October 15, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Unfinished Business : A New Report from CAWP 
Last week, we released a new report on last year's midterm elections, Unfinished Business: Women Running in 2018 and Beyond . Published as a navigable microsite with scores of data visualizations, engaging media, as well as a scholarly analysis, the report is divided into four sections:
  • By the NumbersA review of new and already-reported statistics on women candidates in election 2018 and women's political representation.
  • Why & How Women RunAn examination of what motivated women to run last year, as well as various ways they upended traditional modes of campaigning and what that means for the future.
  • Barriers to ProgressOutlines both the durability and destruction of gendered and intersectional barriers to candidacy and campaign success, drawing upon the latest scholarship and its application to elections 2018 and 2020.
  • Looking AheadNotes on what to watch for and what we still don't know about the terrain that women candidates are navigating as we enter 2020 and beyond.
The site also includes a bank of more than 50 data visualizations that illuminate the analysis and are easily shareable. Whether you're an educator, activist, journalist, or political junkie, we think this report will be a valuable resource for both understanding what happened in 2018 and what to expect in 2020 and beyond.
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Debate Night TONIGHT
Tonight's Democratic presidential primary debate starts at 8pm ET on CNN and will feature 12 candidates, including four of the remaining five women seeking the nomination. The CAWP team will be live-tweeting the debate using the hashtag #GenderLens2020, and we'll be joined by our friends in the scholar, activist, and practitioner communities. Want a refresher on what to watch for tonight? Read Kelly Dittmar's piece, Debate Watching with a Gender Lens, on Medium.
Louisiana Election 
 LA Secretary of State candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup.
Over the weekend, Louisiana held the first stage of its jungle primary election, wherein if any candidate wins an absolute majority of the votes, they win the seat outright, and if no candidate meets that threshold, a runoff is held among the leading candidates. Nineteen (7D, 12R) women candidates met this threshold and will head straight to the legislature in 2020 while 11 (8D, 3R) will compete in a runoff contest on November 16th. Sixteen (12D, 4R) candidates are still awaiting their fate in races that remain too close to call. Louisiana only needs four more women winners to beat their 2019 state legislative number of 23 and only six more women winners to beat their all-time record of 25 set in 2006. Secretary of State hopeful Gwen Collins-Greenup (D) was the only woman statewide candidate to make it past the primary phase and will compete in a runoff contest. The runoff election in Louisiana will be held on November 16th. To see a full list of the women who ran for office in Louisiana this year, head to Women Candidates 2019.
California, Childcare, and Campaigning
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation that would allow political candidates in the state to use campaign funds for childcare (read more at Ms.) This issue, championed by 2018 congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley, is an important way to encourage more women to run for office by lessening the burden of childcare during grueling political campaigns. Shirley went on to found Vote Mama, a PAC dedicated to electing more mothers to office. You can read more about the state of the states with regards to the use of campaign funds for childcare in this Election Watch blog post by CAWP Associate Director Jean Sinzdak, and see a regularly updating state-by-state status breakdown here.
News from the Trail
Elizabeth Warren faced some skepticism about her claims that she lost a teaching job because of pregnancy discrimination, with a debate springing up about explicit versus implicit discriminatory acts, and Thomas Kaplan of The New York Times spoke to CAWP Director Debbie Walsh for a story about the use of "authenticity" standards to attack women candidates. Walsh noted the history of this line of criticism, but said that stories of her facing this form of insidious discrimination would "make her relatable for an awful lot of women out there who understand that this has been how the world works."

The presidential candidates participated in a forum to address LGBTQ issues last week, where Kamala Harris started her remarks by announcing that her pronouns are "she, her, and hers," and noting that, when other Democrats were talking about civil unions, she was performing marriage ceremonies as the San Francisco district attorney. The forum also set the stage for a zinger from Elizabeth Warren: when asked how she would respond to someone who said they thought marriage was between one man and one woman, she said, "I'm going to assume it's a guy who said that, and I'm gonna say "Then just marry one woman...assuming you can find one.'"

