Non-profit

RepresentWomen

Website:

www.representwomen.org/

Location:

Tacoma Park, MD

Tax ID:

82-1933696

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

RepresentWomen is a left-leaning organization that advocates for increased female representation in elected office. [1] RepresentWomen works towards implementing structural changes they believe would help create a level playing field for women seeking office. [2]

The organization has three key goals: to change the electoral system to make it more friendly to women, to change party and donor rules to recruit and fund more women to run for office, and to create family-friendly legislative schedules. [3] In action, RepresentWomen believes that the U.S. should move away from winner-take-all elections to ranked-choice voting, parties and political action committees (PACs) should be required to set gender quotas so a minimum percentage of their recruitment and funding each cycle goes to female candidates, and that legislative bodies should be required to provide onsite childcare or allow campaign funds to cover such expenses. [4]

While RepresentWomen claims to be bipartisan,[5] a majority of its work seems to support left-of-center policy proposals that would fundamentally change the country’s electoral processes. [6] It is also a partner of the left-leaning electoral policy advocacy coalition Unite America. [7]

Founding and Leadership

RepresentWomen, originally called Representation2020, started in 2013 as a project of FairVote, a nonprofit that promotes ranked-choice voting, universal voter registration, and abolition of the Electoral College. FairVote served as the fiscal sponsor for Representation2020 until 2018, when it became an independent nonprofit and rebranded to RepresentWomen. [8]

Cynthia Richie Terrell is the founder and executive director of RepresentWomen. Terrell and her husband Rob Richie also helped to found FairVote in 1992. [9] Rob Richie remains the president of CEO of FairVote to this day. [10] During her time with FairVote, Richie Terrell worked towards a national popular vote plan for presidential elections, universal voter registration, and a right to vote amendment to the Constitution. [11] Richie Terrell believes that women often hesitate about running for president because “we are only familiar with men in executive positions as president.” [12]

Policy Positions

RepresentWomen supports ranked-choice voting, a voting system where voters rank candidates in the order of first choice, can be used to increased descriptive representation of women and people of color. [13] The organization supports legislation sponsored by Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Don Beyer (D-VA) which would require states to adopt ranked-choice voting in primary and general elections for Congress. The proposed law would also authorize federal funding to help states implement this change. [14] On the impact of ranked-choice voting on, RepresentWomen founder Cynthia Richie Terrell has said that, “The data is so clear and it’s unimpeachable. More diverse women are going to get elected, and it’s going to pick up steam.” [15]

RepresentWomen argues that because political parties play a significant role in deciding who runs for office, they must be challenged to increase the number of women candidates they recruit. They recommend that parties should prepare an annual report detailing the status of women’s representation in its own leadership, as well as its number of women candidates, nominees, and general election winners, as well as its plans to recruit women for upcoming elections. [16]

RepresentWomen also argues that PACs should be encouraged to propose targets for their giving for all levels of elected office and that they should be intentional in the number of women candidates they support. [17]

To make the governmental workplace more conducive to women, RepresentWomen urges legislative bodies to provide on-site childcare, telecommuting, virtual voting, and to allow for family-friendly schedules regarding committee meetings and floor proceedings. [18]

Research

Research from RepresentWomen has found that women are underrepresented at all levels of elected office. [19] Their annual Gender Parity Index in 2019 showed that at the federal level, women hold 25% of Senate seats and 23% of House seats. The same research report found that at the state level, women hold 18% of governorships, 27% of statewide executive offices, and 29% of seats in state legislatures. Additionally, the report found that 22% of mayors in cities of 30,000 people or more are women. [20]

RepresentWomen also conducts research on female representation in U.S. territories[21], tribal nations[22], and globally. [23]

In 2016, RepresentWomen partnered with two left-leaning organizations, the Center for Responsive Politics and the Common Cause Education Fund, to research the disparities between PAC and donor giving to male and female candidates. [24] Their report titled, “Individual and PAC Giving to Women Candidates” found that PACs, membership PACs, and leadership PACs underfunded women running for open seats. To solve this problem, the report recommended that PACs set gender targets for the number of women candidates they support and urged the public to withhold support for PACs that do not meet such targets. [25]

