Women should be better represented in Connecticut state government. Governor Lamont proposes acting on recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls that will make it easier for women to run for and win elected office and for women and people of color to serve on state boards and commissions.
Women are underrepresented in Connecticut state government. Although a record-breaking 138 Connecticut women ran for state and federal office in 2018, they accounted for only 35% of the 392 candidates on that year’s ballot and 34% of those sworn into the state legislature.
One barrier to women’s equal participation in politics is their disproportionate share of childcare responsibilities. Those responsibilities prevent too many mothers, especially low-income mothers who cannot afford outside help, from running for office.
A lot of work is state government is done not by elected officials or fulltime employees, but by volunteer members of the state’s many boards and commissions, from the Aquaculture Advisory Council to the Victim Compensation Committee. Membership on those boards is important in its own right and can be a springboard to other opportunities, but women and people of color are underrepresented on them.
Governor Lamont’s Solution
Governor Lamont proposes makes it easier for women to run for and win elected office by permitting candidates participating in the Citizens Election Program to use program funds for childcare expenses attributable to their campaign. Expressly permitting that use will free prospective candidates from choosing between caring for their family and running for office and declared candidates to spend more time speaking with voters.
The Governor also proposes promoting gender and racial diversity on state boards and commissions by codifying the Lamont administration’s new online portal that makes it easier for residents without experience in state government to learn about and apply for positions and by directing appointing authorities to seek out diverse candidates and to consider candidates recommended by organizations representing the interests of gender and racial diversity.