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Calling Female Candidates

Shulman Vote Run Lead promo

Women are 51 percent of the U.S. population, but only 33 percent of state legislators across the country are women, and the way things are, it could take more than 200 years to reach parity.


That’s where the organization Vote Run Lead comes in. Its goal is to close that gap, and so has launched an initiative called “Charting a Path to Women’s Majority,” to help achieve that.

Vote Run Lead offers training and even financial help for female candidates for local and state offices, and even U.S. Congress, who support progressive initiatives like fighting restrictions on abortion and contraception and other liberal causes. The organization's chief political officer, is our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast.

"It's the fact that when you line up the actual population of this country and pretend that the elected representatives we have are actually fully representing those folks. It feels like a joke, right? How can you say that in a state like ... South Carolina, less than 20 percent women [are] speaking on behalf of policies that impact a population that is 51 percent women, is somehow reflective and representative. It just means that, the policymaking and the decision making in government is not actually taking into account the lived experiences and the needs and the values of the full population adequately," Shulman says.

She points out that in Southeastern states that have the fewest women in political, policymaking positions "it is a pocket of some of the most restrictive laws related to women's health care, abortion access, contraceptive access. There's an absolute correlation there of who's making the laws and who those policies are actually serving or not serving."

Calling Female Candidates

Vote Run Lead provides both on-line and in-person training for female candidates and campaign management personnel, helping them with every aspect of campaigning for public office, according to Shulman.

"We are a training institute," she explains. "We recruit, we support women once they're running. We are really focusing in on one of our key initiatives is called Run/51. And that has become our largest focus.

"It is the initiative that is aimed at women's majorities in state legislatures specifically. We're still the political home for any values-aligned woman who is interested in running, but Run/51 is really where we are putting most of our resources to recruit women to run specifically for state legislatures, giving them the training and the confidence and the tools to run a successful campaign and to be with them throughout their political journey."

For more info about Vote Run Lead, Run/51, and the many services provided by the organization, please check out this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, "Calling Female Candidates."

Listen to the interview:

Read the AI-generated transcript.

Sabrina Shulman-Training Female Candidates
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