If You Have Ever Thought About Running for Office, This is the Year
(and March 9th is the Filing Deadline)
by Susan Steinhauser
If you or anyone you know has ever considered running for office, now is the time to file and run! In keeping with WLALA’s mission to advance women in the profession, increase the number of women on the bench, and address pressing issues facing women, I want to share good news! 2012, more than many, is a good year for women to run for office due to the confluence of redistricting, term limits and presidential elections.
Let me explain…. Following the 2010 census, every congressional and state legislative district in the country is being redrawn, and new and open seats will be created. Reapportionment creates opportunity and research shows that women have more success winning open seats. In addition, the probability of women being elected increases with many elected officials being termed out; and many more turn out to vote in a presidential election.
I know it can seem overwhelming... fundraising, press, putting together a policy package and staff, the toll it takes on your personal life...to name just a few. However, if you can put that aside and focus on all the good you can do in Sacramento or even Washington D.C. there are many standing at the ready to give you a hand.
How to get started? The 2012 Project, a non partisan initiative of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, has assembled all the resources you need to get started. For more information go to http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/education_training/2012Project/index.php or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have until March 9, 2012 to file for candidacy, so don’t delay! Even if you don’t run this year, start seriously thinking about it for the future.
Why should women run for office now more than ever before? Did you know that the U.S. ranks 67th in terms of women's representation, according to Inter-Parliamentary Union? Did you know that the number of women in Congress has dropped to 16 percent, and the number of women in state legislatures has declined by nearly 80 seats? That is the sharpest drop since the Center began tracking numbers nearly four decades ago; it’s time to act. Let’s get out the word (e.g. use Facebook and Twitter) and get more women running and elected in 2012!
Susan Steinhauser is the Chair of the WLALA Foundation Annual Giving Campaign. Ms Steinhauser is President of the Board of Trustees for the LA Law Library.