How about that for a post-election analysis?
And the nice thing is, it’s a true call whether you’re from a blue state or a red state. Consider these statistics:
Prior to election day 2016, 104 women served in the U.S. Congress, from both blue and red states, out of a total of 535 seats (20 were in the Senate and 84 in the House).
The number of women in statewide elective executive posts is 76, and the proportion of women in state legislatures is 24.4%.
Of the 285 mayors of the U.S. cities with populations 100,000 and over, 50, or 17.5%, were women; and 19 mayors of the top 100 cities by population were women (including 10 from states Donald Trump carried). Note: These statistics above are for 2016, pre-election, and come from the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, which has a fascinating array of data on women who have made their marks in political life over the last 45 years.
The good news of course is that women’s participation in the contact sport called politics is already on a positive up curve. To pick just two examples from the Rutgers data, women represented just 3% of Congressional members and 7% of statewide elective offices in 1971 while the 2016 numbers (pre-election) were 19.4% and 24.4%, respectively.
What’s also fascinating about the rise of women in American politics is the role that many Junior League members have played in that trend.
Carolyn Maloney (New York Junior League), Susan Brooks (Junior League of Indianapolis), Anna Eshoo (Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula) and Doris Matsui (Junior League of Sacramento) are currently serving in the House of Representatives.
Tamara Ashford (Junior League of Northern Virginia) began a 15-year presidential appointment to the United States Tax Court in 2014.
In Canada, Lois Mitchell (Junior League of Calgary) is the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, and Janice Filmon (Junior League of Winnipeg) the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
Beth Harwell (Junior League of Nashville) has been a member of Tennessee’s General Assembly since 1988 and was speaker of the House in 2011, Cynthia Clanton (Junior League of Atlanta) is the Director and General Counsel of the Georgia State Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and Deborah Taylor Tate (Junior League of Nashville) is currently serving as the Director of the Administrative Office of the Tennessee State Courts system.
How can I get more involved? Thank you
Hi Andrea. There are many ways you can get more involved. Get active in local politics. Attend town hall meetings, get to know your local School Board, attend City Council meetings. Identify an issue you care about and pursue it. Volunteer for a political party. And of course, get involved by joining a Junior League in your area (if you are not already a member) and learn about how to be a leader in your community. Find a League
We would love to see AJLI provide more trainings accessible to sustainers as well as active members to promote more of our strong productive members to step up and become our future political leaders. We have received such fabulous training to be able to make positive improvements to our communities- can you imagine if we had more of those women in congress showing everyone how to work together for the common good?
It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is when you are in AJLI – we need to share that leadership style with our country showing that we can work together and get things done.
We have given our members the training they need to be able to do that in their communities but we could really use specific training on how to take it to the national level. Just think how great our country can become!!
We think this is a great topic and one of interest to both Sustainers and Actives. Stay tuned and thanks for the suggestion.
I would love to assist! This is such a great initiative. In 2006 I founded the Virginia Leadership Institute to elect and appoint more African Americans.