How Can We Get More Women Elected: Good morning! It’s nice to be here at such a remarkable gathering.
I believe it’s essential that we must run effectively as women candidates. Though many voters have historically been reluctant to support women and other nontraditional candidates the tide is changing. Some polls indicate that voters actually trust women to be more honest and hard-working -- a trend which women candidates must capitalize on.
Let me give you an example. I worked Iowa on a campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment during the much-touted "year of the woman" -- if you remember that was back in 1992 -- where a strong woman state senator named Jean Lloyd Jones was running for the U.S. Senate. At that time, there were only two women in the Senate, so being a woman was a real plus. The problem was with her yard signs, bumper stickers and other publicity. They simply said.... "Lloyd Jones". The casual voter may not even have known she was a woman! She did not win that race.
I spent the years between college graduation and having my first child working on political campaigns. I worked on races for the presidency, senate, house, governor, legislatures and that hard fought race for a state ERA in Iowa.
During these years I saw first-hand the obstacles women and other non traditional candidates face in getting elected to public office.
To illustrate my point I’ll use myself as an example.
I always planned to run for office, in fact when asked in my interviews for college acceptance what I wanted to do with my life I responded without hesitation "run for president". I certainly believed at that point that with my middle class background and well-healed diplomas in my pocket the path to elected office would be easy.
But I haven’t run for elected office and here is why:
2 years ago