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.
Posted on Blog on December 14, 2018
There was a very interesting story from Roll Call that covers Rep Elise Stefanik's focus on supporting republican women in primaries and securing early contributions from PACs to make their races viable: New York Rep. Elise Stefanik recruited more than 100 women as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee. But only one of them prevailed, with many failing to make it through their primaries. So Stefanik is stepping back from the NRCC to be involved where she thinks it matters.
Posted on Blog on December 07, 2018
Last week I wrote to you from northern California and I am still in California! It has been a busy week of racing around the Bay Area for terrific meetings with allies & reformers. A number of you wrote last week that you would like to get plugged into the systems reform work - my goal for 2019 is to make that happen! Stay tuned for more on that!
Posted on Blog on November 30, 2018
This week’s missive will be a photo essay of sorts & an invitation! I am on the Pacific coast meeting with election reform advocates. The room is filled with mostly men who have gathered in this beautiful spot to discuss the voting system reforms that are electing more women to office in the US & around the globe.
Posted on Blog on November 16, 2018
There were two excellent editorials in The New York Times this week that are grounded in conversations about reforms to strengthen our democracy by increasing the numbers of House members and electing them with Ranked Choice Voting in multi-seat districts which elect more women and people of color to office. I know many of us are focused on getting candidates elected in the next election cycle but if we really want to win parity we must digest and engage with medium and long term systems strategies that will help to deliver the representative democracy we all crave. Multimember districts offer other important benefits, too. When three or five members of Congress all represent the same district, it’s much harder for politicians to gerrymander themselves and their party into permanent power. And experience from the states shows that more women and minorities get elected in multimember districts.
Posted on Blog on November 09, 2018
There were indeed a lot of new faces and MANY 'firsts' elected to Congress and state houses this week with votes in some states still being tallied - that's the great news, but republican women's representation fell in Congress and that will remain a challenge for the short term at least. The National Conference of State Legislatures and the Center for American Women and Politics have of course done a great job tracking the results and here is where things stand at the moment: