The last three weeks, I’ve been mulling over the various potential compositions of city government leadership for this election season. With the city races for mayor, city attorney, controller, and eight council seats, I am starting to wonder if City Hall and Council will be void of women in elected positions.
Women are estimated to represent 50.2 percent of the City’s population and are more likely to vote than males. With a male dominated City government, women won’t have adequate representation in a male run city hall. And, the underrepresentation in city politics means that women’s views and experiences may not be at the table.
For me, in the daily grind of work and caring for four children, I want representation that will have the tenacity to handle problems that matter to my community and me. It matters to me that a representative provides for the public safety of my children. When I say public safety, I mean quality resources that engage youth in extra-curricular activities after-school, connect youth with mentors and caring adults, expand on their future educational and workforce competitiveness, increase arts and recreation, and reinforce moral values and character development.
I want a strong education advocate who won’t give the same political rambling that he or she can’t impact education or the Los Angeles Unified School District because that’s a separate entity. Care about what concerns me, such as, ethnic educational disparities, public and privatization schools balance, poor educational outcomes, or political influence and collaboration with the school board. Use what’s in the city’s authority to address those concerns.
I desire representation that looks at equitable economic opportunities and job growth that give all Angelinos an opportunity to live and work in their local neighborhoods with wages that meet housing affordability; and give mother’s like me the work/life balance to manage my household.
I want a leader that will relook at transportation for low to middle income and female heads of households expensing large chunks of household money to daily transportation needs. I definitely want someone to find a way to improve transit for poor families who struggle with transportation access, affordability, and targeted fair evasion tickets from the Sheriff’s due to the lack of funds to cover transit fares.
I am looking for a City representative who can see it both ways, provide counter views, and is compassionate for married women, single-woman, ethnic women, middle class women, and poor women; and will welcome women leaders by appointment to Commissions or other government to offset the shortage of representation.
For a great diverse and overwhelming woman populated City, women are being sucked out of the city’s political atmosphere. If we don’t fix gender scarcity or find a counter balance, City Hall will be a government of groupthink attitudes and practices that won’t lend to a responsive, compassionate, and forward thinking.
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