Letter: More women candidates need to step up

Author: Colorado Politics - May 17, 2016 - Updated: May 17, 2016

The Colorado StatesmanThe Colorado Statesman


2016 is shaping up to be a historic year for women in politics. Hillary Clinton is set to be the first woman to ever clinch the presidential nomination of a major party, and our country may see the first woman president come November. While we should all celebrate this momentous occasion, Secretary Clinton’s unique run for president shines a light on a major problem for women in American politics.

Despite making some gains over the past decades, women are still significantly underrepresented in government at all levels. Nationwide, women make up just 19.4 percent of Congress and 24.4 percent of state legislatures. Here in Colorado, women comprise only 42 percent of Colorado’s Legislature. What’s more, we’ve never had a female governor and only one of our members of Congress is female.

Emerge Colorado is on the front lines of the battle to increase women’s representation in government by recruiting qualified Democratic women and training them to run for office. Our program is already getting results. To date, more than one third of the women we’ve trained have run for office. Last year alone 69 percent of our women won their elections. This year, we have 16 women running for office.

We’re proud of our work training capable Democratic women to successfully run for office. But there’s still more to be done. As we celebrate Secretary Clinton’s run for the presidency, we also hope she inspires more women to run. Her candidacy is proof that there’s no limit to what women can achieve. Now we just need more female candidates to step forward.

Jenny Willford
Executive Director
Emerge Colorado

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Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, is the state's premier political news publication, renowned for its award-winning journalism. The publication is also the oldest political news outlet in the state, in continuous publication since 1898. Colorado Politics covers the stories behind the stories in Colorado's state Capitol and across the Centennial State, focusing on politics, public policy and elections with in-depth reporting on the people behind the campaigns — from grassroots supporters to campaign managers and the candidates and issues themselves.