Who am I? I’m a woman with a microphone and in internet connection. But who are they? They are women who are trying to change politics.
On November 9th, 2016, I felt like millions of Americans – scared, dismayed, and desperate to do something. I needed to do something; I needed to participate. I, like hundreds of thousands of other women, joined an online program to encourage women to run for office. But after going through some of the lessons, I realized that this wasn’t going to be the way that I help change the world. I didn’t want to be a candidate, but I did want to do something for all the women I saw who were excited and ready to run. I couldn’t volunteer for a hundred campaigns, so, after some thought, I decided on a podcast. I’m not famous, I’m not known, and I’ve never had a podcast before, but I thought “this is something I can do.” This is the way that I could help amplify the voices of women who are taking the leap of running for elected office. So I did some research, bought a domain, and started a podcast. I’m still a one-woman show, doing everything from the interviews to website maintenance to social media for She’s Running. And little, by little, I’m seeing my audience grow.
On She’s Running, I talk to women all over the country, from a 28-year-old lawyer in Manhattan to a trans rights activist in Dallas to a retired teacher in Anchorage, who have taken the leap and are running for office. I’ve talked to women who are running for school boards, for city councils, for the U.S. House of Representatives, and for every electable position in between. We talk about their backgrounds, what inspired them to run, and the challenges they’ve faced along the way. More and more I’m hearing women from all over the country telling versions of the same story: “I was disappointed. I knew I had to do something. I’d thought about it a long time and this time I said yes.”
So who am I? I’m a budding activist, someone who is increasingly passionate about gender parity in politics, and I love listening to people tell their stories. I’m a classic introvert, so I like getting people to talk about themselves. (Not a terrible skill for a podcaster.)
But the women I talk to – they are the ones with the stories. Their stories are the stories of normal, every-day Americans, which is what makes them so exciting and incredibly inspiring. I’m hoping that when women see (or hear!) someone who looks like them, who talks like them, who has experiences like them – they start to wonder… could I do that?
And believe me, the answer is always “yes”.
Emily is not a journalist. She is not a politician. She is a woman who cares about the political future of our country and believes that the future is female.