Women2Women - Spring 2018 - 11

Women2Know

The Lack of Women in Elected Office:

What Can Be Done?
By Karen Marsdale - Executive VP of Programs, GRCA

O

n January 31st, an inaugural event
hosted by W2W and Julia Klein, CEO
& Chairwoman, CH Briggs, took place,
titled "Women Who Ran and Won." It was
well-attended and those who came were
honestly interested in the topic of women
who have stepped into the public arena
and had the fortitude to run for an office
of some kind.
We had an excellent panel that represented
a diverse group of women: Sandy Graffius,
Controller, County of Berks; Carissa Johnson,
Magisterial District Judge, County of Berks;
Michelle Kichline, County Commissioner,
Chester County; Olga Negron, Councilwoman,
Bethlehem City Council; Judy Schwank,
Senator, State of Pennsylvania; and Linda
Zerbe, Former member of the Wilson
School Board.

Panel members, l-r: Sandy Graffius, Julia Klein, Linda Zerbe, Michelle Kichline, Olga Negron, Carissa Johnson, and Judy Schwank

Julia Klein, who is passionate about this topic
and has expertise in chairing campaigns on a
local, state and national level, moderated this
panel of very successful women. Julia shared
with the audience that her interest began
when she ran her dad's campaign during his
run for Mayor of Wyomissing. Julia and I
have talked for some time about our desire
to expose women to the concept that we, as
50 percent of the overall population in our
nation, are sorely underrepresented in the
political arena.
The data regarding women in political
offices of any type is quite sobering nationally, and Pennsylvania stats are downright
depressing . We rank 49th in women elected
to office, with only Mississippi ranking
lower! Additionally, according to the Center
for American Women & Politics located out
of Rutgers University, Pennsylvania ranks
39th nationally in the number of women in
our state legislature based on the proportion
of our population.

Julia Klein moderated the panel for a packed house at the Inn at Reading in January.

The data regarding women in political offices of any type
is quite sobering nationally, and Pennsylvania stats are
downright depressing. We rank 49th in women elected
to office, with only Mississippi ranking lower!

Political Parity, a nonpartisan platform
educating and engaging actors and allies to
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Spring 2018

Women2Women - Spring 2018 - 25
Women2Women - Spring 2018 - 2
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Women2Women - Spring 2018 - 11
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Women2Women/women2women_fall2017
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