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A Little NUDGE

September 8, 2011
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Here is something worth thinking about:

Although Iowa women make up 53-percent of the registered voters and turn out to vote in higher percentages than men*, only 22.6-percent of the seats in the Iowa Legislature are held by women, and Iowa has never elected a female governor nor sent a woman to Washington as U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative. Iowa shares this distinction with one other state:?Mississippi.

Chris Louscher brought this information to my attention. She sits on the board of an organization called 50-50 in 2020. This is a bipartisan organization aimed at gaining political equity in Iowa.

The volunteer in me said "yes" when Chris asked if I would help with a NUDGE Party (NUDGE = No Use Delaying Gender Equity).

This is a start to achieving political equity in Iowa by electing:

50 women to the Iowa House of Representatives

25 women to the Iowa Senate

2 Iowa women to the U.S. House of Representatives

1 Iowa woman to the U.S. Senate

A woman Governor of Iowa

This goal requires a bi-partisan effort to ask women to run for office; and coach, mentor and support them through the political process.

But first, women need to be nudged to become more involved in the political process. So, Chris is hosting a gathering at her Emmetsburg lake home to give that little nudge. This will be a time to mix and mingle and meet other women interested in getting involved to make 50-50 in 2020 a reality.

I might add, Emmetsburg has a head start in getting women involved in the community. Emmetsburg Mayor John Schad is making an all-out effort to bring gender equity to appointed city boards and commissions.

Palo Alto County women can take the lead in getting involved on the local, county, state and national levels. Join the group at 312 Ford Road at Rockport, north of Emmetsburg, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15. Women are needed to consider a run for office and also to support women who are willing to run.

Just let us know if you plan to attend by calling me at 712-852-2568 (leave a message) or send an e-mail to christinelouscher@hotmail.com. If you want to check it out before you decide, get online: www.50-50in2020.org.

Co-founders of 50-50 in 2020 are Maggie Tinsman, a Republican from the Quad Cities, and Jean Lloyd-Jones, a Democrat from Iowa City. The mission is to achieve political equity for Iowa women by recruiting, training and mentoring women in sufficient numbers that by the 100th anniversary of Women Suffrage (the year 2020) Iowans will have elected females to fill 50% of the Iowa Legislature, the Iowa delegation to the U.S. Congress and the office of Governor. One century is long enough to wait for equity.

* Information from the Iowa Secretary of State website from the 2008 election:?Democratic women outvoted Democratic men 79.42% to 76.6% and Republican women outvoted Republican men 81.22% to 78.95%.

 
 
 

 

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