What It’s Like To Be A Woman Running For Local Office In Trump’s America
In the months following the 2016 presidential election, more than 10,000 women stepped up to run for cheap moncler sale office. Two of those women are Kate Hansen and Erica Robbins.
Hansen is a 31 moncler sale outlet year cheap moncler outlet old mental health case https://www.moncleronlineoutlet.com manager living in Ferndale, Washington, with her husband and 3 year old son. Robbins is a 35 year old community organizer and advocate for moncler sale the homeless who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her 9 year old son. It’s unlikely that Hansen and Robbins would cheap moncler coats ever cross paths in real life, given that they live on opposite sides of the country in very different cities. But in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election, they both decided to run for city council.
cheap moncler jackets sale HuffPost spoke to Hansen and Robbins about what it’s like to run for elected office for the first time during such a contentious political moment, how being a woman impacted that experience, and why they think so many women are stepping up and taking risks right now. (Since we spoke to them, Robbins lost in her election’s primary, while Hansen is currently barreling toward a November general election.) cheap moncler jackets sale
cheap moncler outlet HuffPost: What is it like to live where you live in 2017? cheap moncler outlet
Kate Hansen (Ferndale, Wash.): [Ferndale is] one of the fastest growing cities in Washington right now. It’s pretty small, but it’s rapidly getting bigger, and it’s also transitioning from moncler outlet online being a conservative town to more of a 50 50 town. I looked at the numbers, and I think about five votes was the difference between Trump and Hillary in the presidential election. People are getting priced out of the more metropolitan city, Bellingham, and so a lot of families with young kids are moving there. And everyone’s pretty white. We definitely have [a] Latino population, but it’s not a lot of diversity.
moncler outlet store Erica Robbins (Birmingham, Ala.): This is a much larger city than where I’m from. I started [my nonprofit] Be A Blessing Birmingham because I felt there needed to be a sense of community. I became a social justice activist and advocate for different marginalized communities and that is a big part of my life living here in Birmingham. With this being basically the birthplace of the civil rights movement, we’re really active. I have a lot of neighborhoods in my district that are hurting. You wouldn’t even believe that there was a billion dollars in economic growth in the downtown, because other places in my district can’t even get grass cut. moncler outlet store
moncler outlet uk What pushed you to run for office? moncler outlet uk
Kate (Washington):I’ve always been involved with politics on the periphery. When I was in college I helped manage a campaign with the public affairs department at Planned Parenthood, and I just loved it. Ever since, I’ve done things like going door to door in the most recent primary for the Democratic candidates, and just being a leader at my caucus. I’ve always really cared about politics, and I think that this last election really spurred me to take action. I don’t feel as though right now we’re being well represented on a national level, so I think we have to start taking control on a local level to make our communities the kind of places that we want them to be.
moncler outlet sale Erica (Alabama):I had been contemplating [running] since January. After Trump was elected I was already a very active activist, but that like went up tenfold after the election. I was one of the founders of Resist Birmingham, and we just decided that more women needed to get involved. At first I wanted to see if there was anyone I could actually put my support behind, and I didn’t find it. moncler outlet sale
When did you officially declare your candidacy?
Kate (Washington): The last day I could have. cheap moncler The deadline was 4:30. It was something I had said during the primaries: “I’m going to run for city council. I’m just tired of complaining and sitting here. I’m just going to do something, I’m going to run.” It sat in the back of my mind until the last day.
cheap moncler What are the hallmark issues of your campaign? cheap moncler
Kate (Washington):Well, social justice is the thing I care about the most. Being up in Ferndale, we’re a small population, so we don’t have a lot of services here, and everything is really centralized in the monlcer down jackets bigger city of Bellingham. Even just to take the bus to Bellingham to get to an appointment is going to take you an hour plus each way, and so to me, accessibility of social services is huge, especially for the under represented people in Ferndale who have huge needs for health care and transportation and jobs and housing.
