January 9, 2018
A newsletter to keep you informed about all things women and politics from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University.
From Hattie Wyatt Caraway to Tina Smith:
Women in the US Senate
The arrival last week of Minnesota's new U.S. Senator, Tina Smith (D), brought the total number of women in the Senate to 22, a new record. There are now 17 Democrats and 5 Republicans among the
Senate women. The previous high for women in the U.S. Senate was 21, reached in January
2017.  This will also mark a new high for the number of women in the U.S. Congress overall; from 105 (reached in January 2017) to 106 (this number does not include delegates.) Still, women will remain just under 20% of all members of Congress (19.8%), a point not lost on The Washington Post .
The first woman ever to win election to the Senate was Hattie Wyatt Caraway (D-AR), who was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband in 1931 and then won an election to complete his term, along with two subsequent terms. Read our press release about the history of women in the Senate here .
Minnesota is now the fourth state to currently be represented by two female Senators, joining California, New Hampshire and Washington. Two other states were represented by all-women delegations in the past: Kansas and Maine, as noted in our press release about states represented by two women in the Senate.
The Question on Everyone's Mind
CAWP has been fielding an influx of media calls, many with the same question: Will 2018 be another "Year of the Woman" in politics? The answer: We won't know till all the filing deadlines have passed, but for now, we can say that with more than 500 likely women candidates for Governor, the US Senate and House we are on course to break all previous candidate records. Many news outlets including Newsweek , The Washington Post  and NPR are covering this story and relying on CAWP data. You can keep up-to-date with the numbers on our Election Watch  page.
Women in Congress Reflect on Sexual Harassment, Then and Now
Rep. Nita M. Lowey,  Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, former senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Anita Hill,  former congresswoman Pat Schroeder and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (photo credit: Stephen Voss For The Washington Post)
The combination of record numbers of women running for office and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements has generated many comparisons to 1992. That year, fallout from the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings combined with record numbers of open seats, led to a major increase in the number of women serving in Congress. The Washington Post Magazine  convened a meeting with Anita Hill and five current and former Democratic lawmakers: Nita M. Lowey (NY), Barbara A. Mikulski (MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Pat Schroeder (CO) and Louise M. Slaughter (NY) - all allies of Hill during her historic appearance at the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991, giving them a chance to reflect on that moment and their perspectives on what's happening now. 
Why Not You? Why Not Now?

Now is as good a time as any to make a difference in your community by running for office, getting involved in campaigns, or advocating for issues you care about. Among the things you'll learn at our Ready to Run® bipartisan program for women:
  • Practical "how-tos" for candidates
  • Real world advice and best practices from the experts
  • Strategies for positioning yourself for public leadership
  • The ins and outs of New Jersey politics
  • Tips and tools for legislative advocacy
  • Campaigning in a digital age.
Three pre-program Diversity Initiative sessions address the interests of women of color:
Find out more  here , and then sign up today!  

Not in New Jersey? Check out upcoming  Ready to Run®  partner programs in Utah, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Supporting women's political equality pays dividends in a stronger democracy and more representative government. 
Invest $50 in CAWP today! 

Things Could Be Different
Most years are not the year of woman, CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar told the Kansas City Star, but this year might be different. Tracy Sturdivant makes a case for "Whole Person Politics" in Essence
More Women Making History
The Los Angeles Times profiled Preet Didbal, who made history last month as the first known Sikh woman in the nation to preside as a city mayor. Newly elected Cincinnati City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard honored Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress, by bringing a red folding chair to her swearing in, channeling Chisholm's famous quote, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." The viral #bringafoldingchair moment was covered by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Women Running for President
The Washington Post says it sure looks like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is running for president. Oprah is "actively thinking" about running, and many who loved her Golden Globes speech are glad to hear that, according to CNN and the Observer. Meanwhile, this New York Times op-ed contributor says she shouldn't. And Mother Jones profiles Senator Kamala Harris, another woman often mentioned as a future presidential candidate.

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8557
(848) 932-9384 - Fax: (732) 932-6778