Talk on the role of women in campaign funding

Abigail Peabody

Last week the department of Politics, International Relations, and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, invited Dr. Jamil Scott to present on the role of women campaign funding groups in state politics, with a focus on black women.

Dr. Scott is an Assistant professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. Her research covers topics including political behavior, political representation, race, and ethnicity.

The talk highlighted the electoral success that Black women had in 2018. It started with a reflection on the “Pink Wave” that was forecasted after the 2016 election of Donald Trump.

Dr. Scott notes that more women and men were running, but there was a record number of black women who ran for office and won.

The talk had a nice flow, from the introduction of the “Pink Wave” to issues such as the electability of black women. Dr. Scott touched on electability as one of the reasons why black women may be hesitant to run. Electability is something that voters care a lot about, people want to vote for someone they believe can win. Once women decide to run for office, they are just as likely to be elected as men are, Dr. Scott said. The main problem is making sure that black women have the funding to have an equal chance.

The subject of funding transitioned the audience to the core of her research, which was composed of two questions: “Where do black women find support to fund their campaigns, and how do women-focused campaign funding groups matter for black women’s ability to run and win?”

Scott called attention to Political Action Committees (PACs) and how they can be helpful to black women running for office. PACs such as Emily’s List, