Why I Registered to Run for Office, Along with 4,500 Other Women – Kveller
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Why I Registered to Run for Office, Along with 4,500 Other Women

“Did I understand your FB post that you have registered to run for office?” my friend texted me last night at 6 p.m. She had seen me share this story about the more than 4,500 women who have registered to run for office with the comment, “I’m in there. Hope you are too!”

Like Sarah in the Torah when she finds out she’s pregnant at age 100-and-whatever, I had to laugh. No, I am not running for office, I texted back. I cannot even get it together to run around the block.

I am a mother of six children. And, as any American mother knows, the hardest months of the year are September (start of school/Jewish holidays), June (end of school/summer holidays), and December (imminent vacation/“happy holidays”). December is usually the month in which things requiring forethought suddenly demand your immediate attention—like holiday gifts for teachers, or the fact that your son has grown three inches meaning he is going to need new snowpants BEFORE the next blizzard hits. This is also the month in which Things Fall Apart—there is always a teacher conference or two, a festive gathering or seven, and a huge school project or nine—and these are usually accompanied by someone getting sick.

The idea of running my own house—mentally, emotionally and physically—seems daunting enough without thinking of running for the House.

And yet.

When there are more women in elected office, our world—and I’m talking regardless of your political inclinations—becomes a better place. Because the more perspectives and voices are heard at the governmental level, the better off we will all be. I do truly believe that.

And, despite the fact that my candidate for president did not win, I do want to believe in America. I go to synagogue and I pray for the future of our nation. But, as Abraham Joshua Heschel noted when he marched at Selma with Martin Luther King Jr., there is a time when you have to pray with your feet. So the question is how, and in what direction you want to march, and with whom.

So I signed up for the She Should Run incubator. It’s an online, nonpartisan resource for women interested in possibly running for office. It’s not a commitment—it’s joining a group with the goal of helping women to see public service as a possible path. That’s a goal I can definitely support.

And as for me? I’m not sure. But I am sure that I want to be part of that conversation, and that the more voices heard, the better.

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