Needed: Poverty fighters

By the close the gap CA Teammoney

One of our goals in recruiting talented women to run for office is finding progressives who will work to close the growing gap between the wealthy and those in poverty.

Do you know who lives in poverty here in the Golden State?

  • 18 percent of women,
  • 24 percent of children, and
  • 35 percent of single moms

Prospective candidates, take a look at the Women’s Foundation of CA’s district by district look at poverty in California.

10 Things To Do Before You File Your ‘Intent To Run’ Papers

By Janet Cook

Prospective candidates, there are many things to consider and work on before you file your “intent to run” papers with the state.explore  The exploration phase is the perfect time to become a student of your district. Learn about its economy, culture, traditions and people. Take time to connect with the community and ask yourself: Can I represent these people and interests with enthusiasm? Do I share their values and aspirations?

Here are 10 questions to answer before you file your intention to be a candidate:

  1. What are the demographics in your district? Ethnic breakdowns? Poverty levels? Educational levels? Is there a shift or a new trend in local demographics?

  3. Who are the voters? How many are Democrats? Republicans? “No party preference”? Ask: How have people voted on issues I care about: School bonds? Open space preservation? Immigration, etc?

  5. Know your neighbors. Who are the 50 most influential people in your district? Do you know them? Have you talked to them? Do they know you? Would some of them support your run for office?

  7. What distinguishes your district? Who are the top 5 major employers? What cultural institutions are located there? Sports teams? Is agriculture a big employer? Is yours a bedroom community and is transportation a big deal? Is tourism important? Does your district include significant parkland? What are the educational institutions in your district and do people identify with them? What industries are unique to your district? Are your industries clean or toxic?

  9. Who are the current and past elected officials? Have you sought advice from them? Has a woman held this office in the past? Have you asked for her support?

  11. Have you talked to local thought leaders? Heads of environmental and social justice non-profits? The Democratic and Green Party Committee chairs? Foundation heads, business leaders or local newspaper editors and bloggers? Does labor play a big role in your district? Which unions are most active? Connect with their leadership and learn their endorsement process. Here’s a list of labor councils throughout CA.

  13. What are the hot button issues? Access to health care? Environment? Education? Transportation? Immigration? What are the organizations and who are the leaders on each side of these issues? Have you formed an opinion? Could you argue your side of the argument?

  15. Do you know how to get a your Party endorsement? Are there active Party clubs in your area, and, if so, have you visited them? Get to know their members and especially those who serve as delegates.

  16. From whom are you going to raise your first $50,000? Make a list, broken down into $250 and $500 checks. Then do it again for the next $50,000.

  18. Why do you want to run? Develop a 75-second “elevator” speech on why you should be the next legislator and what you will do for people. This is your first and best opportunity to make an impression on a prospective supporter. Be thoughtful, take your time and be authentic.

P.S. Check out our candidate resources page for information on candidate trainings, political consultants, fundraisers and PACs.
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By Christina Jansen women-get-it-done-logo

It does not get better than a sunny Saturday in San Francisco. On such a Saturday almost two years ago, Kate Maeder pulled herself away from work to attend an event in Dolores Park. There on the lawn, she met two women who she hoped would help her change the lives of women all over the Bay Area. They conceived an idea to connect with politically minded women like themselves and become the movers and shakers of their generation. Before long, one of them turned to Maeder and said, “The world is waiting for women like us.”

Out of this sunny day, Women Get It Done was born. (Gives a whole new meaning to ‘grass’-roots organizations) Today there are almost 500+ young and politically minded women in the WGID network. At its core, WGID is about one simple idea: women helping women through the power of networking. When this idea is realized, other events naturally flow: pay equity, more women running for office, women breaking the glass ceiling and more. Maeder recognized very early on that “when you put two people together, you change their lives.” This has become the definition of success for WGID; putting the right people together.

WGID is a springboard to launch their visions of everything from fundraising soirees to political rallies. All it takes is bringing these women together and then letting them do what they do best. No nonsense talk over wine and whisky has spawned events supporting Hillary Clinton for 2016, workshops for leadership in fundraising, attending state assembly debates, and its annual event celebrating National Women’s History Month, “SHEnanigans in San Francisco.”

The group calls WGID more of a “fight club” than a sorority. Members want to talk shop and get to know the women around them. Come the first Monday of each month, they may kick off their heels but never turn off their brains.

Women Get It Done is focused on connecting and engaging young women in politics but the long-term effects may end up being the most significant. It may be that 10, 20, 30 years down the line, these very women will indeed end up being the movers and shakers of their time. The group has even recruited a number of women peers who can act as mentors for less experienced members. This is just one more aspect that WGID is still developing to support women’s rise.

In fact, WGID relies on its members to shape the agenda and set the tone. WGID practices a bottom up style of decision making where members can suggest almost any idea they have for the organization. If members have a project they want to start they can bring it up at meetings or post it on Facebook. Maeder has made a point of trying to say ‘yes’ to everything.

There is little doubt these women will be a big part of the Bay Area political future. They are a force to be reckoned with as individuals and in a group. For now, they have created a network that connects them all. Want to get in on the action? Get out your phone book. Networking is the key to becoming a member. The group continues to grow through word of mouth. So, ask the women in your life if they have heard of Women Get It Done.

See the list of close the gap CA’s allies here.

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