It is a clarion call in 2022 that more, not less, women are needed in government. Running for office all the way to celebrating victory may sound like a daunting task – but it shouldn’t. We need women in the legislature. Are you that woman?
Every issue today is a woman’s issue, just look at the world around you. Examples of the issues of our time include the following: civil rights, criminal justice, healthcare, immigration, gun violence, childcare, and reproductive rights. The pursuit of liberty and justice 100 years after suffragists won our voting rights is being repressed, where those on the conservative right use government to suppress voting rights and dictate our most basic of rights, the right to privacy. Are you up for the challenge? What is your lodestar?
Last year Kane County Democratic Women sought to learn more about what goes into the decision-making process when considering public office. State Senators Cristina Castro and Karina Villa, along with Congressman Lauren Underwood, shared their thoughts.
On policy making, Congresswoman Underwood said, “Our Congress does not look like our America, and that matters. There is the perception that Congress works on issues that are raised by the members. This means we must elect public servants who are more reflective of the people they represent so we can solve the issues that are impacting Americans.”
Running for office was a natural course for State Senator Cristina Castro who was involved early on helping others and giving back in her community. After college, Castro volunteered to organize community events, served on several city of Elgin commissions and then ran for the Kane County Board. She credits a “lot of good folks,” who supported her and showed her the ropes. After serving two terms on the Kane County Board she ran for the state legislature in 2016 and won.
State Senator Karina Villa cites that on the most difficult days she remembers that her constituents are the reason she is in legislature. They are she says, “Why I do this work.”
A woman’s strengths are often underestimated and ignored when there is a stark clash of values, and one side is not allowed to have a public role. A much stronger role exists for women and people of color, where both can meet the needs of the American people. As a woman, you will make the difference.
In her book, Know Your Power, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells women to recognize opportunities, assess risks, and take action to achieve success. The Speaker goes on to say, “Leadership requires vision, judgment, action and the respect of the American people.” Are you that Woman?