Before Donald Trump was elected president, a spokesperson for She Should Run — a nonpartisan organization that recruits women to run for political office — told the Cut they would see “at best, and with significant effort, anywhere between a few dozen to a few hundred women” sign up for its online incubator program every month. Three months after the election, the total number of women enrolled had skyrocketed to 8,100, and by July, Erin Loos Cutraro — She Should Run’s co-founder and CEO — told Axios that more than 15,000 had joined the community, with 11,000 actively planning to run for office.
Those unprecedented numbers inspired the organization’s 250kby2030 campaign, which was announced Tuesday and aims to achieve gender parity in politics in just 13 years.
The campaign’s goal is to fill half of the country’s 500,000 elected positions with women by 2030. “We’re really taking advantage of this surge and saying, ‘Now is our chance to build this path,’” Cutraro said. She added that the extended timeline is meant to “make it clear that we’re in it for the long haul … we know it’s not going to happen overnight.”
According to Cutraro, one of the biggest issues for women candidates is that they second-guess themselves. “They’re not certain about what they’re selling,” she said. With that in mind, 250kby2030 will (a) pair campaign veterans (be they lawmakers, activists, or journalists) with aspiring candidates, (b) create a community referral program that connects women with resources close to home, and (c) expand the online incubator program and create online content tailored to each woman’s needs.
Cutraro added that many women in She Should Run’s community have looked to our current president as proof that “voters are looking for something different right now.” As such, the campaign won’t tell women what they’re “supposed” to say to voters; instead, it’ll ask them to focus on what unique qualities they bring to a leadership position.
“At current rates, it will take over 100 years to achieve equal representation,” Cutraro said in a press release. “That is unacceptable, and 250Kby2030 will change that.”