Projects and Resources

RepresentWomen has a number of ongoing projects, including: a petition calling on presidential candidates to name a female running mate and to appoint gender-balanced cabinets if elected,[26] a campaign to rename Washington Dulles Airport (named for Eisenhower administration Secretary of State John Foster Dulles) to the Eleanor Roosevelt Airport, and efforts to establish a national women’s commission[27] and a gender parity alliance. [28]

RepresentWomen offers a number of resources including presentations, handouts, and a ranked-choice activist toolkit and voting widget. [29] It also offers prewritten emails to legislators, letters to the editor, and op-eds. [30]

References

  1. Donahue, Allison. “Warren had diehard fans, especially women. So why couldn’t she win?.” Michigan Advance. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.michiganadvance.com/2020/03/06/warren-had-diehard-fans-especially-women-so-why-couldnt-she-win/ ^
  2. Internal Revenue Service. Form 990, FairVote. 2017. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/541/635/2017-541635649-102b864f-9.pdf ^
  3. “Women in Elected Office.” C-Span. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.c-span.org/video/?314641-1/forum-gender-parity-political-office&start=485 ^
  4. Ellefson, Lindsey. “ReprsentWomen’s Cynthia Terrell on How American Women Can Win at the Ballot Box.” The Wrap. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.thewrap.com/representwomens-cynthia-terrell-on-how-american-women-can-win-at-the-ballot-box-power-women/ ^
  5. “Why Women?: Reducing Polarization.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/why_women#reducing_polarization ^
  6. “Our Research.” Represent Women. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/our_research ^
  7. “Partners.” Unite America. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.uniteamerica.org/partners ^
  8. “RepresentWomen.” GuideStar. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/82-1933696 ^
  9. “Cynthia Richie Terrell.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/cynthia-richie-terrell ^
  10. “Rob Richie.” FairVote. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.fairvote.org/rob ^
  11. Terrell, Cynthia Richie. “Partner Spotlight: FairVote & Representation2020.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/partner_spotlight_fairvote_representation2020 ^
  12. Donahue, Allison. “Warren had diehard fans, especially women. So why couldn’t she win?.” Michigan Advance. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.michiganadvance.com/2020/03/06/warren-had-diehard-fans-especially-women-so-why-couldnt-she-win/ ^
  13. “Women Winning: Voting Systems.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/women_winning#voting_systems ^
  14. Risch, Emily. “Reps. Jamie Raskin and Don Beyer, Lead Sponsors of New Ranked Choice Voting Act, and State Reform Leaders Mark Momentum for ‘Ranked Choice’.” FairVote. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.fairvote.org/rcv_act_introduction_release ^
  15. Zhou, Li. “How to close the massive gender gap in Congress.” Vox. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/8/7/20746147/congress-women-2019-gender-parity ^
  16. “Women Running: What Can Parties Do.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/women_running#what_can_parties_do ^
  17. “Women Running: What Can PACs DO.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/women_running#what_can_pacs_do ^
  18. “Women Serving: Legislative Rules Changes.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/women_serving#leg_rules_changes ^
  19. “Our Challenge.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/our_challenge ^
  20. “Gender Parity Index, 2019 Report.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://fairvote.app.box.com/s/zqj8hcwwnjy5ikhdu8ui67t2jbropxs5 ^
  21. “Our Research: U.S. Territories.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/research_us_territories ^
  22. “Our Research: Tribal Nations.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/tribal_nations ^
  23. “Our Research: International Research.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/global_representation ^
  24. “Our Solutions: PAC and Donor Spending on Women Candidates.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/pac_donor_spending_on_women_candidates ^
  25. “Individual and PAC Giving to Women Candidates.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/fairvote/pages/4542/attachments/original/1480388175/Giving_to_Female_Candidates_November_14_final_draft.pdf?1480388175 ^
  26. “Our Projects: Gender Balanced Cabinet Project.” RepresentWomen. March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/gender_balanced_cabinet_project ^
  27. “Our Projects: National Women’s Commission.” RepresentWomen. March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/a_national_women_s_commission ^
  28. “Our Projects: Gender Parity Alliance.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/gender_parity_alliance ^
  29. “Get Involved: RCV Activist Toolkit.” FairVote. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.fairvote.org/rcv_activist_toolkit#how_to_use_the_toolkit ^
  30. “Additional Action Resources.” RepresentWomen. Accessed March 15, 2020. https://www.representwomen.org/resources ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 2018

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    RepresentWomen

    6930 CARROLL AVE
    Tacoma Park, MD 20912-4423