Kicking Off the New Year Right
On Tuesday, January 9, Anika Bowie, Saura Jost, Hwa Jeong Kim, and Cheniqua Johnson, made history when they joined Mitra Jalali, Nelsie Yang, and Rebecca Noecker on the St. Paul, Minnesota City Council, creating an entirely female city council. This is historic not only as the first time St. Paul has had an all-woman city council in its 170-year history, but also the youngest and most racially diverse council in the city’s history.
While it’s great to celebrate successes like these, we also have to recognize the past: from 1916 to 1955, the St. Paul council remained an all-men legislative body. And in the council’s 170-year history, only 24 women–including the four new members–out of 78 members have served on the council. For some quick math, that’s just 31% across all time.
So the question remains: if women make up more than 50% of the American population, and women of color make up more than 20% of the population, why doesn’t the proportion of women and women of color serving in local, state, and federal governments reflect that?
What is clear is that change on any level requires a spark of inspiration, a willingness to learn, a team you can count on, and time. Building a democracy fully representative of this country is a long-game effort and requires all of us to take steps now to ensure a future we can be proud of. So whether you’re looking to start becoming more active in your community or make history yourself this year, we have some suggestions on where to start.
Explore your purpose.
If you’re unsure of where to start as a leader, identifying your values is always a good practice. Knowing your values allows you to identify the issues that are important to you, communicate them authentically, and build a foundation for you to come back to when uncertainty arises.
Check out our Value Clarification worksheet for a quick exercise to create that spark of inspiration. And if you’re looking to dig deeper into your purpose, try our Power in Purpose Audio Course for some self-paced inner exploration.
Leverage your skills for your community.
For those who are ready to become more civically involved, take a look at our Skill Identification worksheet to examine how you can utilize your existing skillset for the betterment of a community you care about. This worksheet is just a taste of our four-week email course, 4 Steps to Building a Better Community, where participants can create a tangible action plan for change at any level.
We know that stepping into a new year can be intimidating, but progress isn’t made without taking a first step. However you found She Should Run, we want you to get involved, whether that be as a prospective future candidate, an encourager to a woman in your life, or a supporter of our organization; there is no action too big or too small to influence change.
Have a question about this article or something else? Send us an email.
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