In the News

Women make up Pa.’s political minority, say gender isn’t issue

Posted in In the News, Women in PA on January 21st, 2014 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Tom Fontaine

Women make up about half of the population but remain grossly under-represented in key political offices that shape policy and render legal decisions at the federal, state and local levels, said politicians and political experts.

“It’s been a slow climb here,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University, which is hosting a campaign-training seminar for women in Shadyside on Saturday and another one in Philadelphia next month.

Last year’s seminar in Pittsburgh drew about 80 women.

Women hold one of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional seats and 17 percent of the seats in the state Legislature. One of the state’s seven Supreme Court justices and nine of its 60 Common Pleas president judges are women.

About 38 percent of countywide offices in the 10-county area surrounding Pittsburgh are held by women.

A woman has never represented Pennsylvania as a U.S. senator or governor. Democrat Kathleen Kane in 2012 became the first woman elected state attorney general.

Brown said she thinks 2014 could be a ground-breaking year for Pennsylvania women in politics, noting three are running for governor on the Democratic ticket and at least three of the state’s congressional races could be in play for women, including one featuring New Kensington’s Erin McClelland in the newly constituted 12th District that includes Beaver County and parts of Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset and Washington counties.

Women still struggling to win big-city mayoral jobs

Posted in In the News on November 11th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of former Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon.

NEW YORK — High-profile mayoral elections this year have already proved that the steps to City Hall remain steep for female candidates.

Only one of the nation’s 10 largest cities is run by a woman: Annise Parker of Houston, who faces re-election in November. Just 12 of the 100 largest cities have women in the top job, including Fort Worth, Baltimore and Las Vegas.

This year has seen two notable candidates falling short: Democrats Wendy Greuel in Los Angeles, who made it to a runoff and then lost, and Christine Quinn in New York, who was considered the front-runner for months only to come in third in a Sept. 10 primary.

Next week, Boston voters have a chance: Charlotte Golar Richie is one of a dozen candidates for mayor in the non-partisan preliminary election Sept. 24.

The political group EMILY’s List — which raises money for female candidates — has endorsed women running for mayor this year in 10 cities, including Minneapolis; Dayton, Ohio; and Tacoma, Wash. But three are now sidelined, including Anita Lopez, who did not make a runoff in Toledo, Ohio.“To be the chief executive, to be the person where the buck stops, that’s that kind of last hurdle for women in elective office,” says Debbie Walsh of Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics — who points out that big-city mayors wield considerably more power than individual members of Congress. “When you get to those really big cities where when you’re the chief executive you’re overseeing millions and millions of dollars in jobs and a big law enforcement presence, that’s where it seems to be a bit stalled out.” Read more on usatoday.com

Women can make a difference, but first must get a chance

Posted in In the News on November 11th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 1:21 pm, Wed Sep 18, 2013.

When looking at our current leadership, one glaring fact is evident: women are under-represented. The 2012 census report indicates that women make up nearly 51 percent of the population. However, only about 18 percent of seats are held by women in the 113th Congress (20 seats in the Senate and 78 in the House).

Why such a small percentage when women constitute half the population? Could this lack of representation contribute to the lack of satisfaction that constituents feel nationwide? And what can be done to encourage women to get involved in public leadership? Read More at the Bucks County Courier Times

Young end of GOP voters support diverse candidates, poll finds

Posted in In the News on August 28th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Melissa Daniels, PA Independent

In the Republican Party, it’s the  young crowd that’s pushing for diversity, a hot topic after last year’s elections.

Pew Research found a majority of Republican voters of all ages think the party could be more successful in national elections with more women and minority candidates, a view held by a larger share of voters 18 to 39.

About 64 percent of voters in that age group think more women nominees would help the GOP fare better in national elections, compared to 46 percent of voters 40 or older who share that view.

And about 68 percent of younger Republican voters think more racial and ethnic minorities would help the party, versus 49 percent of those 40 and older.

Young voters with an open mind about the types of candidates they’d like to see means parties may adjust their selections to win over this ever-growing demographic. But as a report from the College Republicans, ”Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation,” concludes, it’s about more than just fitting the mold.

“To shed the brand of being old-fashioned, the GOP need not just find young candidates who can make pop culture references with ease,” the report said. “Instead, candidates need to be able to show that they understand the problems young people face when it comes to economic opportunity and have a plan to break down the barriers that are standing in their way.”

