Thousands Of Women Are Geared To Run For Elected Office — Now What?
By Erin Loos Cutraro
Since Election Day 2016, over 15,000 motivated, engaged and qualified women who want to run for office have joined She Should Run, a nonpartisan group aiming to inspire more women to run for office.
That’s up from 900 women in the same period a year ago.
And, it’s just the start.
There has been a groundswell from all corners of this country: moms and grandmothers, young professionals, military leaders and stay-at-home moms. Women who are black, white, old, young, straight and gay. They are from Nebraska, Alabama, New York, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. They are Democrats and Republicans.
This is very promising because, as decades of research has shown, our government benefits from the kind of unique perspectives and experiences that only a woman can bring to the table. Having women as political leaders results in better government, more bipartisan ventures and more civility — something we could really use right now.
All of these smart women have raised their hands and said “I want to make my country work better.” So, what’s next?
For the majority of women this is the first time they’re exploring the idea of running for office themselves.
We refuse to let them languish without any support or direction because while some women will run for office in 2018, many thousands of others won’t run until 2020 or even 2030.
If we define “success” solely by the number of women who go from zero to one hundred this year or next, we’re setting ourselves up to miss a major opportunity. We need to think bigger. Bigger than any one candidate. Bigger than any one office. And bigger than any one election cycle.
That’s why, this week She Should Run is launching 250K by 2030. We want to see a full 50 percent of the candidates running for office in this country to be women. There are the qualified, energetic and committed women who have already raised their hands, but also the women that are going to do so in the next 5, 10 or 15 years.
We are asking you to support this effort to encourage women to run and to support women once they are running. Mentor women candidates, look at donating to a school board candidate, volunteer to knock doors for a female candidate and offer to introduce her to people you know.
Because they can’t do it alone. And neither can we.
We need to use the skills we have, the dollars we earn and the time we can spare to support these women’s ambition and leadership.
Is getting 250,000 women to run for office a big goal? Yes. Is it going to take a lot of work? Yes.
But there is no question that the next step forward to ensure women’s voices are fully represented must be bold, must declare our intention and, without question, must be met.
She Should Run is in it for the long haul but we can not do it alone. We are calling on leaders in government, business and academia from around the country to take a vested interest in women’s representation in government.
The choice to have better government, a government more reflective of the people of this country — is yours.
We have an opportunity at this moment of time. The opportunity is a surge of brave women seeing what is possible for our country and owning and exploring political leadership in a powerful way.
We believe over 15,000 women raising their hands to say “present” is just the beginning.
So by 2030 we want 250,000 women running for office. We want half the elected offices in this country to be represented by women. We want the smartest government possible. Don’t you?