Women in Politics Share Their Experience

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The current political climate has motivated many to take an interest in possibly running for office and a Sioux Falls organization is helping people take the first step.

According to the organization, “LEAD” or ‘Leaders Engaged and Determined’, only 13 percent of women in South Dakota hold a seat in the state house and only 5 percent of women make up the senate.

LEAD is hoping to change those numbers by sharing the stories of those who have held a seat in politics. Saturday afternoon, men and women packed the Sioux Falls Design Center, to listen to former state legislators and a school board member.

The organization says their hope is that other women will be encouraged to run by hearing the experiences of those who are just like them.

“We know statically that when women win the country wins. So having more women in the legislature means more women-friendly legislation gets passed. We know that women do such an incredible job, but they are not represented equally in elected office. So that’s something we are hoping to increase, “says Co-Founder of LEAD South Dakota, Carmen Toft.

Kate Parker is one of two women on the Sioux Falls school board. Her hope is that one day the number of women and men will be equal in roles held in the office.

“We have a certain voice, and to be able to express our opinions and to support the people of our community, I think is really important. If we can have a more balanced legislature, I think that would be fantastic, “says Sioux Falls School Board member, Kate Parker.

Two of the panelist expressed that they were not sure if they will run for office again, but Parker, says she is considering a city council run in the future.

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