How to turn your passion into action from boosting your local engagement or running for office
“This woman’s place is in the House-the House of Representatives”-Bella Abzug
It’s no new news that although we comprise a little over half the human population, women are severely underrepresented in both politics and business. Although great strides have been made and new fissures and cracks appear every day in that storied glass ceiling, for the busy everyday woman, moving from awareness to engagement can seem daunting.
So, how do you go beyond reading headlines and hazy calls for more women in underrepresented fields in finding your way to become a policy-driver?
It’s important to keep in mind the essence of politics is the local community; even if you find ambition pulling you higher and your interest scaling up, politics is first and foremost a public service. Local politics can be just as messy as national politics, (some would say even more so). However, creating a better community is a noble pursuit. Stay above the fray and remain positive.
Step 1: Find Your Motivation
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and widely regarded as the most powerful woman in the world, started out as a research scientist. Her admirers point to her previous profession as a training ground for her calm, measured approach to world power. Her childhood behind the Berlin Wall and the real limitations it imposed drove her to jump on an opportunity to enter the newly reunified government. That’s a powerful motivating factor in her life. Combined with a not-so-obvious background, she had a unique perspective to offer the world of politics.
Getting at the core of what motivates you, either overcoming poverty, reaching educational goals or realizing the life-changing power of proper infrastructure and affordable housing, can pinpoint the focus of your civic engagement.
Policymaking at the local level calls for a diverse cross-section of the community to benefit all levels of society. Your expertise is needed. You just have to find your driving force.
Step 2: Target Organizations and Events
At NAWRB, we believe that caring about issues is only the first step. We must take action. The housing industry touches so many facets of our lives— personal wealth and well-being, the overall health of the economy and societal problems at large— that industry voices are needed at the political level.
This is why we love making our presence known at events that allow for women in the industry to find ways to engage and meet the right people connected to the resources to help get you started in civic life.
No matter your industry, resources are popping up all over to teach women who have little-to-no political background how to run for office like sheshouldrun.org, a non-partisan entity that seeks out prospective women candidates, teaching them how to run for office.
Things are looking up for women in policy. This year, according to the Associated Press, more women than ever filed to run for the House of Representatives, and states that had some of the lowest numbers of women legislators like Pennsylvania are seeing an uptick in women running for office. This is one reason why we’ll be engaged at the upcoming Women 2 Women Conversation Tour stop in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on June 28th, to drive action locally from the housing industry perspective and inspire more women to run for local office.
Step 3: Follow-Through
Feeling the motivation to step up in driving policy? Don’t sit on it! Women have so far to go in reaching gender equity in the political sphere. Your voice, your perspective, is needed.
If there is a particular area you wish to engage in and you aren’t sure where to start, contact us for more information.