Letter from our ED: 46 Counties

July 15, 2019

Want to hear something crazy?

46. That’s how many counties in North Carolina had NO women serving on their local county commission in 2018. That’s according to research by David McLennan, a professor at Meredith College and a report released by Meredith last year.  The report actually showed that the number of counties with no women serving on their commission has actually increased since 2015.  This is concerning because research shows that electing women radically improves life for women and families. Studies also show that although female politicians have a wide range of positions, they are often more compassionate, better at working across the aisle and more willing to compromise, qualities intricately bound in successful policymaking.

Maybe we haven’t given a lot of thought to what these local government bodies do for their constituents and this doesn’t seem that important.  Maybe you don’t have a child in the public school system or use parks.  But you no doubt use the roads and sidewalks in your town and I bet you like having your trash collected every week.  Perhaps you have concerns about affordable housing or commercial development in your city.  Maybe you’ve had a fire on your property and relied on the local fire department to help contain it.  All of these things are the responsibility of local city or town councils  and there is an opportunity to start to changing the makeup of these bodies right now.  Filing for municipal elections is open through July 19, 2019.

Lillian’s List has been working to address this gender gap at the local level.  That is why we launched our Win Locally training and it is why we are offering a special 1-day Winning with Women training in August for women running locally in 2019 or any level in 2020.  While we focus on making sure our state will protect gender equity and reproductive freedom in to the future, we must not lose sight of these local offices and the power they have to impact our every-day lives.  If you’ve ever thought about running for office, now is your chance!  Check out who is running in your town or city and think about going down to your County Board of Elections to file to run yourself.  If you are running, sign up for a Lillian’s List training.  We would love to work with you to turn these local statistics around!