guide!

By Kaycie Goral on June 15, 2022

This past March, RepresentWomen hosted their inaugural democracy Solutions Summit, which gathered dozens of female leaders in election administration, voting rights, and democracy reform who are working on innovative solutions that upgrade and strengthen our democracy. The event featured experts like Danielle Allen, Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, political strategist and analyst Donna Brazile, President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Nicole Austin-Hillery, USPS Board of Governors member Amber McReynolds, five Secretaries of State, and many more! Experts and participants discussed a range of critical issues related to fair access, fair elections, and fair representation with a special focus on viable, scalable, and transformative solutions to build a 21st century democracy that reflects today’s needs and values.



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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 10, 2022

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on June 11, 2022

"After 10 years, since the European Commission proposed this directive, it is high time we break the glass ceiling," said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a statement. [European Union, 2022]

Dear fans of women's representation,
In contrast to the recent setbacks for gender balance on corporate boards in California, officials in the European Union decided this week to require that an "underrepresented gender" fill at least 40% of non-executive board seats by July 1, 2026. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been pushing for this agreement for a decade according to this piece on Euroactiv:

EU lawmakers on Tuesday (7 June) agreed on a continental target to establish better gender balance on the boards of companies in Europe.

Negotiators from the EU member states and European Parliament said they found common ground on a proposal that was first made by the European Commission, the EU’s executive, in 2012.

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The Many Pathways to Fixing our Democracy

By Alyssa Toppi on June 08, 2022

Ranked choice voting (RCV) is having and holding onto its moment in the US, displaying benefits ranging from extending the timeline of citizens' votes to cutting high election costs and yielding more diverse outcomes. These advantages have not gone unnoticed and garnered support for the system, building a robust movement for better elections. The costly midterm election season in Texas' 28th District is just one illustration of an unfortunate missed opportunity where RCV could have a huge positive impact.


This landscape leaves a question for RCV proponents: What is the best way to implement RCV across the country? Should the strategy focus on local adoption, or will it take a federal mandate?

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 3, 2022

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on June 03, 2022

Stamps issued by the United States Postal Service to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX
Dear fans of gender balance in politics,
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX that prohibited sex-based discrimination in any educational program that receives financial support from the federal government. Adoption of Title IX has increased opportunities for women and girls in academic settings but there has been mixed success for women & girls in sports according to this story in FiveThirtyEight by Neil Paine:

The historical impact of Title IX extends far beyond the reaches of sports. The landmark legislation, which prohibited sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools and education programs, was passed 50 years ago this month. It coincided with enormous growth in educational attainment for American women1 and has been applied toward reducing sexual violence on campus and promoting transgender rights in recent years. But athletics have been at the center of Title IX from the very beginning. (Even the fight around it used sports as a battleground: Witness the early attempt by Sen. John Tower of Texas to exempt high-profile men’s sports from counting toward Title IX compliance.)2 Title IX challenged the long-standing notion that sports belonged to men — and men only. And its effects were felt both in the short term and over the half-century that has followed.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 27, 2022

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 27, 2022

The water lily in my small pond blossomed this week...
Dear supporters of women's leadership in politics,
I struggled this week to find an appropriate story and image to lead with given the killing of children in Texas that follows so closely on the heels of the shooting at the grocery store in Buffalo and so many other senseless deaths due to gun-related violence. While there are undoubtedly many factors that are driving young men to commit these heinous acts of violence it's clear that our antiquated voting system & gridlock in Congress prevent action on gun safety that the majority of Americans support
Steven Hill writes about the dysfunction caused by our winner take all voting system in Democracy SOS:

The task of the NRA, then—to target their resources to the battleground states and districts like squares on a checkerboard, and try to alarm just enough swing voters there -- is rendered much easier by the geographic-based political map of our winner-take-all system. And it is not too hard to figure out where to target: a 2020 Rand Corporation study found that the 20 states with the highest rates of gun ownership elected almost two-thirds of the Senate’s Republican lawmakers and comprised about two-thirds of the states that President Donald Trump carried in the 2020 election. The 20 states with the lowest rates of gun ownership have more than two and a half times as many residents (about 192 million) as the 20 states with the highest gun-ownership rates (about 69 million).

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 20, 2022

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 20, 2022

House Speaker Tina Kotek, former House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, and the well-funded unaffiliated candidate, long-time democratic lawmaker Betsy Johnson, Graphic by RepresentWomen
Dear women's representation enthusiasts,
I am back in the Bay Area this week meeting with other supporters of proportional voting to discuss strategies to modernize U.S. House elections with ranked choice voting in districts that elect 3 or more people. This systems change, that The New York Times editorial page supports, would simultaneously eliminate gerrymandering, ensure partisan fairness, elect multiple communities of color from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and increase women's representation in the House by at least 40% in the first few election cycles after adoption. RepresentWomen is glad to be at the table for this conversation and to convene a Women's Thought Leader Table in partnership with FairVote to build support for proportional voting among women leaders. 


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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation May 6, 2022

By RepresentWomen on May 06, 2022

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation in politics, on boards, in sports and entertainment, in judicial offices and in the private sector in the U.S. and around the world—with a little gardening and goodwill mixed in for refreshment!

From teammate to teammate, the staff at RepresentWomen will give you our must-reads for women’s representation from this week.


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