Want to meet other fabulous people who are interested in promoting women in leadership? Sign up now for our online winter social on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 6 PM!
Join special guest State Representative Meg Froelich, who is also one of the filmmakers who created the “Strong Sisters” documentary about Colorado women running for office. We invite you to watch the film in advance for free here. We will be discussing it and talking about what has changed since it came out.
We will also do breakout rooms for networking. Meet women elected officials and candidates. Have fun discussing politics. Get connected with people working on campaigns and hear what it is like.
Also, while we don’t have a definite date for our next campaign training, we know that it will cost money to put it on. Your generous donation would be greatly appreciated.
Don’t forget to sign up using EventBrite to get the Zoom link!
As an avid reader of the Denver Post and the Perspective section, I am regularly disappointed with the lack of women’s voices – and those of people of color – on your pages. Recently, I was shocked to count six guest columns that were not only all from men, but appeared to be all from white men.
Why does Jon Caldara get to take up so much space? Or Doug Friednash? Or Ian Silverii?
There’s nothing wrong with hearing from these – or any other – white males. I’m sure they’re fine people, and they can write. For the record, white males are some of my closest friends.
The problem is that the opinion pages should more accurately reflect the population of Colorado. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that almost half of Coloradans are female. Of all Coloradans, about 68 percent are white, 22 percent are Hispanic or Latino, just under 5 percent are black or African-American, 3.5 percent are Asian, and about 1.5 percent are Native American.
Knowing these figures, it is interesting to know some other facts. A Byline Survey by The OpEd Project in 2012 found that women were penning just 20 percent of opinions in traditional U.S. publications. That’s not anywhere close to 50-50.
Also concerning to people like me who are working to get more women elected is research from Who Leads Us showing that even though white men make up 30 percent of the population, they hold 64 percent of elected offices. While people of color (both men and women) make up 39 percent of the U.S. population, they hold only 10 percent of elected positions. For women of color specifically, the numbers are the worst – 20 percent of people and only 4 percent of seats.
Not only are women absent in seats of power, sometimes they are invisible in men’s commentary about politics. More than once I have read pieces that did not even mention that there were women candidates running in a given race. Women candidates have enough challenges without being casually erased from the opinion page.
These discrepancies have consequences – both in the world of ideas and in the world of policy. We are missing different life experiences, other ways of thinking about things, and valuable viewpoints. As a society, we make better policy decisions when there are diverse voices at the table. Many studies of government and business have shown this to be true.
The good news is women have opinions!
I was so concerned about the lack of women opinion writers that I decided to try to help. I spent some time rounding up a list of women with opinions. The women on this list are diverse in their race, their political party, their age, and their geography.
These women are ready to write columns for you:
Suzi Q. Smith
This is a brief list. I’m sure that there are many more women who would be willing to lend their voices to the conversations happening in your paper.
Expanding the number of diverse women thought leaders is especially urgent as we approach not only the next legislative session, but also a very consequential presidential election and U.S. Senate election. I urge you to add more women writers to your rotation of columnists.
Colorado 50-50 was thrilled that 50 women attended the #RunAsYouAre2019 training in Denver on May 18, 2019. We partnered again with Vote Run Lead – and this year we were one of 20 locations offering the training on the same day.
It was a powerful full-day campaign training. The women learned that they are qualified to run for office and explored how their life experiences will make them effective elected officials. They learned how to kickstart their campaigns with concrete actions that will make them successful on the campaign trail. They also had time to connect and network with other Colorado women who were on the same path.
“I appreciated that the event brought together women from both sides of the political world with a common goal to inspire and empower more women to run,” said participant Tara Eveland. “It isn’t often in today’s political climate that we come together to support and uplift one another.”
Another participant, Princess Mack, said she welcomed “the space to run for a political position being authentically yourself.”
We want to express our appreciation to those who generously donated to make #RunAsYouAre2019 possible. The donors who supported the training, including scholarships and stipends, are the Soeurs de Coeur Fund and the Geri Brown Memorial Fund, both of which are donor-advised funds held at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.
