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February 2019

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

A Word from WIRE's President:

WIRE Board Members: Diane Sheardown, Allene Zanger, Katherine Loarie, IdaRose Sylvester, and Cathy Boone
WIRE Board Members: Diane Sheardown, Allene Zanger, Katherine Loarie, IdaRose Sylvester, and Cathy Boone

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the women who ran for local office in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, and to the WIRE volunteers and supporters who have made all candidates winners in their own right. In 2018, many women became first time candidates and a high percentage were elected to school boards, city councils, special districts, and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

So many of you have given so much in 2018 to support women running for office, and we want to thank you.

WIRE Board Member Wynne Dubovoy and Coordinator Sabah Munawar
WIRE Board Member Wynne Dubovoy and Coordinator Sabah Munawar

We look forward in 2019 to helping women secure appointments to local commissions and boards and to begin preparing women to run successful campaigns in 2020. Please join us in these important endeavors.

Allene Zanger

Board President

Women Won Big in 2018

WIRE is committed to identifying, recruiting, and promoting women to appointed or elected office in Santa Clara and San Mateo. Of course, we want to celebrate the wins (and there were many), but first, we want to focus on the amazing 188 women who had the willingness and courage to put themselves on the ballot in our counties in 2018 and run in contested elections. 120 women ran in Santa Clara County and 68 in San Mateo.

Even better, 108 women were elected for nonpartisan local offices in our two counties. Outstanding!

During this election cycle, WIRE was proud to host candidate forums, recruit and refer volunteers, offer campaign strategy advice and support, and enable connections to help women run their best races. Altogether WIRE actively assisted 39 candidates, 24 of whom WON!

WIRE is thrilled to be part of such a successful election cycle for women. And this is just the beginning.

Taking Time to Reflect

After the November 2018 elections, WIRE hosted a forum to provide candidates and volunteers an opportunity to reflect on the elections. Sharing wins, losses, and lessons learned helps prepare us all for the next cycle. Thanks to all who shared their experiences.

First Time Candidate Earns Council Seat!

Regina Wallace Jones launched her campaign for East Palo Alto City Council on her 44th birthday, inspired by the 44th President of the US (Barack Obama). A technology industry executive and long-time East Palo Alto resident, Regina was inspired to run on a platform on improving livability in EPA including affordable housing and easing traffic problems which result from being the gateway to Silicon Valley.

“In building my campaign, it was important for me to bring together a diverse set of people: East Palo Alto residents, Stanford alums, technology industry friends, and supporters from many philanthropic and political engagements. It really does take a village!” Regina noted.

Campaigns are full of highs and lows. Regina loved knocking on doors because it allowed her to meet neighbors and build connective tissue in the community. She treasured her advisors, some of whom had a hand in incorporating East Palo Alto just 35 years ago. Social media trolls and plantar fasciitis from so much walking were the downside of campaigning.

“I really appreciated WIRE’s candidate forum where I shared experiences with other first time candidates and heard some great tips on handling campaign social media. I’ve always believed in paying it forward and women helping women. It works!,” she noted.

After winning the race by the largest margin in EPA history, Regina was thrilled to be selected Vice Mayor in January. She’s eager to get started and make every minute count!

Congratulations, Regina. We’re with you!

No Time to Help? Donate!

WIRE operates on a tiny budget, depending on Board Members and volunteers to deliver the vast majority of our work. But WIRE does need your financial support too. We have a streamlined operation with the majority of our spending for a part-time campaign coordinator to match our volunteers with women candidates who need their expertise. The remaining operating expenses are costs for hosting events, printing, maintaining a website and related necessities. Please consider making a $100 or $50 donation today to help us help as many women candidates as possible. Donate Today!

More Good News - In Case Your Missed It!

  • For the first time in history, women hold the majority in two state houses-- the Nevada Legislature and the Colorado House. Read more.

  • Harris County, Texas (home to Houston) swore in 17 black female judges for the first time in its history. Part of a group that ran together and supported each other, these women will undoubtedly bring a different perspective to the bench.

  • 2018 lived up to its “Year of the Woman” moniker. With all the votes in, a record number of 117 women were ultimately sent to Congress this cycle — a significant jump from 2016 when 89 women were elected. Together with other returning members, that means 127 women are due to serve in the 116th Congress. That’s the highest number ever!

This Congress delivers a host of diversity firsts, like:

  • Two female Congresswomen who were elected at age 29 (this is the same age former Speaker Paul Ryan was when first elected, but men don’t face as much scrutiny about being too young.).

  • The first two Native American women were elected.

  • The first two Muslim women were elected.

  • More than 20 House seats were won by first-time women candidates.

  • The number of Congresswomen with young children just doubled to almost 25. Already voting schedules have changed and Sen. Tammy Duckworth became the first senator to ever bring her baby to the Senate floor, requiring a change in the rules. Larger policy shifts will likely follow.

Keep the Momentum Going!

Although it’s not a big election year, WIRE is busy identifying and recruiting women for public office, planning events to support candidates and newly elected officials, and generating volunteers and support for women seeking public office. You can be a part of this movement.

Join us:

  • For newly elected and former officials, WIRE and Good Ol' Gals (a network of current and former Santa Clara County women city council members) will host an event called Thriving as a Newly Elected Official: A Peer to Peer Conversation on March 23, 2019. 

  • Every community has commissions, boards, and advisory committees that need the unique perspective and insight that you offer. These positions give you an opportunity to gain political experience and build networks that can help you going forward. If you are interested in learning more about seeking an appointed office, WIRE can help.

  • Want to get more involved getting women into public office? WIRE is seeking additional Board members and volunteers for marketing, events, community outreach and more.

For more information email

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