Women's PACs 
Women for a Stronger New Jersey (WSNJ) was recently established to grow the number of Republican women seeking and serving in elected office at the state and local level by building a network of women supporting women. Republican women are underrepresented at all levels of government in New Jersey. This is particularly evident in the state legislature, where there are currently only seven female state legislators - one senator and six assemblywomen - a 14 year low. Led by founding board members Kathy Hugin, Laura Overdeck, and CAWP's long-time friend Candy Straight, WSNJ is working to build a diverse network of moderate Republican and Independent women throughout the state who want to be active in politics and expand the talent pool of women considering public office. WSNJ will also be supporting women on the ballot in this year's legislative elections through independent expenditures in support of candidates in races where it believes targeted efforts can help. Stacy Schuster will serve as the organization's executive director. More information will be made available later this week including a website launch on Thursday at  www.wsnj.org.  
If you want to find other PACs for women candidates nationally or in your state, visit our Political and Leadership Resource Map.
Kira Sanbonmatsu at the Center for Effective Lawmaking
CAWP Scholar Kira Sanbonmatsu traveled to Vanderbilt University for a presentation sponsored by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a project of Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia. The presentation was based on the recent book by CAWP scholars Sanbonmatsu, Susan J. Carroll, and Kelly Dittmar, A Seat the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters. Sanbonmatsu, in discussing women legislators in the context of effectiveness, told event attendees, "across parties and houses, women's different leadership style was a topic that kept coming up. Women find ways to overcome challenges and on average tend to be more policy-driven."
New Jersey Girl Scouts Come to CAWP! 
On Saturday, October 5th, CAWP hosted an annual one-day women's leadership workshop for the Girl Scouts of New Jersey called "Women in Action! Becoming a Public Leader." High school-aged Girl Scouts from around the state received an introduction to the study of women and American politics and heard from a panel of diverse women elected officials on the trajectory of their political careers and the difference they make through public service. The panelists, Committeewoman Amalia Duarte, Councilwoman Stephanie Kim-Chohan, Councilwoman Ayesha Krishnan Hamilton, Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano, and Freeholder Rebecca Williams, then joined attendees for small group mentoring sessions. The day's activities also included an interactive workshop led by Ginger Gold-Schnitzer, Executive Director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter's University, where the participants learned about the connection between politics and activism and worked within groups to create action plans around issues they care about. CAWP hosts this annual program with the Girl Scouts of New Jersey as part of our Teach a Girl to Lead® (TAG) initiative. To learn more about TAG and explore its resources for young women's leadership, visit  tag.rutgers.edu .

More Unfinished Business 
To explain some of what's contained in Unfinished Business, Kelly Dittmar wrote a piece for The Washington Post about the change in women's representation after the 2018 elections in the context of how much more work needs to be done. In a Ms. piece (cross-posted on our Election Watch blog ) she writes about the ways that women disrupted the (White male) status quo in 2018...and the ways that barriers to parity remain persistent. These are just highlights from Unfinished Business; to explore the depth of our 2018 research and analysis read the complete report or spend some time with our data visualizations in our data repository .
Home is Where the Heat Is
The New York Times' podcast " The Daily " followed freshman Representative Elissa Slotkin to three town halls in her Michigan district, capturing audio of the events themselves as well as Slotkin's ruminations on the conversations she had with her constituents. These town halls occurred following Slotkin, a moderate Democrat who had worked as a CIA analyst, joining a cadre of seven other Democrats in an op-ed in The Washington Post that called for Trump's impeachment in the aftermath of the revelation of his interactions with Ukraine. This op-ed, coming from moderate representatives with military and defense backgrounds from swing districts, has been seen as a turning point in the impeachment conversation in the Democratic Party. These town hall appearances capture the intensity of the response to her calls for impeachment, and the precariousness of the position many of the new women in Congress face in their re-election prospects.
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
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