(Rochester, N.Y.) – Carrie Andrews ran for public office and won on
her first try last year.
At 30 years old, she’s one of the youngest politicians in Monroe
County. She also has another distinction – one of only four women on
the 29-seat county legislature.
“Oh sure, I definitely notice it,” she said.
A University of Rochester study gave Monroe County an
unsatisfactory grade for having 17 percent of county seats held by
women. Orleans County fared worse – it was given an F for having no
women on its legislature or in countywide elected offices.
Nora Bredes wrote the study. She’s a former Suffolk County
lawmaker who says many women are turned off by politics.
“Too rough and tumble. It doesn't seem like something where you
can get good stuff done,” she said.
Bredes says it’s great that Monroe County is one of three in the
state with a female county executive, but she says women would have
more influence in legislative bodies.
“Do you, for instance, want to have a woman president of the
United States or would it be better to have 75 percent of the U.S.
Congress be made up of women?” she said.
Women bring different policy priorities to the table, Bredes
said, such as domestic violence, and health and childcare
Bredes would like to see party leaders make more of an effort to
recruit women, telling them they can balance work and family and
make a difference in government.
Andrews suggests women interested in politics contact their
political party and get involved in campaigns and committees.
“It's volunteering. It's a lot of grassroots work,” she said.
Report Card on Women’s Progess