By Karen Middleton, Emerge America President
I am constantly reminded that despite our continued success to elect more women at all levels of office (and 76 Emerge women won last Tuesday), we must continue to pay attention and be mindful of the political chatter about who should be in leadership. This scenario plays out in Congress, state houses and all levels of government.
My response – which did not get published is here:
To the Editor:
In this morning’s The Fix post “Why Nancy Pelosi should step down as House Democratic Leader”, Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake assert that Nancy Pelosi, age 72, should step aside to make room for younger leaders in the Democratic Caucus. But they go on to say that 73-year-old Minority Whip Steny Hoyer should assume the role.
This is both illogical – if younger leaders are in order, all three top Caucus leaders could step aside since they are all over the age of 70 – and sexist. Why should only the woman step aside when another leader could do the same?
What Cillizza and Blake fail to understand is that Leader Pelosi did not simply become Speaker to ‘take her place in history,’ but she moved bills and agendas at a rate that is unmatched in recent years. She is a role model for women across this country who want to run for office. While women made strides this election cycle with 20 women to serve in the U.S. Senate and 16 additional women elected to the House, the United States still ranks seventieth when it comes to the number of women elected to federal office.
At Emerge America, we saw a large number of our alumnae elected to office this year and are proud of the progress we are making. But we have a long way to go, and continuing to see Nancy Pelosi in a leadership position inspires and encourages women each and every day to take the step of becoming leaders in their communities.
Please share similar stories you see and we will be sure to respond and share as we are able.