Target: Mary Hughes, founder of Close the Gap CA
Goal: Commend founders of Close the Gap CA for their dedication to women’s rights
In the US House of Representatives there are 76 women and 362 men. In the Senate there are 17 women to 83 men. In the California state legislature there are 32 women and 88 men. A new group called Close the Gap CA aims to change all that. Responding to the recent decline in California’s percentage of female elected officials, Close the Gap is conducting a tour of four of the states largest cities to address the gap in between women and men in government. They are calling the tour the “Stop the Slide Tour.” In addition to these activities, the group will also work to recruit more women to run for office in upcoming election years, and encourage efforts to support their campaigns. Organization co-founder Mary Hughes should be applauded for her efforts to demand gender equality. Her work is an important reminder that there are still many miles to go in the journey toward gender equality in American government and society at large.
Many studies have shown that women have a particular impact on government at the state level, particularly in state legislatures. As far back as 1991, the Center for Women and American Politics was releasing findings that female lawmakers were far more likely to not only support women’s rights issues, but to bring them to the table in the first place. Although such findings may seem obvious today, the struggle for women’s political achievements to be recognized has been arduous and hard-fought. The University of Chicago found in 2011 that women legislators were especially effective in other areas of policy making as well, bringing in 9% more funding to their districts than did their male counterparts. This added up to an average of 49 million more dollars going to districts represented by women.
Although California leads the way in many aspects of political gender equality, it is the only state to boast two female senators; there is still much work to be done. According to the managing director of the initiative, Betsy Cotton, this is an especially crucial time, as nine women legislators will end their final term in office in 2014 and fewer women are running for office this year than in years previous. Let the founders of Close the Gap CA know their work is appreciated and commended today.
Dear Ms. Hughes,
Thank you for your determined efforts to achieve greater gender equality in politics in California. I believe this is an important issue that deserves our time and attention. Female lawmakers do so much to improve the lives of all constituents in their districts. I applaud your efforts to increase the presence of women legislators at the state level.
I am writing today to commend your founding of the group, Close the Gap CA and to encourage you to keep up the good work.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: public domain via Wikimedia Commons