8th Annual Women's Candidate Forum at Peace College Brings to Light the Experiences of Women Candidates in Wake County
On Monday, September 20th, an audience gathered in the Kenan Recital Hall at Peace College to listen to women candidates share their experiences about running for office, difficulties encountered because of their gender, and their visions for putting North Carolina back on the right track. The forum was made possible through a partnership with Peace College, the NC Center for Women in Public Service, and the Junior League of Raleigh.
The panel of women included: State Representative Deborah Ross (D-37), County Commissioner Lindy Brown (D-District 2), Representative Jennifer Weiss (D-35), Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors candidate Jenna Wadsworth (that's me!), NC House candidate Violet Rhinehart (D-40), Representative Marilyn Avila (R-40), Representative Rosa Gill (D-33), & NC Senate candidate Stephanie Watson (L-16).
The NC Center for Voter Education videoed the forum and has made it available on their website. A link to the recording is HERE!
There were smiles, frowns, sighs of disbelief, and laughs over the course of the hour. The audience was stunned to hear about Rep. Jennifer Weiss's experience of being told she could not park in legislator parking when she first arrived at the General Assembly, as she was mistaken for a clerk. The crowd was moved when they heard Rep. Rosa Gill's story about growing up in a racially segregated world that she refused to find acceptable, leading her to fight for voices that have been oppressed through her work on the school board and in the legislature. The college aged Peace students found solace in the fact that women running for office started off much the same way they have, by getting involved in student government, majoring in political science, or by helping out a local campaign. Even my comment about being the only female running for soil and water supervisor against two males (and if I do not win, there will not be a female on the five member board) got laughs when I suggested that there is a reason it's called "Mother Nature". Overall, it was a tremendously wonderful experience to partake in and to observe.
I encourage you to watch the forum and learn more about each of these women, especially since this forum offers some insight into the unique perspectives of these candidates in a way that many issue based forums do not. In other words, this makes it easier to see these elected officials and candidates as humans (and less like robots who provide seemingly automated responses to issue based questions dependent upon their partisan affiliations).
And, of course, this entry would not be complete without a little bit of shameless self promotion. With that, I kindly ask for your support this fall in my campaign to become your next Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. My race is nonpartisan and is at the bottom of the ballot after the judicial races, so please remember to flip to vote for Wadsworth!
All the best,
Jennifer (Jenna) Austin Wadsworth
Candidate, Wake County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor
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