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

Governing Magazine: Kane a Pol to Watch

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

Written by Daniel Gleason, Contributing Writer

Governing Magazine has listed newly elected PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane as a State Official to Watch.

The magazine cites Kane’s historic and successful election, as well as her strong career as a prosecutor and the criticism of Tom Corbett’s handling of the Sandusky case, as reasons for recognition.

 Read more at politicspa.com

Pennsylvania not part of women’s historic day in U.S. Senate

Posted in In the News on January 4th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment
Brian X. McCrone, Breaking News Desk

A record number of women were sworn in to the U.S. Senate Thursday morning – 20 in all – but none were from Pennsylvania, which is consistent if nothing else when it comes to senators.

Of the 59 Pennsylvanians who have represented the state in Congress’ upper house, all have been white males. Its the largest state by population of the 19 that have yet to elect a woman or minority to the U.S. Senate.

“We’ve had some women penetrate the marble ceiling, but not many,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. “I call it the marble ceiling because have you been to Harrisburg or [Washington] D.C.?”

Pennsylvania’s long history of government does not include much of a female presence, she said.

“There definitely are some states that are quote-unquote women-friendly states and congressional districts,” Brown said. “Some states produce more women than others. And so it’s a big question for us in Pennsylvania to create a pipeline here.”

Read more at philly.com

From Congress to Halls of State, in New Hampshire, Women Rule

Posted in In the News on January 4th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment
By

Most states are red or blue. A few are purple. After the November election, New Hampshire turned pink.

Women won the state’s two Congressional seats. Women already held the state’s two Senate seats. When they are all sworn into office on Thursday, New Hampshire will become the first state in the nation’s history to send an all-female delegation to Washington.

And the matriarchy does not end there. New Hampshire’s new governor is a woman. So are the speaker of the State House and the chief justice of the State Supreme Court.

Read more at nytimes.com

Kathleen Kane says her win ‘expanded the boundaries for women in Pennsylvania’

Posted in In the News, Women in PA on November 12th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News

Standing before a raucous crowd at the Radisson Hotel in Scranton with family members gathered behind her, Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane wrapped up her victory speech on Tuesday night by pointing out ground she broke that night.

More important to her than being the first Democrat to be elected as the state’s attorney general, it was being its first female elected chief law enforcement officer that she took a moment to highlight.

“It is 2012,” Kane said. “I will tell you that we have expanded the boundaries for women in Pennsylvania. … We have made sure that there is no place that we can’t go and there is nothing that we can’t do. We have made sure that we can raise our families and we can have our careers.”

By becoming the first woman to be elected to that statewide office, Kane, a mother of two and former Lackawanna County deputy prosecutor, broke down the door of one of the few remaining offices that a woman has yet to hold in Pennsylvania. The governor’s office and U.S. Senate seats are the others.

Read More at pennlive.com

How a Record Number of Women Won Senate Seats

Posted in In the News on November 9th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Democratic outreach and issues proved pivotal

By

Just minutes after Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl announced his retirement after four terms in office, members of a group called Emily’s List say they had Tammy Baldwin on the phone. Baldwin, 50 and openly gay, had spent seven terms in the House but never ran for Senate.

“We think it’s your time,” Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, says she told Baldwin that day. And, Schriock says, “she agreed.”

From there Emily’s List, a political action committee that works to get Democratic female candidates elected, says it worked with Baldwin to help develop her strategy, staffing and budget decisions, as it does for many other female candidates.

And on Tuesday, Baldwin was successfully elected to the open Senate seat, beating Republican opponent Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and becoming the nation’s first openly gay senator.

She also joined 19 other women elected to the Senate Tuesday — more women than have ever been elected to the upper house before. There are currently 17.

Read More at US News and World Report