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Looking Back With Pride & What's Next?

February 23, 2021


WIRE's Vision WIRE envisions a world where more women hold appointed and elected public office in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. WIRE is committed to expanding women's representation in local government today.


President's Message 2020 - A Year of Success!

WIRE is a nonpartisan organization founded in the spring of 2017 to address Gender Inequity in local politics. In 2020, 65% of the women who ran for public office won! Today we have over 50% gender equity in school boards and we are almost there on City Councils. We at WIRE are proud of the important role we played in these positive changes. WIRE reached out to over 240 candidates to offer help in a very challenging year of COVID, wildfires and the national election. WIRE made a real difference for candidates in 2020. Over 60 candidates were mentored individually and over 300 participants attended WIRE workshops covering a variety of topics. WIRE is an all volunteer organization and we thank the accomplished workshop panelists, WIRE Advisory Council members, and the many essential volunteers for your tremendous support. A huge thank you goes out to our WIRE Board and amazing WIRE founder, Carol Mayer Marshall. As we enter a new year, we're thrilled to look ahead towards a successful year of recruiting, identifying and helping more women run for appointed and elected positions in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. As a mother and grandmother of girls, I am excited for the courageous and passionate women who are paving the road for the future. Kathy Anderson, WIRE President


"The hill we climb if only we dare.. For while we have our eyes on the future, history has it's eyes on us" Amanda Gorman


2020 - Closer to Equity

Record breaking turnouts in both counties:

  • Santa Clara - 715,000 voted (86% of registered voters).

  • San Mateo - 343,594 voted (77.6% of registered voters).

244 women ran for nonpartisan seats in the November 2020 election. 65% of the women won their seats. Great progress has been made: 2016 election 40% of City Council seats were held by women, 2018 election this number increased to 48% 2020 49% of the City Council seats in our two counties will be held by women (so close!) This is a huge achievement bringing us closer to our vision of gender equality.


Celebrating Candidates

WIRE is so proud and salutes all of the 244 candidates who ran for office in 2020. You are our heroes who ran effective campaigns with such courage and creativity. We sincerely congratulate you all for running, win or lose. As you move forward, we ask that you recruit and assist us as we plan for the 2022 election and filling appointed positions in 2021. Remember most women have to be asked! If you identify qualified women, let us know by emailing so we can reach out to them in this planning process. To the amazing incumbents who are retiring, WIRE thanks you for your years of public service. For the losing candidates, we know how hard you worked and you are our special heroes. WIRE wants to stay in touch and find ways we can use your valuable experience to run again or improve our programs and perhaps mentor future candidates. Remember we are here for you!


Candidate Testimonials

  • "Thank you so much! I will definitely be in contact. It is very empowering to know that there are organizations such as yours."

  • "A big thank you to you and your team for supporting all of us candidates! You provided the inspiration and support I needed as a first time candidate."

  • "A note of thanks - both for your personal help, and for the help from the WIRE workshops. All the tips you and the speakers provided were so helpful. Thank you so much for the support for me, and for all women candidates!"

  • "I appreciate your support. Running for office has been an incredible experience. I was sad not to win but do not regret the journey in the least. I felt well prepared from WIRE's counseling and support."

  • "Wire for Women gave me inspiration and encouragement as I stepped out of my comfort zone to run for City Council. I want to help in whatever way I can -- Thanks to you and your team. I really appreciate the work you are doing!"


WIRE Leadership is Growing

WIRE Board: We are so pleased that Liz Kniss, former Mayor of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County Supervisor, has joined the WIRE Board of Directors. Kathy Anderson - President Diane Sheardown - Vice President Katherine Loarie - Treasurer Jessica Moore - Secretary Emily Lo Virginia Chang Kiraly Christina Laskowski Shelly Masur Vicki Veenker Karen Schwartz Liz Kniss Carol Mayer Marshall - Founder and President Emeritus WIRE Advisory Council: Laura Parmer-Lohan, Nancy Reyerling and Nancy Koelling have joined the WIRE Advisory Council. Virginia Chang Kiraly - Board Liaison Donna Colson Wynne Segal Dubovoy Storm Russell Yoriko Kishimoto Laura Parmer-Lohan Nancy Reyering Nancy Koelling If you are interested in serving on the WIRE Board of Directors or the WIRE Advisory Council, please let us know.


Whats' Next - 2021 Focus

Appointed Positions Program

  • Define program and implement plan

  • Recruit and help women assume appointed positions. Every city and county has commissions, boards, and advisory committees that need unique perspectives and insight. Ranging from art to energy, parks to planning, women can use an appointed position to make a significant contribution to local government and gain important experience in public service.

Prepare for an even more successful Electoral Year in 2022.

  • Identify and recruit candidates

  • Recruit mentors

  • Define workshop content and timing for the 2022 election cycle

  • Provide workshops to help candidate run an effective campaign. One of WIRE’s important objectives is to identify and train women so that the pipeline to higher office is filled with qualified and experienced women.


Women Helping Women!

We need you! WIRE is seeking volunteers for marketing (small or big jobs like events, newsletters, invitations, social media and more!), technology support (website and data management), and external engagement (community outreach, volunteer recruitment). We need leaders in all these areas for the WIRE Board too. Let us know if you are interested by emailing WIRE's goal is to increase our membership and we need your help - Please forward this newsletter to people who may be interested in our work, send us their names and emails, or ask them to subscribe (enter your email in the page footer) to our mailing list for WIRE updates.


"Fighting for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." RBG


No Time to Help?

WIRE runs a lean organization. Your donation goes to support crucial efforts to reach prospective candidates and volunteers and keep the organization running smoothly. Your donation helps fund our candidate forums, educational events, candidate and volunteer outreach, database maintenance, website and email, and marketing and organizational expenses. Funds do not support candidates. Please consider making a $100 or $50 donation today to help us assist as many women candidates as possible. THANK YOU for supporting women and our communities..

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