Run, Jane, Run!

Smart, Ambitious Women Discuss Why Smart, Ambitious Women Aren't Running for Local Office


There is a smart, ambitious -- if you mean tireless activist determined to shine a light on the struggles of working people, students, the elderly, etc. -- woman running for local office right here in Seattle - Kshama Sawant. It's a little odd that you would fail to mention her.
Lots of generalization follow:

Another factor: politicians seem very often to be power-hungry egomaniacs. I think there are a lot more power-hungry egomaniacs out in the world who happen to be men than women. I completely agree that we would all be better off with more women in power, but perhaps women aren't drawn to politics because politics is fundamentally distasteful to well-adjusted human beings.

I believe that if women craved power in the same way men do, that all the other barriers you mention (money, kids, recruitment, etc) wouldn't amount to much of an obstacle.

Summing up, I do hope that we can encourage and recruit more women to run; women are simply better at the job.
@1: It is not odd at all, the article is about social forces and how they intimidate women into not running for office.

Why should Sawant be mentioned? If she was, why not all women politicians currently running for any office?

Don't worry, the Slog will be filled with glowing endorsements of all things Sawant says and does soon enough.
@2: I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't call you out. This is sexist bullshit. As a society we would be better off if we had an equal distribution of men and women as elected officials. You obviously hate men, so as with any other bigot, I ask you to go fuck off.
Generally speaking, females aren't good at public office because they're too hormonal, and that makes them act stupid. You've got post-menopausal women in politics, but they aren't prone to acting stupid:…

Too many women just act dumb as rocks too often . . .
Jess Spear, Sawant was mentioned early on in the article: "a Frisbee coach/librarian, a failed Seattle school board candidate, and a starry-eyed socialist—received ratings of merely "adequate" or "not qualified" from the Municipal League of King County. In other words, the three women running for mayor are joke candidates." Huge eye roll to the writer of this article, not you, Jess. So, what makes someone "not qualified" or "adequate," exactly? Just because George Bush made it to office, does not mean he was qualified. or does it? This article simply reinforces the support for money hungry politicians to continue to run this city. Fighting for a living wage makes you "starry eyed" and unqualified in the eyes of this writer. Such a disappointing article.
@4, I am a man, and frankly, I do like women more than I like men. If that makes me sexist, so be it.
@6 - to be fair, that is presumably a dig at Mary Martin, who is running for Mayor. Sawant is running for city council, position 2. But, I'm sure, the critique would be the same from the author.
@6 - You might want to ask the Municipal League what goes into their ratings of candidates. The authors of this article may have been able to find that information, but to include it in the article or not is an editorial decision they made for whatever reason (quite likely because the article is about women in politics, not the system the Municipal League uses to evaluate candidates, and that would have been a lengthy digression from the point). Such a disappointing comment.
gee, Kate Martin - a woman - running for mayor is smart, has been an activist for years, has a lot of great ideas.

are the women writers at the Stranger covering her story, promoting her candidacy? nope. its more fun doing half-assed summaries of candidates with misrepresentations of positions and cute graphics.

is the female, but sadly, awful "journalist" at Publicola giving the woman candidates a fair shake? duh, of course not (but what did you expect from that piece-of-shit outlet).

why don't woman run for office? don't look any further than yourselves and the shit job you do...
"In other words, the three women running for mayor are joke candidates."

More than a little harsh especially for Kate Martin. I wish Kate were running for City Council but she has energy and good, solid ideas. I don't see the male candidates offering as many solid ones as she has.

You are right about running for School Board being a dead end. BUT it has become much more high-stakes as education takes a central focus for many campaigns. Out in LA, they had millions (yes, millions) of dollars poured into their school board races (most of it from out of state like Michael Bloomberg).

Might be worth keeping an eye on who runs for school board, how much they spend and where they get their dollars. School board races used to be modest $15k-50K affairs and the cost is going up. That may be an issue for future candidates.

As a working Mom, 34 years old, and first time candidate (For City Council in Burien) I found this article extremely interesting. I know I chose to run because I have had great mentors in my life who taught me to always stand up for what you believe in. I was not and am not waiting for anyone to ask me to do the right thing, or to tap me on the shoulder and say “congratulations, now it’s your turn”. As women we should be tired of waiting, I know I am. I've raised over $5,000 towards my goal of $15,000, and have loved every moment of my journey so far and encourage any woman out there thinking of taking the plunge to come on in, the water’s fine!
@6 - She said 3 mayoral candidates, and Sawant is running for Seattle City Council. But I agree with your main points.
Why should we listen to Noel Frame? She has lead an organization "dedicated to electing progressive candidates especially women and minorities" for three years (Progressive Majority) and in those three years our state has lost ground in both electing women and minorities.