moncler outlet online Erica (Alabama): My main thing is killing homelessness, because I feel that you can’t start at the top. You have to take care of the root, and if the roots of the tree aren’t properly nourished then the tree can’t grow. When people make money they spend it, so if we get those people back to work, that stimulates the economy. Mental health is [also a huge priority] for me, because though the reasons why people are on the street are moncler outlet store varied, moncler outlet sale there a lot of people that have mental health issues that are not addressed. We need to stimulate our neighborhoods by allowing people in the neighborhoods to build them up. Gentrification is also a huge problem here in Birmingham. A lot of people are being moved out of neighborhoods that they have been in all their lives. moncler outlet online
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moncler jackets outlet Kate (Washington):The day that I [announced my run], the mayor came and introduced himself and was like, “Hey, I heard you’re running, and please come to these meetings and just, here are some people you should meet, just get involved.” That was good, just to kind of right away touch base with someone. Some of the things I’ve done, like going to the Emerge training, that was huge for me because I don’t have any experience in running for office. I’ve been fortunate enough to be endorsed by the Whatcom Democrats here and have their support in terms of helping to get my name out there, going to events; I was at the fair last weekend just tabling and talking to people. moncler jackets outlet
I feel like [the response to me] has been really positive going door to door, everyone’s so polite. I locked my keys and my cell phone in my car the other day, and a kind person let me use their phone to call my husband to come get me. Yesterday someone said, “Democrat, Republican, who are you?” I said, “Well, you know it’s a non partisan race, but I definitely lean Democrat,” and they whispered, “Oh, me too,” and then closed the door. I think there’s been those moments where it’s like people in Ferndale can be reserved about talking about politics, especially if you’re progressive because it has leaned more conservative over the years. But I can tell that people are excited to see a new face with a new perspective to bring.
Erica (Alabama): This is politics. This is Birmingham. I came in[to the race] late on purpose because I didn’t want anybody to know I was running. No time for opposition research, none of that. I just showed up and they were buy moncler jackets like, “Hey, well who is this girl?” So literally at the first debate they were scrambling. “Who is this girl? Why does she know what’s she’s talking about, and where did she come from?” I’ve actually been received quite well. In another city not as progressive as Birmingham it may have been a different story.
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moncler jacket sale Kate (Washington):I didn’t realize what a small town I live in. I spoke out about some Moncler Outlet of my points of view at a city council meeting, and the next day I get to work and someone’s contacted my work about what I had said at the meeting. It’s fascinating seeing how moncler mens jackets much moncler outlet [running for local office] puts you and your points of view in the spotlight, and how you’re just totally exposing yourself. You have to be ready to defend your points of view, and it’s something I think is challenging for women specifically, because maybe we think, “Who am I to think that I should be in this leadership role?” rather than, “I have something to offer here. I should be in office.” moncler jacket sale
moncler factory outlet That’s just been big for me, realizing that I do have something to offer. I have a different perspective coming from being a woman and working in social services that is valuable and it’s OK to say that I think I’d be good at this, and not wait for someone to ask me to run a million times before I do it. moncler factory outlet
Erica (Alabama): Fundraising. And my staff is completely volunteer. That’s one thing about not having big money is that I don’t have a paid staff.
Did the 2016 presidential election impact the way you thought about running for office, or about women in government in general?
moncler sale outlet Kate (Washington): I think that women have this idea that to be successful in politics that you need to emulate men. I got to a point where I felt like all we’re seeing in national politics are white men making decisions for everyone else. I’ve worked in social services representing vulnerable populations my whole life, so I realized that when women run and are in office, we tend to focus more on issues of justice and equality. I just saw so much more of a need for that than I had ever really seen before, and that made me think, “I’ve got to do this.” moncler sale outlet
cheap moncler jackets Erica (Alabama): Not really. It didn’t make me want to run for office more, it just made me a more active activist. I would normally attend every rally that I could, but it has gotten to the point that I’m way more active. I’m fighting to make sure that [people in my district] keep their Medicare. cheap moncler jackets
Has your gender impacted the way you’ve been received?
moncler outlet jackets Kate (Washington):What I do appreciate about Ferndale is we have four women and three men on the council currently, and I’m running against a woman and the seat is being vacated by a woman. But the first conversation I had with an elected official, they asked me how many children I have, and when I said I have one, they said, “Well, you’re just getting started.” There’s been questions like that, or you being told I look too young to run for office that I don’t think that I would be asked if I was a man. But I also feel really, really empowered being a woman right now, because so many of us are just stepping up and saying, “We need more of us in office, like this is important for us to be equally represented and bring our unique qualities and characteristics that have value all on their own to the table.” It feels like there’s a movement and it feels really good moncler outlet jackets.