100 Years Later, How Far Have Women Come?
Elect Women NJ launches to increase number of women in elected local office
Middletown, NJ, September 8, 2020—On August 13th, Elect Women NJ, a new Political Action Committee, launched with a virtual celebration of the centennial on the Suffrage Act and the 55-year anniversary of the 1965 Voting Act. Elect Women NJ recruits and funds diverse, viable candidates. The launch featured honored guests including the Attorney General of New York, Letitia (“Tish”) James and the President of Emerge A’shanti Gholar. At the event, Elect Women NJ’s, released the endorsement application for candidates to apply for funding and endorsement.
New Jersey ranks 21st in the country for women in elected office. In 231 years, we have never elected a US Senator. State held office lingers at 30%. In 2020, 44, or 32.6%, of the 135 County Freeholders in New Jersey are women, only 11% of the 44 are women of color. Among the 75 cities with populations over 30,000 in New Jersey, 10 (13.3%) have female mayors; only two mayors are women of color. “This lack of representation in both local and national office raises concerns about the health and quality of our democracy. It’s time for a change and Elect Women NJ will intentionally recruit a broader diversity of candidates to run for local office,” said Kerri Kennedy, Founder and Chairwoman of Elect Women NJ.
Elect Women NJ is focused on local races as one solution to challenging the systemic, under-representation of women. “One of the biggest barriers to women running for office locally is the ability to fund their race. Yet once elected, these women have the greatest impact on our daily lives,” said Tricia Maguire, Founder and Executive Director of Elect Women NJ.
Elect Women NJ was founded this year to fund women running for local government in NJ. Elect Women NJ was created to increase the numbers and diversity of women in elected office in our state. To help achieve this goal, a portion of the funds raised are restricted for black women candidates. Elect Women NJ is funding local candidates because local officials make important decisions that affect every American’s daily life and help build a pipeline for all elected office. Local government can consist of council-members, mayors, county commissioners, sheriffs, and school boards.
Applications are due by September 15, 2020. The board will review and score the applications and announce endorsements on October 5, 2020. Elect Women NJ will host a virtual event soon after to feature the endorsed candidates.