August 2017 Newsletter

IGNITE is ready to get back to school and launch our 2017/2018 programs. With a spike in the number of young women declaring their ambition to run for office, IGNITE is expecting to train over 5,000 young women this year.The future truly is female. We look forward to training the next generation of women as they step up to own their fair share of political power.

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Young Women Run...the World! 2017 Conference Reflections

On July 17th and 18th, 2017 150 motivated young women from across the political spectrum gathered in Washington, DC for Young Women Run with the goal of advancing their leadership skills and capacity to run for office. Another 300 Elected leaders, professionals and mentors showed up as allies to support these ambitious young women. 

Events like these are essential if we are ever going to reach political parity in this country. Women are 51% of the US population yet remain grossly underrepresented nationwide in all levels of government at less than 25%. Young Women Run organizers IGNITE and Running Start (the only national organizations focused on training young women to run for office)hosted the training to mobilize young women to step into political power and pursue elected office.  

One of the most inspiring moments was on the first day of the event when 95% of the room raised their hand when asked who planned to run for office. The future truly is female!

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Meet Stephanie Roman, Student Body President and Senior at Skyline High School in Dallas TX

 

What drew you to public service and when did you first become  involved in politics?

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I have always dedicated time to serving and empowering others. I ran my first campaign at the age of 14.  As a student at Skyline High School,  I had the honor to serve as Class President my freshman and sophomore year and Student Body President my junior and senior year. These leadership positions, along with my ambition, have opened many wonderful doors of opportunities.

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Reflections on Women's Political Leadership this Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, as the Texas State Director for IGNITE, I am taking the opportunity to reflect on the critical need to encourage more women of color, especially African American women and Latina women to become political leaders.

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The time is now: Get ready to run!

In the aftermath of the women’s marches and in response to the ongoing community organizing that we are seeing across the county,  I keep getting asked the same question: How do I channel my energy and take a stand for what I believe in right now?

At IGNITE we believe the answer is clear: Own your political power and run for office! I really don’t care what office you run for. School President, Student Senate, Community College Board, City Council are all places where you can exercise political leadership, make a difference in your community and show other girls and women that they can be leaders too. Running for office is not as hard as you think. Here’s how: 

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Rules Matter

Rules matter. Donald Trump won 2.5 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, but will be inaugurated because he won the Electoral College — the rule we employ in the US to elect our Presidents. You can argue that we should change that rule, eradicate the Electoral College, or revise the penalties imposed on electors who choose to buck the system, and I might agree with you. But until we do, the rule stands. This is how we ensure a peaceful transition of power in a functioning democracy: we all play by the same rules.

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Let’s be honest

The day after the election one of our most loyal supporters wrote me this: “I swore I’d never give another dollar to either politics or philanthropy. I’ve been so cynical that both have just become big business with no higher moral authority than our worst of corporate America. I’ll get over it, but how could every pollster get it so wrong — other than to create a new reason to start giving millions, if not billions, to keep them in business.” I could not honestly refute her. 

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Post Election Mobilization for Next Gen Political Leadership

Following the election, IGNITE has heard from hundreds of young women arounds of country who are standing in their political power. At the same time, adult women are contacting us to ask how they can become a part of the IGNITE community and mobilize with young women. 

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EILEEN FISHER & IGNITE

What a powerful evening! Elected women from across the country shared their personal leadership experiences, in an effort to engage and inspire the next generation of women to step up and own their fair share of political power.

The issue of women and political leadership has never been so heightened. Regardless of which candidates you are supporting this year, it is clear that we need to encourage the next generation of women to raise their voices, participate in the process, and ultimately step into political leadership.

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How much inspiration do we need?

The balloons are popped, the pundits have weighed in, and Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be nominated for President by a major political party. Regardless of your party affiliation, it was hard to come away from last week’s Democratic National Convention without a sense that history was made: a woman has finally pushed through those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment, and one that should have the capacity to change the trajectory for gender parity in political leadership across the United States. But will it? 

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