By Kathy Groob- When I founded ElectWomen in 2008, I had just come off of a disappointing election falling .03 percent shy of a victory for the Kentucky State Senate. And with cheating and a subsequent cover up of machine malfunction/malfeasance, I was in the dumps, looking for a way to turn my defeat into something positive. There was no single source for women candidates looking for help, guidance, ideas and mentors in order to become successful candidates. Before the end of 2008, ElectWomen was launched as a movement, providing resources to women thinking about running for office.
We connected women with training organizations, with women in office, access to books, leadership programs and most importantly, pictures and stories about women candidates and elected officials. EMILY’s List, The White House Project and The Yale University Women’s Campaign School were focused on preparing and electing women at the highest levels. The Center for Women and Politics at Rutger’s University is the keeper of the flame. Recording, analyzing, training and advocating for women leaders in political office.
Our role was to connect and share available resources for women running for office at all levels. From city counselors and school board to attorneys general, auditors, governors and Congress. We feature, promote, educate and urge others to step up and support women candidates. We shine a spotlight on the cause; encouraging and applauding women to step up to run.
Not since 1992 has there been such a surge of women running for office. Women make up just 20% of the members of Congress. This year nearly twice as many women are running for Congress as in previous years and most of them are Democrats. The Women’s March in 2017 and again in 2018, public exposure of sexual harassment along with anti-Trump sentiments are among the reasons so many women are running for office. Organizations like Emerge America that trains Democratic women to run for office, are experiencing full classes and a surge of interest in political office.
Together we stand with every movement that is dedicated to electing more women to public office. We no longer need to make the case; the floodgates have opened and we, along with the entire country will be watching on November 6th when we count the number of newly elected women to office.