'You can step up:' Female candidates urge Alaska women to run
More Alaska women are interested in running for political office this year in the wake of a national movement for equal representation, according to the Anchorage Women's Commission.
The commission hosted an all-female panel of elected officials on Monday to field questions from other women interested in public service. The two-hour event at the municipal Department of Health and Human Services building downtown quickly became standing-room-only; the commission estimated 40 to 50 people were present, with more following on Facebook Live.
Nationally, 2018 is being called the year of the woman, marked Sunday evening by a fiery speech from Oprah Winfrey as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th annual Golden Globes.
Across the country, more women are reportedly filing for public office in upcoming elections. Websites like SheShouldRun.com and EMILY's List have become platforms for encouraging women to run for office.
Here in Alaska, several women's groups hope to do the same.
"I'm excited, I'm really glad to see the nation trend going that way and I'm excited to step into that trend and that wave," said Alyse Galvin, who participates in a program called Alaska Women Ascend, which is designed to help women reach office this year.
Galvin has filed to run against Alaska's sole U.S. House member, longtime incumbent Rep. Don Young.
"I think that Congress, obviously, has some work to do when it comes to finding solutions and coming together, and I think women will play a big part in that," Galvin said.
Rebecca Logan launched her campaign for Anchorage mayor in September.
"I grew up in a family where my father was a pretty strong influence on us in letting us know that we could do whatever we wanted to do," Logan said. "So I never felt like there wasn't something I couldn't do."
If elected, Logan says she'll have the safety of women in mind.
"People are recognizing it's a huge issue, everything we've had happen. It's not just women saying it's an issue, now people realize this is serious," Logan said.
Whether it's on the big stage, in Congress, or a smaller arena, Women in Alaska and around the nation are stepping up to serve.
"You can step up, do it, give it a try -- the worst that can happen is that you don't win," Galvin said. "But I think that right now is our time to win."
"I encourage all women to consider it, I think it's a great thing to see so many women stepping up right now," Logan said.
The panel at Monday's meeting included Anchorage state Reps. Charisse Millett and Jennifer Johnston, as well as Anchorage Assembly member Suzanne LaFrance.
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