Media Round Up: Week of May 23rd

Happy Friday! Welcome to our Media Round Up. Each week we’re collecting and sharing our favorite gender + politics stories. Here’s what caught our eye this week:

There are only 8 women governors. Here’s how two plan to fix that.

Barbara Rodriguez, The 19th

Oregon Governor Kate Brown and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham are teaming up to chair the Women Governors Fund to support Democratic women gubernatorial candidates around the country. Women incumbent gubernatorial candidates tend to face challengers who are better financed than male incumbents according to a report from the Center for American Women and Politics. The data also showed that women gubernatorial candidates are more likely to have held office prior to running in primaries. These statistics combined reveal that women candidates not only have to spend more time with donors to convince them that they’re qualified, but they also need to have better qualifications to raise as much as male candidates.

You can read the full article here.

White male minority rule pervades politics across the US, research shows

Alexandra Villareal, The Guardian

A new report by the Reflective Democracy Campaign, an organization that analyzes the demographics of power in American politics, revealed that “white men represent 30% of the population but 62% of officeholders, dominating both chambers of Congress, 42 state legislatures and statewide roles across the nation.” On the other hand, women and people of color make up 51% and 40% of the population respectively and account for only 31% and 13% of officeholders. One possible explanation for this is that because women and people of color have been historically marginalized from the political space until recent history, most incumbents are white men. Incumbents are more likely to win elections as we saw during the 2020 election cycle where 96% of incumbents held on to their seats.

You can read the full article here.

Senate confirms Clarke as first Black woman to lead DOJ civil rights

Marty Johnson, The Hill

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Kristen Clarke as the new head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division by a 51-48 vote. She will be the first Black woman in history to lead the division, which is tasked with investigating law enforcement agencies and enforcing federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion or disability. A number of GOP leaders opposed Clarke’s nomination due to claims she was anti-police, leading Senator Susan Collins from Maine to be the only Republican crossover vote. Clarke’s confirmation was notably held on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, who was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

You can read the full article here.

Karine Jean-Pierre becomes first Black woman in 30 years to host daily White House press briefing

Allie Malloy & Caroline Kelly, CNN

On Wednesday, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean Pierre made history as she became the second Black woman to hold a White House daily press briefing. “It’s a real honor to be standing here today, I appreciate the historic nature. I really do, but I believe that … being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people,” Jean-Pierre said to reporters. Before Jean-Pierre, Judy Smith was the only Black woman to hold a daily press briefing in the White House, she served as deputy press secretary under former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

You can read the full article here.

Push to elect Black women to Senate turns to North Carolina and Florida

Bridget Bowman, Roll Call

Kamala Harris’s historic election left the U.S. Senate without any Black women, and activists around the country are eager to change that. The first Black woman senator, Carol Moseley Braun, lost her reelection in 1998 and it wasn’t until 2016 that Harris was elected, thus creating a sense of urgency to fill the void. In the perennial battleground states of North Carolina and Florida, Black women are already making political moves. Rep. Val Demming announced she’s planning to challenge Senator Marco Rubio last week and two Black women, Senator Erica Smith and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley are running for the open Senate seat in North Carolina.

You can read the full article here.

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