May 28, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Be Our 10,000th Twitter Follower! 
CAWP's Twitter account currently has 9,902 followers. Help us hit the 10k mark by following us today and telling your colleagues, friends, and family to follow @CAWP_RU and get up-to-the-minute news and research about women and politics.
Iowa State University's Catt Center Launches 2020 Election Blog 
On June 3rd, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University will launch a new blog devoted to the 2020 presidential primary,
Navigating Gender in Iowa. As the great galaxy of 2020 presidential hopefuls is repeatedly pulled into the gravitational field of Iowa for its first-in-the-nation caucus,
Navigating Gender in Iowa will offer insight into the women and men running for POTUS and how gender impacts their policy plans and messaging. CAWP and the Catt Center are looking forward to a robust dialogue about the primary in Iowa, so be on the look-out for guest appearances and  cross-posts from Navigating Gender in Iowa on the CAWP blog. Get ready for their upcoming launch by checking out their website and their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Speaking of our blog, last week CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar took a look at our data on state legislatures and found that there are fewer Republican women in Republican-controlled legislatures than there are in Democratic-controlled legislatures, meaning they hold less power in the places with the greatest potential for them to impact policy. It's another twist in the ongoing problem the GOP has in nurturing and promoting women in their ranks, and it's an especially critical gap, considering that state legislatures are a conduit to higher office. This year there are state legislative elections in two red states (Louisiana and Mississippi) and a blue and a purple state (New Jersey and Virginia); it'll be interesting to watch their results with this data in mind. Read Dittmar's full analysis here.

Elsewhere in Republican women news, in the special election to fill the 9th congressional district seat in North Carolina, Leigh Brown came out of the GOP primary in fourth place and is now lamenting the lack of support from the GOP for her candidacy. Members of the GOP have been sounding the alarm about the drop in Republican women's representation, but Brown told Politico that she felt "ghosted" by the party in her campaign, with little support and guidance available beyond PAC money. GOP women lost ground at congressional and state legislative levels last year, and, despite some hopeful sentiments from party insiders, the GOP still has work to do to create the infrastructure and build a bench of candidates to be successful in its expansion efforts.

Looking to 2020, The New York Times has a new infographic that examines the relevant experience of the candidates running for president, comparing that to historical record. A state governorship is the most common office leading into the presidency, so that should be heartening for the three governors running in 2020. An analysis by The Wall Street Journal finds that women are serving in a majority of the top campaign staff roles among the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential primary, and about a quarter of these positions are filled with women of color.
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Go Behind the Scenes of NEW Leadership® New Jersey on Instagram 
The 2019 Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership ® New Jersey summer institute kicks off next Thursday, June 6th, with young women from across New Jersey congregating on the Rutgers University -New Brunswick campus to learn how to turn their interest in politics into deeper engagement. This year, to get you an intimate look at the institute and its programmatic and social activities, we're turning over our Instagram account to one of our CAWP interns, Amarachi Chukwuma, where she'll follow the 2019 cohort of NEW Leadership ® participants as they hear from political professionals, develop their action projects, and form the sorts of network connections that can benefit them in their future careers. Amarachi is a rising senior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick majoring in journalism and media studies and an Institute for Women's Leadership scholar. Get inside the NEW Leadership ® experience by following CAWP on Instagram.

