Posted on Blog on February 22, 2019
The number of women running is a super exciting milestone and it's also a super important reminder that our winner take all voting system does not work well with large-candidate fields. There will be a lot of hand wringing and pontificating about which of the candidates is the most likely to win and whoever does win may emerge bruised and battered from the primary process. There are efforts underway right now to reform the candidate selection process in New Hampshire to eliminate split votes and Iowa has already decided to use Ranked Choice Voting.
Posted on Blog on February 15, 2019
There was a terrific story on CNN about the first "female duo" to run a House committee that features the fast friendship and years of collaboration between Rep Kay Granger (TX-R) and Rep Nita Lowey (NY-D) who is my college friend's mother: The last time two women led a House committee, the year was 1977 and the panel was the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop. Forty-two years later, another female duo is in control. This time it's one of the most powerful committees in Congress -- the House Appropriations Committee -- which is at the center of congressional power and spending.
Posted on Blog on February 08, 2019
There was a great piece in The Salt Lake City Tribune that reports on exactly the type of rule change that enables women to run & serve more effectively - RepresentWomen is working to broadcast examples of rules changes like this widely: “Allowing parents to use campaign funds for child care, we will see a more diverse field of candidates,” said Payne, mother of four young children. This legislative session, Utah Reps. Craig Hall and Stephanie Pitcher introduced nearly identical proposals to clarify that child care is an allowable campaign expense, and they told a House committee that they’re jointly pushing forward with the version sponsored by Hall. The measure, HB129, sailed through the House Government Operations Committee with unanimous support Tuesday, setting it up for a vote on the chamber floor.
Posted on Blog on February 01, 2019
There has been a flurry of interest in Ranked Choice Voting this week including: - the NYC Charter Commission has included RCV in their list of recommendations - please contact the Commission directly if you are a New Yorker and would like to let them know why you support RCV - see this story in the Gotham Gazette - legislators in New Hampshire are considering using RCV for their presidential primary according to this story in AP - Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is testing the waters to run as an independent candidate for president - prompting a blizzard of commentary on social media pointing out the need for ranked choice voting and a number of good articles including this one by Rachel Kleinfield in The Hill and this one in The Economist
Posted on Blog on January 25, 2019
There are now four women running for the democratic presidential nomination along with a number of male hopefuls - multiple candidates who appeal to the same constituencies are a recipe for split votes and 'winners' who get a tiny percentage of the vote in key early contests. A number of state party chairs are open to the possibility of using a ranked ballot to ensure that candidates emerge with broad support. My husband Rob Richie and my friend Rep Jamie Raskin write about the crowded presidential primary field and the ranked choice voting today in The Hill:
Posted on Blog on January 18, 2019
Each week brings a perplexing quandary for me - there is so, so much to report on about women's international representation and efforts to expand women's representation in the United States but there are also many projects/events/deadlines encroaching on my time that prevent me from doing an adequate job reporting on it all! My time is short again this week but here are a couple highlights! The New York Times published portraits of 130 of the 131 women serving in the 116th Congress - there was a nice piece in the Times describing the process and another great piece in Coieter by Bibi Deitz that captures the impact: In a perfect world, Congress would have way more women and we wouldn’t be applauding the fact that they comprise almost a quarter of the House and Senate. But—baby steps. This term, women comprise close to 25 percent of Congress, which is still not enough, but it’s a good start.
Posted on Blog on January 11, 2019
Alice Stokes Paul - a sister Quaker feminist was born on this day in 1885 - it seems like a lifetime ago yet so many of the struggles remain the same. From the National Women's History Museum: A vocal leader of the twentieth century women’s suffrage movement, Alice Paul advocated for and helped secure passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Paul next authored the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, which has yet to be adopted. Born on January 11, 1885 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Paul was the oldest of four children of Tacie Parry and William Paul, a wealthy Quaker businessman. Paul’s parents embraced gender equality, education for women, and working to improve society. Paul’s mother, a suffragist, brought her daughter with her to women’s suffrage meetings. Paul attended Swarthmore College, a Quaker school cofounded by her grandfather, graduating with a biology degree in 1905. She attended the New York School of Philanthropy (now Columbia University) and received a Master of Arts degree in sociology in 1907. She then went to England to study social work, and after returning, earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1910.
Posted on Blog on January 04, 2019
My daughter and I spent most of the day on the Hill yesterday racing between the offices of new and returning members of Congress, dodging hoards of well-wishers, and find many familiar faces among the crowds - it was an amazing experience. The Washington Post captures the spirit of the day in this piece: To the left of the dais — the Democratic side — the typical sea of men’s suit jackets was balanced by pops of green, blue and white worn by women. Bald heads alternated with bobbed haircuts. Scanning the rows, the record number of women and lawmakers of Hispanic, Asian and African American heritage who will serve this term was clear.
Posted on Blog on December 28, 2018
It has been quite a year. It has been quite a year of challenges to democratic processes in the United States. It has been quite a year for women candidates and the individuals and organizations who have supported them. And it has been quite a year for women around the globe who are getting elected at higher rates than women in the US because rules & systems are in place in those nations that create more opportunities for women to run, win, serve, and lead. RepresentWomen's new report on international women's representation examines the recruitment rules and voting systems that are electing more women to office in the 76 nations that rank above the United States in women's representation. Our research confirms that intentional actions that reform institutions & systems are driving women's electoral success around the world. RepresentWomen will continue to work for systems strategies that include: recruitment targets for political parties, donation targets for PACs & donors, ranked choice voting systems, modernized legislative norms, and updated leadership selection norms in order to make enduring progress toward gender parity in 2019 and beyond.
Posted on Blog on December 21, 2018
Nevada became the first state to have a majority female state legislature after Beatrice Duran was appointed to fill a vacant position according to this story in The New York Times: As a single mother, Beatrice Duran never imagined that she would get involved in politics. When she moved to Las Vegas in 1985, her focus was on keeping “a solid job” as a food server to provide for her young daughter and, later, her son. Opportunities to become involved in public life felt out of reach. Now, her appointment on Tuesday to the Nevada State Assembly, along with that of another woman, will make female lawmakers the majority in the state capital — the first time that has happened in the nation’s history. Ms. Duran and Rochelle Thuy Nguyen, both Democrats, were selected by the Clark County Board of County Commissioners to fill recently vacated seats.