We reimagine, resource and replenish. We are the safe harbor for women like us in elected office. We work together to radically reimagine political leadership. We create shared power. We decolonize the political process and our own mindset about it. Why? Because we know when we are centered, as full, authentic leaders in our political process and systems, liberation is possible.
We recognize that our systems of governance and political participation were built by and for white men. From dress codes to parliamentary procedure, politics in America are designed to be exclusive, not inclusive. When we are at the table, women like us are often pigeonholed as single-issue figures, treated solely as representatives of our racial or ethnic groups rather than as whole and complex people. Evolving America in our image, rather than the image of white men, demands a radical reimagining of political leadership.
We recognize that being an elected official can damage our mental, physical and emotional health. This is compounded for women like us because of the high and unique expectations set on us. Beyond the job itself, we struggle with the socioeconomic disparities between us and our white counterparts, disproportionate scrutiny of our appearance, demands to serve both a geographic and racial/ethnic constituency, and attacks on our very place in America. Only sacred rest can ensure that we can thrive as leaders.
We recognize that the significant racial wealth gap in the United States limits who can succeed in elected office. In addition to financial disparities, women like us are hampered by the lingering and racist perception that we are less viable candidates than white men. We struggle to raise money while campaigning and must fight to financially sustain ourselves in poorly paid legislative positions that demand full-time commitment for less than minimum wage. Comprehensive support for our leadership requires adequate attention to financial resources.