Women Represent

Local elections earlier this month were low-key. Most attention focused on the Board of Finance and Planning and Zoning Commission. Both shifted control, from Republican to Democrat.

Our Representative Town Meeting is non-partisan. Still, there was one interesting — and overlooked — result: For the 1st time in memory (probably ever), there are more RTM women than men.

RTM moderator Eileen Flug will be joined by 21 other women this term.

RTM moderator Eileen Flug will be joined by 21 other women this term.

The previous legislative body was split evenly: 18 each. The new RTM has 22 women and 14 men. That’s 60% female.

A local politician wonders if it’s because so many intelligent, highly qualified women have gotten their volunteer starts through the PTA. They’ve learned about town affairs that way — and earned name recognition.

That’s one theory. Perhaps there’s another reason. Or none at all.

The bottom line is: So what?

Westport is blessed with an energetic, dedicated and very competent group of volunteers. They make our RTM go — as well as every other town board and commission.

It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, Democrat or Republican.

As Thanksgiving nears, we owe them all our most profound thanks.

6 responses to “Women Represent

  1. Yes I think there is some truth to that theory. Getting involved in our schools and local nonprofit organizations is key to earning name recognition. Also, we will see more women in politics globally as women are getting educated more than ever and given the same opportunity and voice as men. I see a brighter future.

  2. And in the two hotly contested races, P&Z and Board of Finance, Cathy Walsh and Sheri Gordon led all the men in their respective contests. Congratulations to all

  3. thank you, Dan.

  4. Matthew Mandell

    Welcome aboard ladies, glad to have you.

  5. Clarissa Moore, Board of Finance & Former RTM 4

    Interesting. It does seem that many of the RTM women like myself first became active in Westport through the PTAs. This is not entirely a new phenomenon, for example, I believe Velma Heller & Lois Schine were both former PTA Presidents, and very many of the RTM’s long serving members have held positions at the PTAs. In the past several husbands of former PTA Presidents ran for RTM such as: Paul Rossi, Jeff Weiser, John McCarthy. Running for office requires taking a risk, and I’m happy that more women are willing to run.

    However, there is another tried & true route to political office. Several of the women (and men) elected to the RTM in the past few elections became active politically through the Republican Town Committee or the Democratic Town Committee. (Of course, most members have other volunteer experience in town be it PTA or other.) One of Westport’s greatest strengths is our involved citizens. I know that both the Town Committees welcome those who would like to become more politically active. Anyone who would like to get involved should check out the appropriate website and come to a meeting.

  6. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Highlighting gender rather than qualification is old world.