The Coronavirus Crisis is Proving We Need More Women Governors and Mayors

Barbara Lee | Apr 8, 2020

This post originally appeared in Newsweek. 

A year that was supposed to be all about the presidency has suddenly become all about the governors. With the federal response to coronavirus lagging, national attention has turned to a group of lesser-known executive leaders now leading the fight against COVID-19.

The spotlight that has names like Andrew Cuomo and Mike DeWine trending has also exposed the lack of diversity in our nation’s executive offices. Case in point: A piece published in The Washington Post praising governors’ “presidential-style leadership” did not include a single woman. A CNN list of the next five governors to watch on coronavirus included only one (Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer).

Although only nine of the nation’s 50 governors are women, a high-water mark first reached in 2004—none are black. One is Hispanic, the sole woman governor of color.

Nevertheless, across the country and across party lines, women executives have been stepping up in big ways—proving why we need more of them in governors’ mansions and city halls.

Whitmer was among the first governors in the nation to take the difficult, decisive action to close all K-12 schools and public universities.

Maine Governor Janet Mills was granted emergency powers to lead the state through the crisis.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the nation’s only Latina governor, quickly moved to prevent people from hoarding supplies from stores.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the country’s first openly LGBTQ governor, issued a decisive executive order to keep Oregonians at home.

 

You can read the full article here.

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