Alabama joined a handful of other states in passing restrictive abortion legislation, and many news organizations took note of the fact that it was an all-male majority that passed the bill through the Alabama Senate (the state has zero GOP women state senators). Though the bill was introduced in the Alabama House by a woman and signed into law by a woman governor, the images of the all-male senate supporters of the bill became emblematic of the story generally, and a number of outlets called on CAWP for expertise. CAWP Director Debbie Walsh spoke to USA Today about the bill being well beyond public polling on the issue. She also spoke to All Things Considered and reminded NPR listeners that women are not monolithic on this issue, but also pointed out that this could also be a motivating factor for more women to demand political access. In a story for ABC News that looked at women's representation in the states passing abortion legislation, our associate director, Jean Sinzdak, also spoke about women being in the room on this topic: "Abortion is an issue in which women on both sides of the aisle are particularly passionate, and they feel that they, as women, are best suited to speak to it because of its direct effect on women." For The Washington Post, Kelly Dittmar noted that when South Carolina was debating its own bill, having a GOP woman who is pro-life and a supporter of the bill in the room for the discussion re-shaped their legislation. "The fact that there were zero Republican women in the Alabama Senate, I think that's problematic," Dittmar said, "even if those women would have voted with their male counterparts, it's still important to have women's voices in those debates."

Women Leading in Town Halls
The Telegram of Massachusetts reports that the town of Sterling made history by electing its second woman to their Board of Selectman, meaning two women will serve concurrently on its three-member BoS for the first time in history. On, Christine McGrath, a 2018 Ready to Run ® New Jersey alumna, was elected to the Verona Town Council, the first woman on the council in eight years. Local NBC in North Dakota has a story about the Minot City Council being presided over by a woman for the first time in history, as Council Vice President Lisa Olson led the meeting in the absence of Minot's mayor and council president. The Nation interviews newly-elected Chicago City Council Member Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, who is one of five Democratic Socialists of America-affiliated candidates that ascended to the city council in an election that elevated Lori Lightfoot to the mayoralty and upended expectations of who could take power in a famously machine politics-ruled town. Meanwhile, KWTX reports that Marlin, Texas has sworn in Carolyn Lofton to their mayor's office, making her the first Black person, and first Black woman, to hold the position. 
  In Other News
A local official in Montreal who knits through committee meetings to help her concentrate took on a new assignment: knitting in red when men spoke and in green when women spoke. The results were...not unexpected...but the visual representation remains striking. See for yourself at CNN.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of murdered teenager Trayvon Martin, announced her candidacy for a county commissioner's seat in Florida's Miami-Dade County, according to NBC News. Fulton follows other women who became politically active following the loss of a child to gun violence; Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, recently ran for a seat on the Ferguson City Council with a platform devoted to community policing, economic equality, and mental health awareness, and Lucy McBath, whose son Jordan Davis was murdered after an argument about loud music, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2018.

On Politico, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced last week that the redesign of the 20 dollar bill set to feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman has been put on hold and likely would not appear before 2028, citing currency security reasons. After an earlier evasion from the Trump administration about the Tubman twenties in 2017, artist Dano Wall began creating stamps with Tubman's likeness and stamping currency himself. The Washington Post reports a surge of interest in the stamps following the latest delay; he's now sold more than 600 stamps, with a goal of getting 5,000 into people's hands and creating a collective to work together towards refashioning as many bills as they can (which is, apparently, legal and does not void the note).
Blockbuster television series Game of Thrones aired its final episode last week and everybody loved it! (Not really!) One queen was icy and the other ended up too emotional, so all the show needed was a shrill character to complete the women in politics media narrative hat trick. They really should have worked on being "likable." The Washington Post compared dragon-riding Daenerys Targaryen to the double-bind women in US politics face between taking on an overly-masculinized or overly-feminized approach to leadership. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all expressed dismay at an abrupt and ruinous turn to a politically powerful woman character. The BBC did a speaking-time analysis, sadly not in knit form, and found that, much like real-world politics, the women of Game of Thrones speak significantly less than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, The Washington Post made a sly reference to mostly-absent and chronically inept character Edmure Tully, an uncle to some of the show's major characters, standing up out of nowhere and putting himself forward as candidate for King in a story about the ever-expanding roster of little-known Democratic presidential candidates. Lastly, the Star-Ledger spoke to our own Jean Sinzdak for some pre-finale predictions, and Sinzdak told them, "Jon Snow may have been 'born to be in it,' but there's the question of perennially underestimated Sansa Stark and whether she should sit on the Iron Throne." Well. She was close. 
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