The number of women in major political positions is disproportionately low in the United States. They make up around 19 percent of all members of congress and less than 25 percent of all state legislatures. In spite of this, Jacksonville has seen success in women becoming leaders.
Northeast Florida has seen multiple women win municipal elections, engage in activism, and campaign for elected office. In 2017, women won all of the open elected positions in Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach. GlobalJax is happy to support these individuals and promote meetings between them and our international participants.
Newly elected Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser and City Commissioners Brittany Norris and Candace Kelly are more than willing to speak with international leaders about the current political climate. They can also discuss their experience and motivations as women in running for public office.
In addition to these ladies, Jacksonville elected Anna Brosche to be the new Jacksonville City Council President in 2017. Brosche is the first Asian-American elected to City Council office and the first Filipino City Council member in Florida. She is a great resource to be able to speak with in regards to how her status as a minority and as a women informed and influenced her campaign.
While these women have won campaigns there are also more women currently running for office in the region. Ambassador Nancy Soderberg is running for Florida State Senate in District 6. She is currently the Director of the Public Service Leadership Program at the University of North Florida, has served in the White House, the United Nations, the U.S. Senate, and as a strategist on four presidential campaigns.
Northeast Florida also has organizations working to empower women. For example, Nine in 15 is a grassroots, nonpartisan organization that focuses on the underrepresentation of women in local politics, recruits local talent, and provides training and resources to local women seeking to run for office. Participants with our international programs can also meet with leaders from the Women's March Jacksonville Chapter. The goal of the women's march is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.
Young women in our area are also becoming more involved in political activism and engagement. For example women lead both the Jacksonville Young Democrats and Northeast Florida Federated Republican Women.
While women still have a long way to go to increase their representation in the political arena, Jacksonville and Northeast Florida have made great advancements toward this goal. GlobalJax will be hosting a group from Ukraine who are working to empower women in their country this February.
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