Elect Her event inspires University women to run for officeBy Jordan Johnson | 11/12/2017 8:49pm
On November 12th, The University of Alabama held a workshop called Elect Her in the hope of building confidence in young women to take initiative and run for offices, whether it be an office in SGA or Congress.
“Generally, it takes a woman getting asked to run for an office seven times before she even considers it," said Danielle Prendergast, principal consultant of Policy by Design. "The earlier we start asking, the more likely they are to run for office.”
Women make up over 50 percent of the population, but in 2017, just 19 percent of Congress and 24 percent of state legislators in the United States are women. Prendergast said this drastic difference in numbers is due to the lack of confidence that young women possess when it comes to the decision to run for offices.
The workshop had several speakers. Among them was Cynthia Almond, Tuscaloosa City Council president pro tem. She started running for student government offices in the 8th grade, but she was not deeply involved in SGA in undergraduate school or even law school. In fact, she did not decide to get into politics until she was in her 30s. Almond gave the attendants some advice and said,
“If I have one regret, it’s not taking advantage of events like this that the University offered," Almond said.
The workshop consisted of speakers from Tuscaloosa City Council and The University of Alabama’s SGA, talks about networking and making connections, and about writing an elevator pitch. All the attendants got to work together to complete their elevator pitches and received feedback from others to help improve it.
Women from all different majors and dreams were present, but they all wanted the same thing: to make a positive difference in the world around them.
“For me, the best part of this event was just being surrounded by other girls who feel the same way I do about the world," said Caitlyn Johnson, freshman political science major. "Everyone here has the same goal of going out in the world and making change, and being surrounded by that isn’t something you get to experience everyday. It’s so encouraging and motivating.”