Her Term: Grassroots organization recruits women to run for office
You’ll notice more women on the ballot this November and next. And that’s no accident. Her Term, launched in February (initially as Elect Her), recruits progressive women to run for and win public office at the local, state, and federal levels.
“The strategy is working,” said Jina Sanone, founder and president of Her Term. “We ask women to run then follow up with early help.”
This Georgia based-initiative reviews voting history and trends to identify elections ripe for a progressive female candidate. Sanone and her team then recruit qualified women, often community leaders, and connect them with resources.
Her Term is helping 2017 state legislative candidates, like Bee Nguyen running to fill Stacey Abrams’ seat (HD 89), as well as women in city council contests like Lauren Welsh (City of Atlanta, District 2) and county commission races.
Despite being the only candidate with state legislative experience, most recently as Sam Park’s (HD 101) campaign manager and chief of staff, Nguyen faced some push back from gatekeepers in her own party. “I was told ‘wait your turn’ and ‘you are better behind the scenes,'” Nguyen reflected. “Her Term supported me right off the bat.”
With November 2018 candidates required to declare by March 2018, Her Term is still recruiting for 2018 state level elections, around metro Atlanta and across the state.
Her Term’s Rennitta Shannon (HD 84) recently recruited Lucy McBath to run for HD 37 in 2018.
“Rennitta said ‘we need you to run. Nobody knows gun issues like you.’ I said, you’re right. I’ll do it, “ McBath reflected.
McBath became a nationally known gun safety advocate with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action after her teenage son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in a Florida convenience store parking lot during a 2012 argument over loud music.
When Governor Nathan Deal signed the campus carry bill into law, after vetoing it last year, McBath decided “enough is enough”.
“I want to work on the inside, where change is made,” McBath said.
At the federal level, Her Term is working with Carolyn Bourdeaux to represent Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. Bourdeaux has served as Director of Georgia’s Senate and Budget Office, was a legislative aide in the U.S. House and Senate, and is an associate professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. “She’s a super well-qualified, dream candidate, exactly the person you want representing you because she understands how policy works,” Sanone said.
“As more women are elected, we move closer to fulfilling our goal of equitable representation in every branch of government,” Sanone said.
Her Term will host a candidate forum on Nov. 16. For more information about the forum and the organization, visit www.facebook.com/herterm