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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Maria Cantwell

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May 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

“Why Isn’t Every Year the Year of the Woman?”

While Washington State is often highlighted for its female governor and two female senators, the focus has shifted to increase women representation in the statehouse.

Washington is often championed for its female leadership with two female senators and a female governor. Maria Cantwell, Christine Gregoire, and Patty Murray pictured here in October 2009. (Photo courtesy of Patty Murray's Facebook page)

SEATTLE — The 1992 election was dubbed the “Year of the Woman,” when Anita Hill’s treatment while testifying in the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, galvanized a movement. The all-male committee highlighted the dominance of men in the Senate, and women responded — that year, 24 new women were elected into the House of Representatives and five to the Senate, including Washington’s Patty Murray.

That uptick in female elected officials also made its way into the statehouse. In Washington, after the 1992 election, women represented 40% of the state legislature — more than any other state.

With that history in mind, and an outgoing female governor and two female senators, you’d think Washington State would be the poster child for states that represent women. But if you peek behind the curtain, you see that female representation in the state legislature has been slowly eroding since its apex in the early 1990s. Today, it stands at 32%.


Comments | More in State | Topics: Christine Gregoire, Gender, Maria Cantwell

April 16, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Light turnout at Seattle-area Democratic caucuses may signal apathy, overconfidence, or a sunny day

With reporting by Alicia Halberg and Stephanie Kim

Democrats held their legislative caucuses on Sunday to help decide the party’s platform and select the presidential nominee. With Obama guaranteed the nomination, many simply didn’t see any point in attending.

Caucus sign fail at Beacon Hill International School (Photo by Dan Thornton/UW Election Eye)

Caucus sign fail at Beacon Hill International School (Photo by Dan Thornton/UW Election Eye)


Only 24 people showed up for the meeting of Washington’s 36th legislative district caucuses at Whittier Elementary in Ballard, where 15 precincts met to caucus.

Alice Woldt, former chairwoman of the King County Democratic Party and former chair of the 36th district Democrats, convened the caucuses at Whittier. She said the district had tried to reach out to potential caucus-goers using local media, calling those who came out in 2008, robocalls in the area, and having caucus officers talk to their neighbors.

“With all of the media attention on the other party, we need to build up energy and enthusiasm, otherwise people won’t think that we’ve got anything going on,” Woldt said.


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Ballard, Barack Obama, Beacon Hill