By Ralph Schwartz
Today there’s a special event in Olympia to honor 100 years of women’s participation in the state Legislature. I was going to blog about it, until I found this excellent post on the subject by Brad Shannon at The Olympian.
The event is a panel discussion from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Senate Hearing Room 3 of the John A. Cherberg Building. So if you’re in the neighborhood….
Panelists include Bellingham’s Harriet Spanel, who retired from the state Senate in 2008.
If you’re interested, do read Shannon’s blog down near the end, where he discusses the relatively large number of women in Washington’s state government, and why — even so — the numbers of women in elected office are declining in the state and nationally.
I’ll give you part of his discussion, copied and pasted. I find this to be especially revealing:
Cathy Allen, a Democratic political consultant in Seattle is working with a national effort called Project 2012 with the goal of increasing the number of female candidates. Allen said of the 46 women she tried to recruit this year, only six said yes.
A common reaction after she asked them to run was, “I thought you liked me.”
“They’d rather get a job, they’d rather raise their kids, they’d rather have balance in their lives,” Allen said of those who opted against running.
“Women are deciding they don’t want this crap,” Allen said. And that’s different for men? Apparently so. For every two men she recruited, two said yes.
“Women, more than men, realize how tough the job is and the sacrifice to their soul that is required.”