Newsletter Update
50-50 in 2020 
Winter 2017 

GENDER EQUITY TAKES A HIT IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE 
 
The November election managed to set back efforts to increase the number of women serving in Iowa's Legislature, resulting in a net loss of one seat for the 2017-18 session. That puts the size of the female delegation at just 22 percent of the General Assembly.
However, 50-50 in 2020 leaders refused to be disheartened.
 
"With three times as many female Democrats as Republicans running for office in Iowa, the surge of Republican victories throughout the state was bound to hurt women's chances to gain a presence," said 50-50 co-founder Maggie Tinsman. "But we've long said that more Republican women need to step up to the challenge of running for office, so this election illustrates that point for us."  See the complete press release distributed by 50-50 in 2020 following the election on our web site.

50-50 IN 2020 RECEIVES GRANT FOR "STEP UP!" PROGRAM

50-50 in 2020 ended 2016 with exciting news of receiving a $23,500 grant from the Cowles Foundation to support our latest initiative, a STEP UP! recruitment program.
 
The Foundation's generous donation enables 50-50 in 2020 to plan and execute a series of day-long programs around the state, aimed at encouraging women currently holding local appointed and elected offices to consider running for legislative office.
 
"STEP UP! Will give women an opportunity to focus on what their long-term goals in public service are, the possibilities that await them, what they should be looking for, and what we can do to help them achieve those goals while strengthening women's presence at the state level,"  said 50-50 in 2020 Executive Director Mary Ellen Miller.

GESING AND GREENE ARE 50-50 IN 2020'S NEWEST BOARD MEMBERS

50-50 in 2020 is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Gesing and Courtney Greene to our board of directors. Gesing and Greene bring with them extensive backgrounds that add much to the various areas of expertise represented on our board.
 
Gesing is a store manager and optician at Target Optical in the Des Moines and is past president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women. Greene began her career as a television news reporter in the Des Moines area and is now  Operations Division Administrator at Iowa Workforce Development.

POST-ELECTION "BE A LEADER" LUNCHEON

After every general election, newly-elected women are invited to a luncheon to meet and mingle with our board, introduce themselves and then talk with each other and about bi-partisan compromise and working together in their new roles as legislators. 

This year's luncheon was held in Cedar Falls on December 20 and attended by newly elected legislators Jane Bloomingdale, Ashley Hinson and Amy Nielson. 50-50 in 2020 board members Maggie Tinsman, Jean Lloyd-Jones, and Doris Kelley shared their knowledge and wisdom because they are all former Iowa legislators. Senator Rita Hart also shared her tips for working across the aisle and how to navigate working with others in the legislature. Board member Melissa Gesing was also in attendance.

IOWA PRESS TALKS TO 50-50 IN 2020 ABOUT WOMEN IN POLITICS

We had a great opportunity to get our message out to the entire state, thanks to a showing of "Iowa Press," which ran December 16 and 18 on Iowa Public Television.
 
Executive Director Mary Ellen Miller and board members Melissa Gesing and Mary Rae Bragg were interviewed by a pair of Iowa political reporters and host Dean Borg about the status of women in Iowa politics, something our board members know plenty about and were happy to share in a lively exchange of questions and answers.  Check out IPTV.org/Iowapress for a rerun!

READY TO RUN?
 
Iowa State University's Carrie Chapman Catt Center is taking registrations for its 2017 "Ready to Run" series to be held on Feb. 17, March 31 and April 28 in Ames.

Ready to Run®  Iowa is a non-partisan campaign training program to encourage women to run for elective office, position themselves for appointive office, work on a campaign or become involved in public life as leaders in their respective communities. Since 2007, the Catt Center has offered the Ready to Run®  Iowa program every other year as part of a national network founded by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

For more information, contact the Catt Center at 515-294-3181 or visit the website to review the schedule and register.


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SAVE THE DATE FOR "SEE YOURSELF HERE" MARCH 28-29, 2017

50-50 in 2020's annual "See Yourself Here" visit to the Iowa Capitol takes place March 28-29.  It's a great opportunity for Iowa women to get a feel for just what goes on at the Iowa Legislature and meet with movers and shakers of both parties, legislative staff, media representatives and women currently holding seats in the House and Senate. 
 
It's a one-of-a-kind experience that always gets rave reviews from participants and is open to any woman who may be wondering what it might feel like to be an Iowa lawmaker. To reserve your spot or for more questions, please contact 50-50 in 2020 Executive Director Mary Ellen Miller at 515-783-6390 or memiller@50-50in2020.org