Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Message From Center for American Women and Politics

Dear Friend:

The fight for political equality is more important than ever! Over the past week, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) has heard from hundreds of women wondering what the election outcome means for women's public leadership. We're heartened by some gains, including increased representation of women of color in Congress, but troubled that the overall number of women in Congress is stagnant. And of course, the highest glass ceiling remains intact. While we're hopeful this historic election will ultimately inspire more women to run, we worry that the tenor of the campaign may deter women from seeking office.

We have work to do and not a minute to waste. In a year when the public is disillusioned and discouraged by politics, it is more important than ever that we actively work to engage and inspire more women to be part of the process at every stage of their lives.

Here's what you can do:

1)    Run for office. We've all seen what women candidates face on the national stage, and it wasn't pretty -- but our response shouldn't be to turn away from politics and government. To elevate the process, more women need to engage in campaigns and demonstrate their talent for governing. Our democracy needs the full participation of women and men to function at its highest level.

CAWP's flagship Ready to Run New Jersey program is scheduled for March 10-11, 2017.  We also have partner programs in states all over the country; visit our Ready to Run® National Network page for more information.

All are welcome at any of our Ready to Run programs regardless of where you live, but if these programs are out of reach, CAWP also offers a nationwide map of women's political and leadership resources for women -- see what's available in your state!

2)    Start a campaign training program for women in your state. CAWP actively seeks Ready to Run® partners; details are available here.  I'm happy to answer your questions about launching Ready to Run®. You can reach me at (848) 932-8781 or I look forward to hearing from you!

3)    Encourage a woman you admire to run for office. Refer her to one of the training programs above. Donate money to her campaign or other women's campaigns, in your area or around the country. Research shows that women are far less likely than men to be asked to run for office by anyone, including party leaders and other elected officials. To see more women in public leadership, sometimes all it takes is a simple "I know you would be a terrific public leader, and I want to help you."

We know that electing more women doesn't just happen. Women need to be encouraged and prepared to run for office. When more women run, more women win. There is work to be done -- let's get started.


Jean Sinzdak
Associate Director
Center for American Women and Politics

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
191 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 

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