Real Women Run is planning three nonpartisan events in coming months to encourage and train Utah women to run for public office.
Events offer congenial opportunities to meet and mingle with women who have run for office or worked on campaigns while learning the essentials for a successful bid for office. Now in its fourth year, Real Women Run is a collaborative nonpartisan effort to empower Utah women to participate fully in public life and leadership through elected office at all levels, appointments to public boards and commissions, working on campaigns, or simply learning more about the political process.
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Real Women Run is hosting this year’s Fall Networking Social at Log Haven Restaurant. This will be an opportunity for interested women to meet one another, hear from experienced political leaders as well as political candidates, and learn more about opportunities to participate in Utah’s political life. Former Utah State Representative Lorie Fowlke will moderate a panel featuring Weber County Commissioner Jan Zogmaister, Ogden City Council Member Marcia White, Juab School District Board Member Mary Nielsen, and incoming Salt Lake County Council Member Jenny Wilson. RSVP to Mckelle Hamson, [email protected] or 801.537.8612 or visit www.realwomenrun.org.
On Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Real Women Run will offer its annual statewide Winter Training at the Miller Campus of Salt Lake Community College. Dr. Susan Madsen, the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Utah Valley University, will keynote the event. Panels, break-out sessions, and ask-an-expert opportunities will offer a variety of topics for an audience expected to number in the hundreds. A follow-up Spring Training for women who have declared their candidacies for elected office will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.
In Utah’s 2014 elections, women were on the ballot in federal, state, county, and local races. The preliminary results:
US Congress: In 2014, no Utah women represented Utah in Congress. Three women ran in three of the four races for the U.S. House of Representatives. One won her bid for office, and will become the newest member of the Utah Congressional delegation in 2015.
Utah State Legislature: In the 2014 Legislature, 17 women held 16.3% of legislative seats, ranking Utah 45th in the nation. Women held 5 of 29 Senate seats and 12 of 75 House seats.
Senate: 10 women competed in nine of the 14 Utah Senate races. Women won seats in four districts, and now hold 6/29 seats (20.7%).
House: 32 women ran in 26 of the 75 races for a seat in the Utah House of Representatives. Women won seats in 10 districts (10/75 or 13.3% of the House).
The total number of women in the 2015 Utah State Legislature will drop by one to 16 (15.4%). Utah’s historic high was in 2002, when 24 women held seats in the Legislature (23.1%).
Utah State School Board: Six women ran in four of the seven state school board races. Three were elected.
Other Races: Many other women were on the November 4 ballots for county councils, county commissions, and local school boards throughout the state. In Salt Lake County, for example, two women won seats on the Salt Lake County Council.
A research briefing published earlier this year by the YWCA Utah, in collaboration with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, highlights the facts that Utah women are more likely than men to register and to vote, but women’s representation in elected office is lower than the national average. The Well-Being of Women in Utah: An Overview also offers other valuable information about Utah women in key dimensions of their lives.