Colorado 50-50 is partnering again with Vote Run Lead to bring the Run As You Are training to Colorado. The full-day campaign training for women will be held on Saturday, May 18, at the WeWork location in downtown Denver.
This year’s training is especially exciting because it is part of Vote Run Lead’s National Day of Training being held in 18 cities around the country. As the United States’s largest and most diverse national women’s training organization, Vote Run Lead is uniquely positioned to train women to run as they are.
Joining the Denver team are State Senator Faith Winter, State Representative Dominique Jackson and Community Organizer Erin Hottenstein.
Are you wondering if you should attend? Yes – if you have ever been curious about running for office. Yes – if you know you are going to run in 2019, 2020, or the next five years. Yes – if you are volunteering for a woman candidate and you want to know more about campaigns. Yes – if you would like to learn campaign nuts and bolts and then find a woman candidate to help.
#RunAsYouAre2019 will not only be inspiring and uplifting, but chock-full of practical information and steps you can take to run a successful campaign. You will also spend the day with a room full of incredible and dynamic women.
Total Running Time: 56:53 – Spanish/English with English subtitles
Film synopsis: Politicians aren’t often full-time hotel housekeepers, grandmothers, union members and immigrants working service jobs. But Carmen Castillo changes that when she wins a seat on the City Council in Providence, Rhode Island. Carmen Castillo is a Dominican City Councilwoman who maintains her job cleaning hotel rooms, as she takes on her new role in politics. She faces skeptics who say she doesn’t have the education to govern, the power of corporate interests who take a stand against her fight for a $15/hourly wage in the City, and a tough re-election against two contenders—all of this while balancing the challenges of managing a full-time job cleaning hotel rooms, and a personal relationship. It’s a journey behind the scenes of politics after the victory.
Tiempo total del documental: 56:53 – en español / inglés con subtítulos en inglés
Sinopsis de la película: los políticos no suelen ser camareras de hotel, abuelas, miembros del sindicato e inmigrantes que trabajan a tiempo completo en el sector del trabajo. Pero Carmen Castillo cambia eso cuando gana un asiento en el Concejo Municipal en Providence, Rhode Island. Carmen Castillo es una concejala Dominicana que mantiene su trabajo de limpieza de habitaciones de hotel, mientras asume su nuevo papel en la política. Se enfrenta a escépticos que dicen que no tiene la educación para gobernar, el poder de los intereses corporativos que se oponen a su lucha por un salario de $15 por hora en la ciudad y una reelección difícil contra dos contendientes: todo esto a la vez que se equilibran los desafíos de administrar un trabajo a tiempo completo limpiando habitaciones de hotel y una relación personal. Es un viaje tras bambalinas de la política después de la victoria.
Please join us for a casual networking event with women elected officials and candidates. Our special guests include former Speaker of the Colorado House and current Congressional candidate Crisanta Duran, State Representative Yadira Caraveo, current U.S. Senate candidate Lorena Garcia, current U.S. Senate candidate Danielle Kombo, and State Senator Julie Gonzales.
The event is free! You buy your own brew. Donations supporting the work of Colorado 50-50 will be gladly accepted. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, March 28, 6-8 PM, at Lady Justice Brewing, 3845 Lipan St., in Denver.
To RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/371918456873033/
For the first time, there will be gender parity at the Colorado State House. What’s more, if a woman wins in one more close race, women will be the majority in that chamber.
Colorado 50-50, a group encouraging women to run for office in Colorado, has been tracking the number of women candidates running in 2018. In state house races, there were 142 candidates, including 62 women candidates, meaning 43.7% of candidates were female.
Currently, it appears that 33 women have won house seats. The race in House District 27 is very close, but since it is a woman vs. woman race, a woman will take the seat. The race in House District 47 is also close and is male vs. female. Ballots are still being counted and elections are yet to be certified, so things could change, but the results are promising.
“For the first time in Colorado’s history, women may be in the majority in the state house,” says Erin Hottenstein, founder of Colorado 50-50. “We got close to gender parity in 2015 and 2016, when there were 30 women serving, but now it looks like Colorado has finally achieved it.”
