At YWCA Hartford Region, we live by the inspirational quote by former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Congresswoman Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress and dedicated her life to using her voice to make a difference for all.
Do you feel like you voice isn’t being heard? Do you want to make a difference in your community? Learn more about the 50/50 Campaign and how to become engaged with your municipality’s boards and commissions.
The 50/50 Campaign educates and encourages community members to join their local municipal boards and commissions to ensure residents have a seat and participate in the decision-making process, and help improve the quality of life for women, those who identify as women, children, and people of color. Our efforts focus on the following:
- 50% engaging and educating community members on the roles, authority and impact of local boards and commission in their community, as well as working with community members to ensure their voices are heard.
- 50% working in partnership with municipalities within the Hartford Region to reform policies, processes and practices and promote equitable racial and gender representation on their boards and commissions, especially those focusing on quality-of-life issues for all residents. Currently, we are piloting our efforts with the City of Hartford, and the Towns of Bloomfield and East Hartford. Below are the boards and commissions of focus for each municipality.
- East Hartford:
To learn more, watch YWCA Hartford Region’s 50/50 Campaign webinar here.
In 2020, Connecticut’s Secretary of the State’s Report on Gender and Racial Composition of Connecticut State Boards and Commissions was released, resulting in the passage of Public Act No. 21-49, which outlines efforts to diversify state boards and commissions. YWCA Hartford Region actively worked to ensure passage at the state level and continues to deepen this work at the local level.
Participation on municipal boards and commissions can often serve as a pipeline to elected representation at the state and local levels, especially for people of color and those identifying as women. Equitable representation in the government process is critical to improving quality of life for all Connecticut residents.
How You Can Help
To support the goals of the 50/50 campaign, YWCA Hartford Region is collecting demographic information and community input. We ask that you take a few minutes to use the link below to take our pre-survey on your experience with boards and commissions in your municipality.
YWCA Hartford Region is hosting virtual learning sessions for community members in an effort to increase equitable gender and racial diversity on municipal boards and commissions. Click here to register for one of these sessions.
Join the 50/50 Campaign today! For more information or to schedule a presentation for your group or organization please contact:
Emma Heintz, Community Organizing and Advocacy Coach