To read the entire article  click here.

PCWP Executive Director Dana Brown interviewed by Sylvia Maus

Posted in In the News on July 22nd, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

Aired 7/14/2013 on 1460 The Ticket.  Listen to the interview here:


Women in politics: moving forward or backward?

Posted in In the News, Women in PA on June 3rd, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

By John Guerriero, Erie Times-News

The speaker stepped to the microphone to address Erie City Council.

“And, you, the city fathers,” the speaker said, stopping short as he made eye contact with then-Councilwoman Joyce Savocchio in the early 1980s. ” … and city mother.”

Savocchio, the first elected councilwoman in the city’s history, encountered another awkward case of gender wordplay when a citizen at a public event asked, “Should we call you mayor or mayoress?”

Read more:  http://goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20130602%2FNEWS02%2F306029933

Why are Pennsylvania women hard to find in politics?

Posted in In the News, Women in PA on May 13th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Kate Giammarise / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG — You can’t help but notice it if you attend a House committee hearing, a news conference in the Capitol, or watch senators in session debating a bill: There’s not a lot of women around here.

The Pennsylvania Legislature can seem at times very much a man’s world, with only 17.8 percent of the state’s General Assembly (37 of 203 House members and 8 of 50 senators) composed of women, according to figures compiled by Chatham University’s Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics.

“That is truly disproportionate in representing the women of the commonwealth,” said Rep. Erin Molchany, D-Mount Washington, the lone female representative from Allegheny County. “People are shocked when they hear that number.”

Political Ambition Gap Revealed In ‘Girls Just Wanna Not Run’ Report

Posted in In the News on April 3rd, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Nina Bahadur

When you tally who hold the positions of power, it becomes clear that women mostly don’t. According to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, women hold 18.1 percent of the 535 seats in Congress. Only 17.4 percent of mayors of cities with populations over 30,000 are female, and just three of the nine Supreme Court justices are female. More women than ever ran for Congress in 2012, but we’re nowhere near parity. So what’s causing the gap?

A new report attempts to answer that question. “Girls Just Wanna Not Run,” compiled by Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox and published by the School of Public Affairs at American University, details a significant gender gap in young Americans’ political aspirations and why it exists.

The authors surveyed 2100 18- to 25-year-olds and identified five key factors that contribute to this political ambition gap:

Read more at the Huffington Post

Pennsylvania’s first female governor? Rep. Schwartz may make history

Posted in In the News on March 11th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Michael LaRosa

Pennsylvania voters made history last year when they elected Kathleen Kane, the first woman and the first Democratic attorney general since the post became an elected position in 1980.

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) is now looking to make history twice over in 2014 as she eyes a run for governor, which would make her the first woman in the state’s history to hold the seat. While she hasn’t officially declared her candidacy, all signs are increasingly pointing to “go” for the sole female member of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation. Schwartz’s chief of staff Rachel Magnuson, told local media outlets earlier this month that the congresswoman representing a suburban Philly district is  ”seriously” considering running for the state’s highest office.

Politicos say Schwartz is one of just a handful of candidates who have the credibility to mount a serious challenge to incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. In February, the Democratic Governor’s Association released a poll showing her leading Corbett by 8% in a hypothetical match up.

Former Pennsylvania Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies, who represented parts of Schwartz’s district in the 1990′s, is eager to see a woman fill one of the Pennsylvania’s top jobs. “Kathleen Kane and Catherine Baker Knoll proved that women can run just as well as men in Pennsylvania,” Margolies said.  “I want more women at the table.”

Read More at msnbc.com

Quinnipiac Poll: Gender Gap Sinks Corbett Numbers

Posted in In the News on January 30th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

Written by Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

By a 30 point margin, Pennsylvania’s women voters say Tom Corbett does not deserve a second term in the Governor’s mansion. The massive gender gap is mirrored in his job approval numbers, too.

That’s according to the latest poll from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Overall 51% of respondents said he does not deserve to be re-elected compared to 31% who said he does. Men went against him by 10 points, 48% to 38%, while women oppose a second Corbett term by 30 points 54% to 24% (total gender gap: 20 points).

Other crosstabs don’t offer much comfort. Independents sided against the Gov. 51% to 31% and Democrats 68% to 17%. Not even a majority of Republicans said yes. They’d re-elect him 49% to 29%. He loses that question among every demographic and regional category.

Read more at politicspa.com