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Want a democracy that looks like America? Switch to ranked elections!

Posted on News Coverage by on August 10, 2020

In the previous nine years, there have been 156 local ranked choice elections among three or more candidates — and women have won 48 percent of them. Of those winners, 38 percent were women of color. At the start of this year, women were half of all mayors and 49 percent of all city council members elected by RCV. As more cities, and now states, begin adopting and implementing ranked-choice voting, it will be worth noting if these positive outcomes continue to grow.

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation August 7, 2020

Posted on Blog on August 07, 2020

Normalizing women's power and leadership can take many forms -- my favorite example from this week is the number of women authors selected as finalists for the coveted 2020 Booker Prize. According to this story in Vulture, nine of the 13 nominees - selected from a pool of 162 - are women: No beheadings here: The Booker Prize has released its 2020 longlist, which includes Hilary Mantel’s very robust Thomas Cromwell–palooza, The Mirror and the Light, one of the 13 novels being tapped for the literary distinction. Per the New York Times, the authors — nine of whom are women — were selected from a pool of 162. In addition to Mantel, who has already won the Booker Prize twice for the other two books in her Cromwell series, the following authors also earned a spot on the longlist: Diane Cook, The New Wilderness; Tsitsi Dangarembga, This Mournable Body; Avni Doshi, Burnt Sugar; Gabriel Krauze, Who They Was; Colum McCann, Apeirogon; Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King; Kiley Reid, Such a Fun Age; Brandon Taylor, Real Life; Anne Tyler, Redhead by the Side of the Road; Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain; Sophie Ward, Love and Other Thought Experiments; and C Pam Zhang, How Much of These Hills Is Gold. As protocol dictates, the prize’s shortlist will be unveiled in September, with the winner (or dare we say, winners) having a grand reveal in November.

New Research Shows Ranked Choice Voting Helps Women Win

Posted on News Coverage on August 05, 2020

Nearly 100 years after a large number of American women won the right to vote, progress for women in politics in the United States remains slow. Women have made important gains, but remain dramatically underrepresented in proportion to our share of the population — especially women of color and Republican women. Men disproportionately dominate Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and other elective offices.

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 31, 2020

Posted on Blog on July 31, 2020

The countdown to the big election continues and there is a lot going on in U.S. politics but this story by Judy Skatssoon in Government News about a campaign in Australia by male CEOs to advance women's representation at the local government level offers a model for the kind of conversation - and action - that must happen to make serious & enduring progress toward gender parity:

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 24, 2020

Posted on Blog on July 24, 2020

July 24th marks the 100th anniversary of women's equality champion Bella Abzug's birth and marks the midway point of the suffrage centennial. The August issue of National Geographic Magazine pays tribute to the many women like Abzug who have shaped and continue to shape the conversation about women's rights and representation. Sadly the content is behind a paywall but here is a snippet from the long and rich piece written by Rachel Hartigan:

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 17, 2020

Posted on Blog on July 17, 2020

This week marks several milestones in the long struggle for women's equality: on July 14, 1917 sixteen women from the National Women's Party were arrested while picketing at the White House in favor of universal suffrage; July 16th marked the birthday of suffragist Ida B Wells who was born in 1862; noted Quaker author Jessamyn West was born on July 18, 1902; and the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention was held July 19-20, 1848. I have been thinking about the tenacity and creativity of the women's rights advocates who came before us and wondering how future generations will judge us? Will our daughters' daughters adore us as the lyrics promise in Mary Poppins? I sure hope so...

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 10, 2020

Posted on Blog on July 10, 2020

News of Supreme Court decisions and the sweltering heat of Washington, DC are hard to avoid but there have also been some developments related to women's representation that caught my eye this week. I was very glad to see that Gina Glantz and the team at Gender Avenger have updated their tool to track the representation of women on panels and more with a new setting that tracks women of color. Here is an excerpt from the blog about the launch: This week, GenderAvenger is releasing a new version of the GA Tally app that puts more emphasis on the representation of women of color. In this time of social change, our team explored how we could modify the GA Tally to challenge event organizers, best-of list-makers, and conversation hosts everywhere to ensure that the voices of women of color are included all the time. Otherwise, we will continue to have a public dialog that is incomplete.

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 2, 2020

Posted on Blog on July 02, 2020

There were several key primaries this week with fascinating wins and losses for women candidates along with a number of landmark Supreme Court decisions that will dominate the headlines for weeks to come. In the midst of all this news I was very glad to read the latest report from Sarah Bryner from the Center for Responsive Politics who writes about the likely composition of the 117th Congress. While there have been a number of stories about the number of women running, Sarah's report examines the prospects for these women to actually win. It's so important to remember that the power of incumbency, the challenges of raising money, and our antiquated electoral system fortify the status quo:

We're Still Not Giving Women Equal Opportunity to Run and Win

Posted on News Coverage on June 26, 2020

In RepresentWomen’s 2020 PAC Report, “PACs and Donors: Agents of Change for Women’s Representation,” we found that women often raise comparable sums to men in the same party and in similar races. However, they are more likely to rely on more small-dollar donations than large political action committee (PAC) donations. This grassroots fundraising strategy takes more time and resources for campaigns and candidates, continuing to disadvantage women candidates. PACs are not less likely to fund women candidates because they have a lower chance of winning their race or are less qualified, but because PACs overfund incumbents.

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 26, 2020

Posted on Blog on June 26, 2020

It's been an eventful week in the world of women's representation with some great wins for women candidates in primaries held this week - including RepresentWomen board member Jenifer Rajkumar who will most likely win her primary for the NY state assembly along with ReflectUS ally Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas who maintains her lead as absentee votes are counted according to this story by Ese Olumhense and Christine Chung in The City: Jessica González-Rojas, former executive director of the National Latina Institute, heads the five-way race for the 34th Assembly District in Jackson Heights and Woodside, with 12-year incumbent Michael DenDekker trailing by 16 percentage points. González-Rojas said that while it was too early to claim victory, she hopes the margins will hold as absentee ballots get tallied up by the city Board of Elections. Her campaign had strongly encouraged voters to cast their ballots by mail, she said — adding that she was “shocked” by the Primary Day and early voting turnout of nearly 7,000 people, out of nearly 37,000 active Democrats in the 34th Assembly District.