Updated: Aug 3, 2022
Advice For A First-Time Female Candidate
In 2021, women comprised 51% of the U.S. population but held only 30% of municipal offices. This is tragic because local governments are responsible for a myriad of issues directly impacting the well-being of their communities, from funding for police to the availability of public transportation to zoning laws.
However, without women in the decision-making rooms, we are losing the opportunity to speak on behalf of the things that matter to us—our neighborhoods, businesses, and families. By keeping our heads down, we are giving up the chance to rewrite our political narrative in a country that denied us voting rights for 144 years.
A study by the American University School of Public Affairs investigated why women hesitate to run for office. One reason they discovered was that we tend to doubt our political qualifications—even when our experience puts us on equal footing with our male counterparts. This finding made me realize that it is often not competence that holds us back. Instead, it is messaging: building a political brand that displays our leadership, communicates our values, and earns us the winning vote.
Therefore, to learn more about the significance of messaging in political campaigns, I spoke with Dr. Barbara Myslik, a communications professor from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Myslik has spent the last ten years as a communications consultant, working with dozens of small campaigns across the country to elect more women and minority candidates to local offices.
To find out what Dr. Myslik shared - Read the full article in our Summer 2022 Edition