“We are thrilled that the hard work of these women candidates is paying off,” Hottenstein says. “Voters of all walks of life have responded positively to seeing candidates that mirror their community.”
The state senate is a slightly different story. Even with quite a few new women candidates winning their races, it appears that 12 women will serve in that chamber. The record, according to tallies kept by the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, was 17 women in 2011 and 2012.
Women from all over Colorado – from Colorado Springs to LaPorte and Aurora to Boulder – came together on March 3, 2018, for a full day of workshops designed to get more women running for office. The Run As You Are training was put on by Colorado 50-50 and VoteRunLead. The morning kicked off with lead trainer Faith Winter, who started her political career on the Westminster City Council and then became a state legislator. She was joined by Dominique Jackson and Dafna Michaelson Jenet, also state representatives. The lunch panel brought even more insights and anecdotes from women politicians, including State Representative Joann Ginal, Larimer County Treasurer Irene Josey, and Greeley City Councillor Rochelle Galindo. From practicing stump speeches to starting a 90-day challenge, participants walked away with practical information, new connections and a newfound energy. To see a photo album from the day, visit us on Facebook.
Colorado 50-50 and VoteRunLead greatly appreciate the time and expertise shared by the trainers and panelists. We would also like to thank our sponsors and donors whose contributions made the training possible: Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Judi Wagner, Pemberly Woods, King Soopers, and Kathy Yates. And, here’s a big shout-out to our volunteers!
The last thing participants did was sign a pledge that included these words: “We are the leaders we have been waiting for.”
Our group began following the #metoo revelations at the Colorado Capitol in mid-November. Since then, we have delved into the Workplace Harassment Policy under Joint Rule 38 and discovered it has a multitude of problems. It is a process that is very exposing for victims and is difficult to navigate. We are seeing problems at every step of the way from the initial reporting to the investigating to the decision-making. The process can be politicized and should be in the hands of an independent body. Lastly, the policy lacks transparency. This is a significant problem when the person accused of harassment is a state legislator. Voters cannot hold elected officials accountable without information, such as how many harassment complaints have been filed against a lawmaker.
In light of the reporting in this area, Colorado 50-50 is calling on the resignation of State Representative Steve Lebsock. Media reports say Lebsock faces allegations that he harassed, intimidated and made unwanted sexual advances toward eleven different women. Two of them – a lawmaker and a lobbyist – have filed formal workplace harassment complaints with the Legislature. Rep. Lebsock has breached the public’s trust. We have lost confidence in his ability to conduct the people’s business and we call on him to resign. Should Lebsock fail to resign, we call on the Colorado House of Representatives to remove him from office.
Eight city or town councils in Northern Colorado have only one woman on council. That corresponds to 14% female representation. Not 50-50, but 86-14. Colorado 50-50 analyzed the membership of 15 city and town councils across our region. Even with women making up half our population, these councils have only one woman each.
Overall, we found 98 elected council members, but only 23 of them were women. Crunch the numbers and you find that means women make up 23% of all elected council officials in our area. It’s a good thing Eaton, Evans and Milliken are leading the way with three female members each, or these numbers would look much worse. Johnstown had an all-male council until very recently.
At Colorado 50-50, we believe this must change. We are advocating for gender parity in politics. Research has shown the many benefits of women becoming elected officials. They collaborate. They reach across the aisle. They solve problems.
We believe the best place to start changing is right here – by talking to our women friends and encouraging them to get on a path to leadership. Supporting them to apply to boards and commissions. Urging them to run for office.
That’s why we’re happy to announce our second #WinningWithWomen, happening Wednesday, November 15, at All Saints Church in Loveland.
We are going to demystify the process of running for office through a panel discussion of elected women officials along with a networking session. In the panel discussion, we will hear how women decided to run and what their experiences were both on the campaign trail and in office. After the panel discussion, we will move into a speed networking session. Bring a stack of business cards!
Tickets are available for $15. Childcare is available for a fee with an advance RSVP. Seating is limited, so get tickets today!