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Catherine Treadwell, J.D., Director of Government Relations
|Empower, Engage, and Elevate
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY). The event centered on the need to empower and engage more women to run for Congressional seats. In addition, the event provided an opportunity for me to represent ASA and further enhance our brand recognition among key members of Congress.
|Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
||House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01)
Congresswoman Stefanik also serves as the National Republican Congressional Committee Recruitment Chair, where her efforts have been to recruit non-traditional candidates. Stefanik stated, “So, this job as Chair of Recruitment, I’m the first woman to hold this position, and it was a job that I sought out. I think we need to encourage non-traditional candidates to run for office, which is why I focus specifically on recruiting women, on recruiting Hispanic candidates, on recruiting African Americans. In my experience, I was not recruited to run for Congress, so I understand that we needed to think more broadly. And I often think non-traditional candidates—in this political climate—are the most effective members of Congress and the most effective candidates, particularly in swing districts. So this is a positive news story. It’s great to see women running on both sides of the aisle. We’re more bipartisan and we need to increase our numbers in Congress to be more reflective of the population at-large.” Her efforts have proved to be effective, in the last election, three times more women ran in the election than ever before.
The event also included the support of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and the House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) who both spoke of the need for more women to be elected into Congress. In fact, when Congresswomen Stefanik first started this initiative, Minority Whip Scalise was the first person to not just donate to the cause, but max out his contribution. The goal for the event was to raise $100,000. However, the event ended up raising over $250,000.
Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-05), Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) were also in attendance. They specifically spoke about the hurdles women candidates face today. Women usually are deterred from running for office due to hesitations such as when the right time to run is and who will talk care of the children. Whereas men, are more likely to jump in without hesitation.
Each member also had their own story of how they felt they had to prove their qualifications more so than their male counterpart. Congresswomen Walorski, lost in her first election, but ran again in the next election and won. She spoke of her election and how when she would go door to door to meet constitutes in her district, she would keep note cards on each house with detailed items such as the dog’s name, the type of flower they had in their yard, etc. This was so when she went back again to speak with them, she would remember the tiny details and that made a difference to her constitutes.
One of the main goals of Congresswoman Stefanik’s role at NRCC is to make sure that women who are passionate about running have a clear pathway to resources they might need, such as mentors and policy specialist. She is currently in the progress of coming up with a roadmap for interested candidates.
This was a very exciting event and there was a ton of enthusiasm in the crowd! You can tell that with Congresswoman Stefanik’s leadership more women will be empowered, engaged, and elevated to Congress!
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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not attend scheduled talks in the upcoming weeks in Los Angeles and New York, following her surgery in December, after she missed Supreme Court arguments earlier this month, the event hosts said. The 85-year-old justice was supposed to attend an event on January 29 at Los Angeles' Skirball Cultural Center. A long-planned conversation between Ginsburg and the financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein was scheduled for February 6, and the 92nd Street Y said Wednesday that it was working to reschedule the event.
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