Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Attacks on Women in Elected Office Ramp Up; Why’d Equal Pay Day Come a Week Early This Year? – Ms. Magazine – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation in politics, on boards, in sports and entertainment, in judicial offices and in the private sector in the U.S. and around the world—with a little gardening and goodwill mixed in for refreshment!

Dear fans of gender balance in politics,

The inaugural Democracy Solutions Summit hosted by RepresentWomen last week was a big success with 45 amazing women speakers, over 300 participants registered for each day, and over 17,000 views of the landing page for the Summit! 

If you missed the proceedings, you can read the full transcript and listen to the recordings for:

  • Day One: Fair Elections – Upgrading How We Vote & Finance Campaigns
  • Day Two: Fair Access: The Electoral College, Voting Rights & the Legacy of Lani Guinier 
  • Day Three: Fair Representation: House Expansion, Redistricting, Ranked Choice Voting, & the Fair Representation Act 

Our friends at FairVote captured some of the great content in this piece:

The final panel was moderated by Reflect Us Coalition CEO Tiffany Gardner, and featured Stephanie Houghton, the organizing director at FairVote Washington; Jaqueline Castaneda, the communications director of the DC Latino Caucus and advisory board member at More Voice DC; Jessica Lieberman, the program officer for American Democracy, Political and Voting Reform at the American Academy of Arts and Scien

ces; Sarah Higginbotham, the managing director of United America; and Maria Perez, co-director of Democracy Rising.  

Sarah Higginbotham spoke about her roots as an organizer and her hope and optimism for the future of reforms like RCV.

“We’re at this incredibly compelling inflection point for the work around ranked choice voting and other structural reforms, and what’s probably most compelling to me sort of strategically and politically, is how much progress we’ve made across a broad range of states.” – Sarah Higginbotham

Jessica Lieberman talked about her work creating the Our Common Purpose report, which details recommendations for building a stronger democracy. She advocated for expanding the House of Representatives by 150 members to increase representation and accountability. 

“By bringing 150 new seats into Congress, we would create a lot of opportunities to bring new faces and voices into Congress. As we have talked about earlier today, incumbency advantage is a huge barrier to electing more women and diverse voices to Congress… It also would ensure that we’re not losing progress going forward.” – Jessica Lieberman

Stephanie Houghton discussed how her role at FairVote Washington has helped her to hone her messaging surrounding RCV and its benefits, and how she handles conversations with those who disagree. 

“It can be a tough conversation, and I think anyone on this call who has tried to have a conversation with a legislator about ranked choice voting has probably come up against the same pushback and it comes from a place where in the back of their minds oftentimes, they are thinking, ‘I’m a really great representative, I don’t think I want to change the way that I got here’ … And that’s a really sensitive conversation. So, the unsolicited advice I give is, just give space for that and say this isn’t something where we’re not going to have democracy. It’s still an election, it’s just a way for your voters to actually tell you more about what they’re feeling… So, I think that there is actually a place for our legislators current and future to learn more from ranked choice voting and to really take a lesson from that.” – Stephanie Houghton

When asked about grappling with the daunting task of fixing so many issues, Maria Perez spoke about the need for grassroots organizing and the constant practice of democracy. 

“We need to become a country where everyday citizens and residents are practicing democracy every day. It’s kind of like going to the gym, you can’t ask people just to show up for election day or run a half marathon without training. We’re training every week, every day you put in your little of whatever your practices are. That is the way that we get the masses to whatever it is. It’s that civic engagement on a long, sustainable multi-generational term.” – Maria Perez 

Finally, Jaquel

Read Full Article at msmagazine.com

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