Rosie Stoff
August 10, 2013 7:00 am

Let us start form the beginning here, a quick history from a history buff/nut. Susan B. Anthony, we all remember her from 11th grade American history class and maybe some late night infomercials in 1999. She tried to sell you the Susan B. Anthony dollar for $9.99 on late night TV. If we are talking women in politics here, we’ve got to touch base on the woman who made it a possibility. First step for women to be able to run for public office? Being able to vote! Thanks for that right, Susie B. A.!

I was born and raised in LA. Lived here my entire life and have always loved it, seen it as a forward thinking community and a righteous one. We have had two unbelievable women senators for as long as I can remember, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. The latter being a hero in this state. But I was never thinking about positions in local government. Seeing these two women in such high power political positions seemed to shadow the lack there of, in Los Angeles. “Only one woman holds elective office in the entire government of Los Angeles, a member of the 15-person city council from the San Fernando Valley.” A woman did run for mayor this year, Wendy Gruel. She lost to Eric Garcetti. A woman also ran for governor against our current governor a few years ago, Meg Whitman, a woman surrounded by controversy.

So in Los Angeles, let’s take a tally.

Mayor: man

City attorney: man

City comptroller: man

Board of supervisors: 4 men on a 5 person board

And all under the direction of our governor, who is also a man.

And when Mayor Garcetti vacated his seat on the Hollywood council, all 12 candidates to take his place were XY chromosome holders. California is the US’s most populated state, but by looking at who is holding public office, it seems that politics is still a boys club. We do however, have Kamala Harris, a woman attorney general of California. It’s a start.

In the past year, New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand has been making frequent trips to Los Angeles to meet with groups of women to push a cause very important to her – getting more women in politics. When I first heard that Senator Gillibrand was making these trips to LA, I didn’t get it at all. “Why is she campaigning out here? We can’t vote for her as California residents!!” And that is all true. But we can spread her message. We need women in congress. We need women in the senate. We need women in office!! We currently have 20 female senators out of 100. And while it’s the most in history, that number should be higher. And in congress, that number is even lower, 98 of the 535 seats, that’s 18%!!!

Are women reluctant to vote? The thought is that men are more successful in encouraging other MEN to run for office, more willing to campaign and put themselves out there. If a woman is passionate about an issue, and I know plenty who are, why aren’t they putting themselves out there to run? Doing what we women do best, supporting each other? The amount of issues in this country that NEED women standing behind them is astronomical, in the forefront…abortion laws. It’s been said time and time again, “why in the world are MEN deliberating these laws? Who are they to think they know what is best?” Women need to stand up, for organizations that need them, make sure places like Planned Parenthood have funding.

Yes, in this country, we have and have had many incredible women that young girls with dreams of being in office can look up to, but a serious lack in this state and especially this city. I am a HUGE Michelle Obama fan, I am a 23 year old in California who has NO interest in getting into politics, and FLOTUS is my hero!!

Maybe Leslie Knope said is best… “The Tucker Park Graffiti Removal Project was a great idea that just ran out of steam. We had removed five cartoon penises – not even 10% – when we were shut down due to lack of funding. To this day, I am haunted by those remaining penises. One penis in particular…” oh no not that quote! This one… “I’m so desperate I even brought in my dream journal hoping it would inspire me.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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