Seems like Progressive Majority could use a new leader. Someone who can get the job done.
I wholeheartedly agree with those who feel that we need more women in local, state, and national office. We certainly need to overhaul our totally useless Congress for starters, and return Washington State back to having a Democratic Senate majority to restore a balance in legislative decision-making that puts the voters once again ahead of corporate sponsored special interest groups. Nobody has a future so long as "corporations are people, too".

Rodney Tom and Doug Ericsen need to go!
Any ladies in Medina and Ferndale who want to send them packing?
Just going to point this out. The only women that were proposed as even possibly running for office were white. In this article, there's only one woman of color quoted. In Seattle politics, we have a female candidate who, from starting out as a write-in campaign with extremely little resources, managed to get the highest showing against the Speaker of the House in Washington State of his entire career. There seem to be really only two things that differentiate her from the people mentioned. She's not a Democrat and she's not white.
what, women are too nice to fight in a mayoral race, and it's society's fault?

just jump in and run is the only way to fix this. blaming socialization isn't going to change anything.
@18) Pointing your criticism at The Stranger is misguided, nay, completely backwards. We were the ones who started that write-in campaign for the woman of color running as a socialist against the House Speaker. You might recall, she originally wasn't even running against the House Speaker until we started that effort.
Very interesting and insightful article. Love it.
Time to stick it to "the man" and march on down to the quad for a good ol' fashioned tampon burning.
Is The Stranger scared poopless by women candidates to the extent that they feel they must lump us a do a group degradation? Failed school board candidate. Hmmm. I notice that not every candidate described in the media gets referred to by profession. I'm seldom described as a planner or designer - more often activist, or in this case failed school board candidate. Others are a legislator, a lawyer, a real estate tycoon, and an architect, but I'm just a failed school board candidate. Seems like more of the subtle subtext of sexism. I got 70,000 votes on about $5,000 worth of donations in 2011 when I ran for school board. That's quite a feat in my book since I'm interested in elections, not auctions. It is possible that you folks at The Stranger aren't?
@23 - Are you really such a weak candidate that you can't actually read what people are actually saying about you and your candidacy but must make up imaginary insults? It's time we had an illiterate and belligerent mayor for once, so I'm voting for Kate Martin.
@20 My criticism is not completely directed at the Stranger, but at this article in particular. How can this article come out, but leave out a fast-growing female player in Seattle politics. That's just sloppy journalism.
Perhaps to Madrid's article, a most tenuous piece.

In 1883, Seattle granted the right to vote to its adult female population.

The women immediately formed a campaign platform to vote down the existence of saloons and brothels, the economic mainstay of Seattle at that time.

They were successful as a voting bloc, and Seattle was almost economically wiped out of existence.

The "city fathers" got together and petitioned the Northwest Territory governor to overturn the voting rights of Seattle women, so the economy of Seattle could be reconstituted and Seattle might survive.

And so it came to pass, and Seattle women had to wait, with the rest of the nation's women, until 1920 for the right to vote, whereupon they were demographically successful in passing Prohibition, which dramatically increased the power of a select group who financed that legislation, while simultaneously affecting a monopoly of the nation's distilleries and hooch producers (both by strong arm methods and buying them up), and subtracting major taxes from the sales of alcoholic beverages form the country's tax base (with bootlegging and smuggling profits laundered through the stock exchange at that time).

Good point made @1 on Sawant's exclusion --- the brightest star in both local politics and women in politics, although finally Cantwell may appear to be doing something with her support of Elizabeth Warren's reintroduction of the Glass-Steagall legislation into the Senate!
Even the Seattle Times has spoken positively about the fresh ideas that candidates Joey Gray and Kate Martin have. I would not expect the Times to go any farther than that, and they haven't, but for The Stranger to dismiss them as joke candidates is insulting and inaccurate. And yes, Sawant is a perfectly legitimate candidate against that old dinosaur Conlin.
Hey!I voted for Gloria La Riva for President in 2008,and I endorse Mary Martin for Seattle mayor this August Primary Election,plus Kshama Sawant for Seattle City Council's Second Position seat as well!Socialism forever!!! --- , ,
"Women Have a Money Problem"

"Many women are daunted by the need to raise money, and how much money you need to raise," explains Linda Mitchell..."

No, women don't have a "money" problem; they have a SPENDING problem. There are hundreds or thousands of wealthy women in Washington state.

If they have yet to organize in an effective way is not the fault of the electorate. Perhaps successful and well-connected women should cooperate, pool their resource$, and start challenging some of the male dolts who seem to think public office is their gender-biased birth right.
There are smart, ambitious, democratic women of color running for office, look at Naomi Wilson and Shari Song both running for King County Council.