I was reading Politico this weekend which has posted some incredible blog entries from political consultants, commentators and others about Geraldine Ferraro and what she meant to them. What I was struck by was that both Republicans and Democrats were inspired and encouraged by her. Susan Molinari, a former Republican Congresswoman from New York State, said that she would never have run for office if she hadn’t seen Geraldine Ferraro run for Vice President. The power of role models is crucial; we must not undervalue their power. To see a woman stepping up and leading in an arena where so few women have done so before is an extremely dynamic experience. It is part of the reason encouraging more women to run pays dividends even if they don’t win. The mere fact that they run will help others to see that it is an achievable goal. And we must get more women to run for public office. Our country and world will be better served if we have more women leading in political office.
I was only 3 years old when Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President, but the fact that she did it made that course possible for me. Being a trailblazer opens up the possibilities to others who otherwise may never have seen themselves in that role. Thank you Geraldine Ferraro for running. Your legacy lives on in the women who say to themselves, yes I can do it too.
-Jessica N. Grounds, Executive Director, Running Start