By: Hannah Ryan
“We learn not for school, but for life,” is the motto of our school. What we learn should not only have a positive impact on our futures but on the future of our world. It is 2020, and we have never had a female president, let alone a vice president. In the 2020 election this year, there are two women running for president, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. This shows progress from where our country was before, but we still need to empower more women to run for office.
I personally have no idea how to run for office. I’m not talking just becoming the president; I mean running for city council or a mayoral position. What I know about running for office and women in government comes from Leslie Knope’s role in the city council for one season in Parks and Rec. Clearly I am not an expert on this topic, so I decided to google it.
“How to run for office in Ohio,” was the prompt I typed in and the first answer was on how to run for a local city council position. They gave me three answers: you can seek the nomination of a party (democrat or republican), you can run as independent to avoid having to be recognized by a specific political party, or you can run as a write-in candidate. To do any of these, you have to “declare your candidacy,” meaning you have to fill out and turn in this form with a payment between 85 and 115 dollars. However, it’s not this simple, in most cases you need signatures from qualified electors of your party to file for a petition to get on the ballot. If you would like to run as independent, you would need signatures from more qualified electors of either party on your petition. As a write-in candidate, you need to turn in a declaration of intent. This declaration means that you intend to take office if you win the election. It also gives a time frame for which you need to submit the form.
So that’s all the paperwork you need to fill out, but if you decide not to run as a write-in candidate, but to get the signatures, you need a ballot team. To gain signatures, you need to find supporters that can push out your petition. They would take it around your city or state to get the number of signatures that you need.
At HB, we empower women to choose careers in STEM and computer science and other fields where there is a majority of men, but we choose not to let women be leaders. Yes, we have a leadership class, but to get in a position power you’re going to need much more. You will need not only the skills to win but the information to know how to run.
In the 2024 election, I hope to see more women running for president, as well as more women running for local positions. Maybe one day, an HB alum will become the president or a governor, but until then, we need to teach our students how to run for office.