Weekend Reading on Women's Representation December 30, 2020

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on December 30, 2020

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The amazing young women who are pictured above were part of the RepresentWomen team in 2020!
 
Dear friends and allies,
On this penultimate day of 2020 I am writing to ask you to consider supporting RepresentWomen with a donation of any size so that we can build our capacity to make serious and sustained progress toward gender balance in politics in the coming decade.
As you know, our work is focused on identifying the structural barriers that women face as candidates and elected officials and then turning that research into policies that address those barriers so that more women can run, win, serve, and lead.
These systems strategies are what's electing more women to office - faster - in the nearly 70 countries that are ranked above the United States in women's representation, and they offer a perfect complement to the work of many of you that is focused on preparing individual women to run for office.
In 2021, with your support and partnership, we will provide lawmakers, voting system reformers, and women's representation allies with legislative language, data, and policy recommendations designed to advance women's representation and leadership in elected and appointed positions in the United States.
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Here are highlights of what we accomplished in 2020 that will fuel our work in 2021 and beyond:
We researched the structural barriers that women face as candidates and the best practices to get more women into office - faster, and published a number of reports & briefs, including:
  1. PACs & Donors report & case studies
  2. Ranked Choice Voting report
  3. International Women's Representation report & dashboard
  4. Women and the presidency brief
  5. Women in executive leadership brief
  6. Women's representation on Tribal Nations report
  7. Incarcerated women's rights and representation report
  8. U.S. House expansion brief
  9. Gender Parity Index report
  10. District design brief
We communicated about our research via digital and traditional media with a targeted audience of allies, journalists, academics, advocates, and elected officials. This work included:

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We collaborated with partners in the democracy reform and women's representation movement, with campaigns for voting system reform, with the ReflectUS Coalition, and with state groups around the country. Here is a testimonial from Jen Simon at the Wyoming Women's Action Network:
Right now, I am working with several partners in Wyoming on two policy briefs--one about women's representation and one about women's economic impact in Wyoming--and I would be unable to complete this work without RepresentWomen's research and materials.
 
And it is not just in my policy work that your research is indispensable. I use it with Cowgirl Run Fund--Wyoming's first PAC dedicated to electing more women from across the political spectrum--as well as refer to it in media interviews on a regular basis. I use it in my Equity State column in the Jackson Hole News&Guide. I use it for essays and policy briefs for the Wyoming Women's Action Network.
 
I truly cannot imagine trying to work in a gender justice policy space without the groundwork that you and your team provide. 
We committed to inclusion in 2020 through work with a diverse set of allies who span the ideological, racial, age, and geographic spectrum. I am determined to ensure that RepresentWomen board members, interns, staff, and strategic advisors reflect the diversity of American women.
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We celebrated the centennial of suffrage with our 2020 calendar of women leaders that we sent to every woman member of Congress, women on the Supreme Court, women governors & mayors, women college presidents, friends, and family. We hadn't anticipated that the calendar would be so popular - we had to order more copies to fill all the orders - and have enjoyed a wonderful array of thank you notes from many happy recipients!
 
Can we count on your support? I hope that you will make a donation to RepresentWomen to support and expand our young, diverse team and help us to build our capacity to advocate for the systemic strategies that research tells us are the building blocks of a truly representative democracy.
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Today marks the 70th anniversary of my parents' wedding in the same Quaker meetinghouse where my grandparents & great grandparents were married and where I was married half a century later...the title for the news clipping from The Washington Post sums up the era - "Philadelphia Girl, Huntington Terrell To Wed" - fortunately, we have made a lot of progress toward women's equality over the last seventy years but there is still work to be done....
Equality can't wait.
Many thanks & happy new year,
Cynthia
P.S. The team at RepresentWomen created a weekly list of feminist must reads for adults and a less frequent series about feminist books for children: Ms Magazine wrote up our selections that includes Thee Hannah, a book written about my great great aunt Hannah Carter 💜
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