Nearly two decades after the first-coined “Year of the Woman” in 1992, 2018 brought the largest surge of women and femme candidates than ever before. 2018 marked the dawn of a new era for women in politics - particularly in Texas. The Lone Star state was among many states to reach an insurmountable level of “firsts” during the most recent election cycle. The 2018 midterm election was guided by a new, non-partisan approach from voters in Texas that promoted the growth of democracy. Over fifteen million Texans were registered to vote for the election this past November 6th - the most registered voters that the state has ever seen. Texans elected their first Latinas to Congress: Congresswomen Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia. The first same-spouse couple entered the Texas Legislative Ladies club after the election of State Representative Julie Johnson. The Texas Legislature formed its first LGBT Caucus, dedicated to active representation of the LGBT community in the policy making process. There were nine state- and federal-level seats that witnessed head-to-head women campaigns, giving each seat a 100% chance of a woman being elected. Harris County received national attention after the election of nineteen African-American women judges, creating a phenomenal, history-making bench. Finally, Texas became the new unofficial swing state of the country, bringing Texas politics into a new, nationwide scope.
As 2018 progressed, so did the growth of the Lone Star Parity Project. We built our own database from the ground up, capturing data points that have never been aggregated before. We launched our first voting campaign for the midterms that introduced a non-partisan voter education headquarters, including tools to find polling locations, voting rights resources, and up-to-date news streams from the Secretary of State. And we’re continuing this momentum into 2019 by releasing our first in-house research report on the 2018 general election cycle.
We interviewed over fifty incredible women and femmes, sharing the stories of student activists, elected officials, campaign gurus, and political icons alike. We shared the story of Amy Sharp, one of only five women to serve as Student Body President for Texas A&M University within its 72-year history. We wrote about Judge Jennifer Edgeworth, the woman who recently tipped the scales of parity in favor of women for Collin County’s District Court bench. We heard from Honorable Jess Herbst, one of the first openly-transgender women to serve as a mayor in Texas. We detailed the journeys of Texan women who analyze politics through blog outlets like Terri Broussard Williams, founder of #TheMovementMakerTribe; Susan Byrnes Long, founder of the How She Got Here podcast; and Emily Jackson, founder of the She’s Running Podcast.
And we would be remiss to say we did it alone. We have built an Affiliate Network of fourteen incredibly talented organizations (and counting!) who are dedicated to building political parity in Texas. Our team of almost twenty members have worked diligently to bring you accurate research and compelling stories. We cheered on our team members as they reached incredibly milestones like beginning law school, graduating from undergraduate & graduate school, successfully defending research theses, and securing key stakeholder roles, all while driving this movement forward.
The state of the Texas woman is far from perfect - but we are making great strides towards equity in the political sphere. As 2019 enters, we prepare ourselves for the marathon that is activism. We will continue to answer the call for political parity in Texas.
As an organization, Lone Star Parity Project prides itself on maintaining an environment for academic excellence. We are proud to share that two of our teams members conferred their respective degrees this past month!
Adrianna Maberry, our Founder & Research Director, received her Masters in Geographic Information Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas after successfully defending her thesis. She plans to return to Washington, D.C. to a full-time position with the Lone Star Project, a national PAC focused on progressive Texas politics.
Emily Ivey, one of our Contributors from East Texas, received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Tyler. She is currently enrolled to attend Ole Miss Law School, on scholarship, in the Fall of 2019.
ConGRADulations to our graduates!
Our Founders, Adrianna Maberry & Brooke López, participated in Apolitical's Young Thought Leader Competition this year, representing the Lone Star Parity Project by entering TWO different thought-piece op-eds. While LSPP did not win the grand prize, both articles were shortlisted and published as part of the competition, bringing international attention to the importance of both data and storytelling. Here are our pieces.
To learn more about Apolitical, visit there website: https://apolitical.co/solutions/
Lone Star Parity Project is pleased to announce our newest addition to the Affiliate Network: She Votes.
What is She Votes?
She Votes is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes habits of lifelong voting for women of all backgrounds. She Votes’ primary purpose is voter education for women via online sources, primarily through social media platforms. She Votes emphasizes the importance of voting for women of all political parties, socioeconomic backgrounds, and religious affiliations.
A major effort of She Votes is their ambassadorship program. So far, She Votes has 25 ambassadors nationwide and 2 internationally. These ambassadors act as liaisons between She Votes and their respective communities to spread information to women voters. Ambassadors also make a pledge to register a certain amount of previously unregistered women to vote.
Within the next year, She Votes hopes to establish a fellowship program which will sponsor young women in pursuing otherwise unpaid government internship opportunities.
What is She Votes’ story?
She Votes was established by founder Shannon Lynch in early 2018. With a background in working on campaigns and running for office herself, Shannon saw a shortage of voter education resources on social media that were targeted specifically at women. Shortly thereafter, She Votes was born. Since then, She Votes has grown into a community of thousands of women across the US and world committed to making their voices heard through the power of the vote.
Learn more about She Votes below:
Lone Star Parity Project is pleased to announce our newest addition to the Affiliate Network: RepresentWomen.
What is RepresentWomen?
RepresentWomen is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving gender parity for women in appointed and elected office in the United States. They advocate for data-driven reforms to break down the institutional barriers women face as candidates and in elected office.
What is RepresentWomen’s story?
RepresentWomen was founded in 2014, under the name Representation2020, by Cynthia Richie Terrell, to work for rules and systems strategies to advance representation and leadership for women across the ideological, racial, and geographic spectrum in the United States.
Currently, the United States ranks behind 102 countries for women’s representation in national parliaments. Many of those nations, and a growing number of jurisdictions in the US, have recruitment rules and voting systems that even the playing field for women running for elected office.
RepresentWomen serves as a resource hub for tools to build a movement towards gender parity in government. They produce research on rules, and systems changes to increase women’s representation, bring together thought-leaders to develop innovative strategies to break barriers for women in politics, and build a network of gender parity advocates making change in their communities.
Learn more about RepresntWomen below:
Lone Star Parity Project is pleased to announce our newest addition to the Affiliate Network: Have the Audacity.
What is Have the Audacity?
Have the Audacity is dedicated to supporting and empowering women and girls to run for office through research and leadership development.
What is Have the Audacity’s story?
Have the Audacity is a nonpartisan organization, founded in 2018, with the mission to increase the number of women in politics. Have the Audacity believes that young girls and women should Have the Audacity to run, win, and lead. We focus our efforts on two main objectives, research and leadership development.
Have the Audacity conducts academic research to uncover the root of the political ambition gap with a focus on young girls and gender socialization. In addition, Have the Audacity in partnership with existing training organizations conducts program evaluations by combining theory with practice.
Have the Audacity offers leadership training for young girls with an emphasis on self-efficacy and political ambition. Have the Audacity also offers personal development and leadership training for women in politics and women aspiring to political office.
Learn more about Have the Audacity below: