Are you keeping up with politics? According to a recent Pew Research Center Poll, 10 percent of Americans fall into the category of “politically disengaged.” For millenials—voters under 30—that figure is much higher. The New York Times pegged their percentage of disengagement at closer to 61 percent. The subject of why we should care about politics, when so much seems to be going wrong, was a subject of discussion at our recent Twitter party and at a presentation given by Provo Utah Mayor John Curtis. If you feel disengaged in politics, here’s a chance to change your ways and learn about why you should care. On Thursday, November 12th, two Utah elected officials, Rebecca Chavez-Houck and Lisa Watts Baskin, will be on campus to speak about the importance of participation in electoral politics, particularly the participation of women.
Real Women Run is a collaborative, nonpartisan initiative. Their aim is to encourage women to participate fully in public life and civic leadership, whether that means simply being informed about the American political system or running for a political office. This event, sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement, will focus on the advantages and challenges of women participating in electoral politics.
The general hesitancy of women to participate in political issues is a topic recently of interest to many. Christopher F. Karpowitz, associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, conducted extensive research on this topic. He describes his findings in his book, The Silent Sex, published in 2014. In the book summary, Karpowitz suggests that men and women “enter deliberative settings facing different expectations about their influence and authority.” Additionally, he says:
Women are no longer officially restricted from full participation in public gatherings. On paper, they have equal access to juries, university seminars, voluntary association boards, government committees, and even work teams. And so, in theory, we would expect to find that they participate and exercise power at the same rate as men do at the meetings that govern our society in these influential spaces. Yet women are still underrepresented in the ranks of active and influential participants in many of these settings.”
Although Real Women Run focus their efforts primarily on the political participation of women, they also urge all citizens to:
- Register to vote.
- Get to know your elected officials.
- Educate yourself about candidates running for office.
- Learn about the issues.
The two speakers at for the event are:
Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Utah State Representative
Rep. Chavez-Houck has represented Salt Lake City’s District 24 in the Utah House of Representatives since 2008 and focuses on public policy related to health and human services as well as voter engagement and access.
Lisa Watts Baskin, Administrative Law Judge
Ms. Baskin has practiced law in Utah for nearly 25 years and presently serves as an Administrative Law Judge in the Utah Office of Inspector General. She also practices law in her own firm. She serves on numerous civic boards and commissions.
Visit RealWomenRundotorg.wordpress.com for more information on.
Real Women Run
Sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement.
Thursday, November 12th 11:00am in 3714 HBLL
Are you politically engaged or disengaged?