Today’s Emily’s List post on the number of women who hold public office in the US got us thinking about the state of the state here in Illinois. Women comprise a majority of the electoral vote but don’t come anywhere close to that representation in government. Here are a few facts about Illinois Democratic Women:
- Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the only state-wide elected woman here in Illinois. That means out of the five constitutional offices—we only hold one! That’s 20%.
- If we elect Robin Kelly as our next State Treasurer, Sheila Simon as our next Lt. Governor and re-elect Attorney General Madigan—Democratic women will hold three out of the six constitutional offices or 50%. Quite a bit of progress in one election!
- Three out of the 19 Illinois Congressional Representatives are women. That’s 16%.
- Democratic Women State Representatives currently make up 21% of the Illinois House of Representatives.
- Democratic Women State Senators comprise 17% of the State Senate.
There’s no question that those numbers need some work but let’s turn our focus to the 2010 midterm elections. If we don’t stand behind women leaders in Illinois, we will see a decline in these already low numbers and will have Republican elected officials in their place halting our progress.
Where would we be without Congresswomen Halvorson, Schakowsky and Bean? Would Obama even be able to pass his legislative agenda?
Does Illinois really need more votes like Congressmen Schock and Kirk? Heck no!
Do you think Governor Brady has a nice ring to it? If he wins, Illinois will have to contend with an anti-woman agenda.
We as women, Illinoisans and leaders have a lot at stake this fall. We cannot go in reverse like the Republican Party wants us to—we have to continue to move forward.
Not only do we have to protect great female leaders who are in competitive races like Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson and State Senator Deanna Demuzio (and the many many others across Illinois), we need to work to get Robin Kelly, Sheila Simon, Michelle Mussman and countless other great women elected in November.
Let’s get to work now. As they say: “someday is not a day of the week“. These women need your help. The only way they will win in November is if we help them. Make calls, talk to your friends and neighbors, make a financial contribution, and/or attend an event.
If we each do our part, Democratic women will win this fall.