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July 2019

WIRE Looks Forward

WIRE recently held its Board retreat and elections and we're excited to share the outcomes with you.

At our retreat, WIRE Board Members recommitted our energies to our mission of recruiting as many women as possible for appointed and elected public office in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. For 2019-2020, we plan to invest in the infrastructure, programs and initiatives that will help those women be successful. We have several programs in development so stay tuned for how you can get more involved to ensure women are well-represented in our local government committees, boards and offices.

We are also pleased to announce our new new leadership slate:

Cathy Boone - President

Diane Sheardown - Vice President

Jessica Moore - Secretary

Katherine Loarie - Treasurer

Emily Lo - Board Member

Stacey Ashlund - Board Member

Carol Mayer Marshall - President Emeritus

Many thanks to our outgoing Board Members - Allene Zanger, Wynne Segal Dubovoy, IdaRose Sylvester, and Linda Koelling. We appreciate your efforts on behalf of WIRE and your commitment to advancing women in public office! 

If you want to learn more about what we're doing or ways you can get more involved, send us a note: We need your support to make WIRE a success. 

Gender Gap Closes When Ballot is Diverse

After crunching data on 45,000 officeholders, The Reflective Democracy Campaign reported that women and people of color in 2018 were as likely to win their elections as white men, once they were on the ballot. These results debunk the myth of the "white male electability advantage," according to researchers. 

The study makes clear that state legislatures are ground zero for women gaining representation and WIRE knows that women can leverage local appointed and elected office to get there. Here are some other important (and inspiring findings!):

  • Five states now have 40% of more female lawmakers in their state governments: Colorado, Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. 

  • In four states, the number of women legislators increased by 50 percent or more: Oklahoma, Wyoming, Michigan and Nebraska.

  • Women make up almost 29 percent of state legislators over all, outpacing their ranks in Congress.

Find the complete report here

We Want More in 2020!

Undoubtedly, 2018 was a record setting year with 188 women running for elected office in our counties (120 in Santa Clara and 68 in San Mateo). As a result of those women stepping up, we placed a record-breaking number of 108 women in public office. We need your help to ensure that trend to continues and grows.

Want to run for office but don't know how to get started? Know some great women who would be assets to local government boards and commissions? Want to learn more about how to build a political network? It takes a village and we need to start now thinking about 2020 and beyond.

WIRE can help. Learn more.

Seeking Marketing Mavens!

And speaking of thinking for yourself - aloud - WIRE needs a handful of marketing and communications volunteers to help us with newsletters, social media, event marketing and related communications. We're flexible and welcome volunteers who only have a few hours a month to contribute. Help us, help you! Send us a note at!

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.

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.

Be the Change We Need!

Every community has commissions, boards and advisory committees that need the unique perspective and insight that you offer. Ranging from community art to energy advisory commissions to transportation and planning, you can use an appointed position to make a meaningful contribution to effective local government. Moreover, these positions give you an opportunity to gain political experience and build networks that can help you going forward. Many of these positions remain heavily male-centric and we want to change that! If you are interested in learning more about seeking an appointed office, WIRE can help. For more information email

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