“Electing women is about equity and representation for everyone.”
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono’s comment, in regard to Christine Blasey Ford’s credible accusation of sexual assault by recently appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, served as a powerful example of courage and frustration by an elected official. She continued, “We have to create an environment where women can come forward and be heard and be listened to.” Her message was to believe and trust women.
All over the country, women and men are coming forward with painful #MeToo stories that call into question the integrity of some of our most powerful members of society. Women in power like Sens. Hirono, Kamala Harris, and many others are paving a path to justice by creating the space for at least one survivor to speak her truth.
In Congress, only 20 percent of women hold office. At a local level, 30 percent of the San Jose City Council and 20 percent of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors are women. On top of that, women in this area earn 67.9 percent of what men are paid in full-time, year-round jobs. Women constitute close to 51 percent of the population in the United States, yet they are underrepresented at almost every level of government.
Electing women is not about overpowering men or advancing a purely female agenda. It’s about electing women of color, trans women, and above all else, supporting an overwhelming section of our society that has been marginalized for centuries.
Of course, it’s true that we need qualified and experienced elected officials. Not every woman is prepared to hold elected office, nor is every man. But, fortunately, a record number of highly qualified women are running for elected office in 2018. In Santa Clara County alone, 120 women are running for contested seats. That means more opportunities to empower and support women in your community.
Do the right thing. Do your research. Elect qualified, experienced women.