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League of Our Own. The name instantly reminds us of the hit 1992 movie “League of Their Own” about women playing major league baseball during WWII. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell. The movie leaves viewers with a feeling of female empowerment, reminding us of the critical time in America when women moved into roles that were not traditionally open to them as their husbands, brothers, and sons fought overseas. League of Our Own, a Michigan-based organization, has taken this concept of female integration into a male-dominated field and applied it to government. The first thing you see on their website is the statistic that 51% of the US population is women but women only occupy 25% of Congressional seats. However, after the latest election cycle, that number has shrunk to 24% of congressional seats. There is no debate that women are under-represented in every state in the nation and the League believes this is crucial since multiple studies have shown that women govern differently. “Women govern differently; not better than men, because each gender has their strengths and both govern in fine ways, but we believe that difference is important and should be represented,” says Kristin Fair, Training and Mentoring Manager for the League.

Female empowerment is not the only thing the League has in common with the movie. League of Our Own believes that the making of a candidate starts long before they put their name on a ballot. The League is modeled after how the MLB recruits its prospective players. There are several levels of involvement in the organization. There are the Fans, who are the boots on the ground. They are volunteers who organize fundraisers, go door-knocking, and support the candidates once they announce their campaign. Then there are Scouts who are trained to look for potential female candidates in their communities, directing them to the League and its resources. There are Coaches, who are professionals from across the country that help the candidates prepare and strengthen their weaknesses. Some of these Coaches include Edith Jorge, the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the RNC and numerous state and national political operatives. Finally, there are the Prospects themselves, women who have the potential to run for office someday. In total, there are approximately 7000 people involved in the League’s relationship management system, only after 2 years of operation.

The League’s goal is to not push women to run, but build a bench of women who are capable of running when they feel ready and to support then when it is their time. The League simply wants to remove the obstacles from women’s lives that hold them back from running. “Often when women are asked if they ever thought about running it is met with things like ‘My kids are too young’ or ‘I don’t know enough about policy’. Our mission is to try to remove those barriers so when the opportunity presents itself, those women are ready to run,” says Terri Reid, President of the Michigan Freedom Fund.

Since its start in 2017, the League has grown tremendously. In the last election, the League’s goals were to perfect their custom technology and begin recruiting conservative women to become prospects. They easily met these goals and overwhelmingly exceeded them. Wanting to recruit 40 scouts and 120 prospects, the League ended up recruiting 45 scouts and 135 prospects. When asked where they hope for the League to go next, Kristin Fair says the goal right now is to expand. “Our home base is Michigan, but we are looking into the potential of expanding into four additional states in 2019,” she says.

It is easy to see that a critical gender disparity exists within elected positions, especially in Congress. Armed with their clever baseball-style recruiting techniques, League of Our Own is changing the way women are scouted for office. The League believes that women should not run simply because they’re women, but run (and win) because they are qualified and ready. Visit their site and see how you can be involved in an organization that is bound to change the gender makeup of our elected offices.

Taken from: http://futurefemaleleader.com/meet-organization-changing-women-recruited-public-office/ 


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The 2018 election was dubbed the “Year of the Women” due to its sheer force of women elected to public office. Yet the number of Republican women in the 116th United States House of Representatives is at its lowest in a quarter-century. Only 13 out of 52 Republican women won their races for the U.S. House on November 6, 2018.

 

On the Democratic side, 89 women were elected to the United States House. This far surpasses 25, which is the record number of Republican women serving in House – and occurred in 2006.


In Michigan, we elected 53 women to the State Legislature, ranking us 12th in the nation of female representation, per the Center for American Women and Politics. Women in Michigan won, yes. Republican women, not so much.


So, while experts’ declaration of 2018 as the “Year of the Women” leads us to believe that voters are listening to women now more than ever, we know it is on us to make sure those same voters are hearing our voices… as Republican women.


That is why we established The League of Our Own. The League is dedicated to finding talented women to run for office and providing them the tools, resources, training and mentorship they need to be successful candidates and effective leaders. If you are reading this, then you have already taken an important first step in getting conservative women’s voices out there.


The League is made up of fans, scouts, prospects and coaches. No matter how you came in to the League, we are glad you are here and look forward to your active involvement.

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LANSING, MI, September 28, 2017 – League of Our Own is celebrating a successful launch this past weekend on Mackinac Island.

The League hosted an event at the Pink Pony on Mackinac Island to introduce the League of Our Own to those attending the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The event was hosted in partnership with Michigan Excellence in Public Service (MEPSS).

“There are many organizations that recruit women to run for office. Where there seems to be a gap, are organizations that provide training to women who want to run for office. League of Our Own is here to fill that gap by calling on a statewide network of talent to mentor and develop women who have an interest in being leaders in their community,” said Kristin Fair, the League’s Training and Mentoring Manager. “There are women leaders in every community across the state and the nation, yet women continue to be under-represented at every level of government. League of Our Own wants to challenge them to get involved, and empower them to be leaders on local school boards and city councils, in the state house and senate, in Congress and beyond.”

For more information, please visit www.LeagueofOurOwn.org.

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Excerpt from the New York Times:

Fed up with the government shutdown in 2013, Senator Susan Collins took the floor, presented a three-point plan and implored colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work with her.

As soon as she walked off, her phone rang. The first senators to call her, she said, were women: Kelly Ayotte and Lisa Murkowski, fellow Republicans, and Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.

“I’ve always thought that was significant,” said Ms. Collins, a Republican from Maine. “And indeed, we put together a plan for the reopening of government, and women led the way.”

Tuesday failed to be a ceiling-shattering day for women in government. In addition to Hillary Clinton’s loss, the number of female governors dropped to five from six, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers. Kate Brown of Oregon was the only woman to win a governor’s race. The number of women in Congress stayed flat at 104, or 19 percent of seats. (The Senate had a net gain of one woman and the House a net loss of one.) Thirteen states will send no women to the 115th Congress, including Mississippi and Vermont, which have never had a woman in Congress.

Read the entire article at NYTimes.com.


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