Enterprise Washington announced today it is partnering with The 2012 Project to inspire women with experience in the private sector to run for the Washington State Legislature.

“We are extremely excited to partner with The 2012 Project to help professional women who are interested in running for public office succeed,” said Erin McCallum, president of Enterprise Washington. “Only 33 percent of the members of the Washington State Legislature have private-sector experience. It is essential to recruit businesswomen who know what it takes for our state’s private industries to remain competitive, and who can take steps to

grow private-sector employment in Washington state.”

The 2012 Project is a national, nonpartisan campaign sponsored by the Center for American Women and Politics to identify and engage accomplished women ages 45 and up from industries that are currently underrepresented in state legislatures and in Congress.

“I’m thrilled to see Enterprise Washington assisting with this effort,” said Cathy Allen, one of Washington state’s top political strategists. “There is so much talent out there in our state and if business leaders encourage their female colleagues to run, they have a great chance of winning.”

Enterprise Washington is actively recruiting candidates in over 25 legislative districts in Washington state, and is working closely with The 2012 Project and other political partners to encourage and engage potential candidates. Between now and the 2012 election, Enterprise Washington will connect professional women who are interested in taking the next steps toward a potential candidacy with training and leadership programs, fundraising networks and political support organizations that can help them succeed.

“We are also working in collaboration with several other entities across our state who have a passion to see women elected, including the National Women’s Political Caucus, Women Impacting Public Policy and nearly 100 female professionals,” added McCallum.

Nationally, The 2012 Project aims to take advantage of new and open seats that will be created as a result of redistricting. The 2010 elections saw the first significant decline in women state legislators in decades and the first drop in the number of women in Congress in more than three decades. Women now only comprise 17 percent of Congress and 23 percent of state legislatures. This underrepresentation of women in public office looks unfair in a nation whose population is more than half female.

Any professional women considering seeking public office in Washington state should contact Enterprise Washington President Erin McCallum at (425) 313-0074 or erin@enterprisewashington.org.

About Enterprise Washington

The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization Enterprise Washington helps companies and employees better understand how elected officials establish public policy, and how to become more involved in the political process. Growing Roots for Our Workforce, GROW, is Enterprise Washington’s grassroots program dedicated to voter education and supporting jobs and the economy. For more information on Enterprise Washington, visit www.enterprisewashington.org.


About CAWP

The Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a university-based research, education and public service center. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women’s changing relationship to politics and government and to enhance women’s influence and leadership in public life. CAWP is a leading authority in its field and a respected bridge between the academic and political worlds. For more information on The 2012 Project, visit www.the2012project.us.

About NWPC-Washington

The NWPC-WA is a multi-partisan organization working to see more women elected and appointed to office in Washington State, and to involve more women in the political process.  For more information on NWPC-WA, visit www.nwpcwa.org.

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