We’ve seen a lot of national headlines lately focused on “misogynist rhetoric” in the current election cycle, which seems to have brought into focus the different language and barometers used to measure female and male candidates running for elected office. How do we, as voters, balance judging a candidate’s gender (which may make us more or less likely to vote for her/him) with truly judging their ability to do the job of representing our community? Of course, voting for a candidate based solely on their gender is inappropriate. But so is focusing on “gender politics” when the candidate in question has a long record of public service and plenty of past history and policy proposals to discuss.
Mayor Helene Schneider has been a leader who helps businesses prosper on the South Coast, and she’s not afraid to question the status quo. She managed the recent economic downturn without the city incurring debt or engaging in irresponsible public spending. As a public figure Helene was championing marriage equality, climate change, and women’s health care before they were popular taglines to put on a liberal resume. She’s been proactive in securing a local water supply during the recent drought and has been a constant environmental leader for the city, which Sunset magazine recently named “Most Sustainable Community in the West.” These are some of the many reasons why Helene is the best candidate to send to represent us in Congress.
Of course women support her campaign! Men do too! We trust that Schneider will bring her intelligence, work ethic and sense of humor to the difficult issues facing our nation. Washington, D.C., is broken and failing. We need someone independent and smart to fix the problems caused by Washington insiders who care more about money than the lives of the people they are sent to represent. Voters should question why some candidates have received major money from outside PACs in this primary election. What promises have been made to attract these dollars?
It remains a fact that women are underrepresented at every level in government, and only 19 percent of Congressional representatives are women. Is this the only reason to support Helene Schneider and send her to Washington? No, we’re not supporting Helene because of her gender … and you shouldn’t either. Truth be told, the fact that Helene is an amazing woman is just one of the extra benefits of voting for the most qualified and responsible candidate in the field.