local councilors discuss policy challenges

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In 2020, women have broken down barriers at the polls and as political donors.

At the federal level, women make up 27% of all members of Congress, which is the highest number ever. While women have made tremendous progress in politics, there is still a long way to go, especially at the grassroots level.

From Harker Heights to Killeen, you’ll find two powerful advisors Melissa Brown and Lynda Nash. Brown, a councilor in Killeen and Nash, is a representative in Harker Heights.

However, before they got into politics, doubt created a mountain.

“I know a lot of things held me back, I probably would have gotten into it a lot sooner without being scared if the world hadn’t told me this was something I shouldn’t be doing,” Brown said. .

Nash said: “If I went back to 10-year-old Lynda, I wish I could meet her. When I said I wanted to be president and my teacher told me you had to choose something else and I believed than .”

The mountain created by Brown and Nash was actually a reality. Women make up 51% of the population, but when it comes to politics, they make up 31% of state legislators, 30% of elected state executives, and 25% of city mayors. of 30,000 inhabitants, according to the Centre. for American Politics and Women at Rutgers University.

When it comes to equality in politics in the United States, the United States lags behind Mexico and Canada. According to the World Economic Forum, out of 153 countries in the world, the United States ranks 53rd for gender equality in politics.

Brown is now in his second term on Killeen Town Council. She says she spends 60 to 80 hours a week reviewing materials for meetings and getting involved in the community, in addition to being a wife and mother of two. When she started her political career, she said she felt a certain setback.

“The hardest part of being a woman in politics in Texas in the beginning was getting people to take me seriously. I think we still have a stigma around women where we’re more emotional, we’re going to act on emotion or we’re just not as factually informed as our male counterparts,” Brown said. “Women are just as capable as women are just as knowledgeable as women are just as worthy and deserving , we bring a whole different perspective.”

The United Nations Organization for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women reveals that the road to equality with regard to women in politics will be long, projecting that gender equality in political office will only be not reached for another century.

“When we have a seat at the table and can bring a different point of reference, that’s how you shape the look of America, what your local election looks like,” Nash said.

Nash is serving his first term on the Harker Heights City Council. As an Army veteran, Nash said she strives to put the community first and connect with people, regardless of party affiliation.

Nash said: “If we start on common ground and it’s humanity and we respect each other, then all these other things don’t matter. It’s okay to disagree , but you have to respect everyone’s ideas and what they feel like. At some point, I pray that we don’t have to have these kinds of conversations about women in politics or women of color. I hopefully it will be a level playing field, but right now it’s not because it’s not that’s why we need to talk about it, that’s why it matters.”

Both are extremely proud to serve their community and inspire the next generation of female leaders.

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