As elections get closer, several news publications and student organizations are holding an event to increase discussion regarding women in politics.
The Huffington Post, Reno Gazette Journal, Associated Students of Nevada and the Nevada Sagebrush will be hosting a conversation about women in Nevada politics. The event is to take place in the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno at 6:00 p.m.
The discussion will be moderated by HuffPost Washington bureau chief Amanda Terkel. The panel will feature Majority Floor Leader of the Nevada State Assembly Teresa Benitez-Thompson, Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler, Reno Gazette Journal’s government watchdog reporter Anjeanette Damon and former Nevada lieutenant governor Sue Wagner — a former GOP member who left the GOP in 2014 and has since filed as nonpartisan.
The event is a stop on the HuffPost’s “Listen to America” RV tour. The two-week long tour stops in five states — California, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and Colorado. In addition to Reno, the tour will stop in San Diego, Sacramento, Calif., Phoenix, Boulder, Colo. and Boise, Idaho.
The HuffPost is taking an RV among these cities to see what people care about in cities the HuffPost is not based in.
“Heading into the 2018 election cycle, we’re going to go out and educate ourselves again,” the HuffPost wrote on the event’s website. “In early October, HuffPost will set out for a two-week journey through five Western states (four of which we didn’t manage to visit last year) to talk about issues affecting communities in California, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and Colorado. We’ll again partner with local media organizations and produce town hall events in each location where we address an issue of specific concern.”
Nevada’s event for the HuffPost tour revolves around the rise of women in politics and its importance. This is a Nevada-specific topic due to Nevada’s close proximity to being the first state to elect a female-majority legislature.
The RGJ reported in July that women could make up almost two-thirds of the state legislature by adding just five seats. However, the districts are incredibly competitive.
“Women already make up nearly 40 percent of those elected to serve in Carson City and — after winning a record number of primary contests in June — could make up nearly two-thirds of the statehouse by Nov. 7,” the Reno-Gazette Journal reported. “Still, they have to add at least five seats — including four in highly competitive Assembly districts — to secure a 32-seat majority.”
Despite the high competitiveness, the Reno-Gazette Journal analysis feels this female-majority is well within reach. The reason? Women are getting scared.
“In the past, we’ve had to ask women five, six, seven times to run for office,” said director of Emerge Nevada, a Democrat-linked candidate training nonprofit based in Las Vegas, said. “Whereas now, they’re worried. They’re scared about what’s going on in their communities. I think there’s an extremely great possibility for a female majority.”
To learn more about the HuffPost “Listen to America” tour, the HuffPost recommends subscribing to their morning email list. To register for free tickets for the HuffPost Women in Politics event at the university, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/nevada-leads-the-way-for-women-in-politics-tickets-50451439614.
Olivia Ali can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @OliviaNAli.