An Ambitious Push for Parity

She Should Run, a non-partisan nonprofit dedicated to recruiting women to campaign for elected office, has launched a campaign entitled “250,000 by 2030” aiming to fill half of the 500,000 elected positions across the U.S. with women lawmakers by 2030.

Women currently hold less than 25 percent of the 500,000 positions She Should Run is setting their sights on. The #250Kby2030 initiative pairs campaign experts, including activists, journalists and lawmakers, with aspiring candidates to create an incubator community that connects women with resources and training opportunities to ensure that the number of women in public office grows—and fast.

“At current rates, it will take over 100 years to achieve equal representation,” She Should Run founder and CEO Erin Loos Cutraro said in a press release. “That is unacceptable, and 250Kby2030 will change that.”

The election of Donald Trump motivated an unprecedented number women to seek elected office, something Cutraro calls “The Trump Effect.” Historically, women have shied away from running for office because they are more likely to questions their qualifications, are uncertain about how to begin and are doubtful about their fundraising abilities. “The biggest thing is that [women considering running for office] don’t know where to start,” A’shanti Gholar of Emerge America, another organization aimed at increasing the numbers of women in public office, told Ms. in an interview. “As women, we like to be fully prepared for the things we do, right? We want to make sure that we are going to excel, and be 100 percent—it’s just who we are, it’s part of what makes us great. And we place this huge burden on ourselves when we run for office, almost to the point where we can talk ourselves out of it.”

But not anymore. As women take the lead on activist resistance to the regressive policies of the Trump administration, they are also preparing to take on the ballot. 15,000 women have signed up with She Should Run since Trump’s election, and organizations like Emerge and EMILY’S List have also noted a spike in women interested in running for office. “I think that some women in the She Should Run community look at that example [of Trump],” she told Ms., “and say you know, voters are looking for something different right now.”

About

Micaela Brinsley is an Editorial Intern at Ms. and a rising sophomore at Smith College. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, she is a feminist theatre artist, activist and writer with a background in labor and tenants' rights. Passionate about social justice, she is an avid conversationalist committed to making the world a more just and inclusive place. You can contact her at mbrinsley [at] msmagazine.com.