One of the largest public women’s foundations in the country is hosting a convening of leaders in Dallas to address the lack of gender equality in local government.
The Texas Women’s Foundation will host 60 women leaders from diverse backgrounds to work on getting more women elected to public office in Dallas County. On February 6, these leaders will come from many organizations we have talked about here at Philanthropy Women, including IGNITE, Vote Run Lead, and She Should Run.
All of these organizations are part of a larger network called ReflectUS. Reflect.US is a nonpartisan coalition of seven leading women’s organizations: Represent Women, She Should Run, Empowered Women, Women’s Public Leadership Network, IGNITE, Vote Run Lead and Latinas Represent.
ReflectUS is a striking example of coalition-building across political party lines, as the organization is currently co-led by Jennifer Nassour, former Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and Delia Garcia, former Democratic State Representative from Kansas.
“We are extremely encouraged by the interest we have already received in Dallas,” said ReflectUS CEO, Jennifer Nassour, in a press release announcing the convening. “The work of the coalition is important to understand the barriers women face in winning and holding public office and the opportunities that exist to achieve equal representation, starting at the local level.”
Feminist philanthropists may want to know more about this effort to achieve equal representation, since this work may yield results that can be replicated. The upcoming meeting will focus specifically on Dallas, where more than half (52%) of the city councils have zero or one woman. The day-long event on February 6 will serve be the beginning of ReflectUS’s strategic planning to achieve gender equal representation in Dallas County over the next two election cycles.
The founding members of the ReflectUS coalition will be present at the Dallas convening: Anne Moses and Kristin Hayden of IGNITE, Larissa Martinez of the Women’s Public Leadership Network, Erin Vilardi of Vote Run Lead, Erin Loos Cutraro of She Should Run, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas of Latinas Represent, Cynthia Terrell of Represent Women, and Mindy Finn of Empowered Women.
The event will run from 8:30am to 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at the Texas Women’s Foundation at Campbell Centre II, 8150 N Central Expy #110, Dallas, TX 75206.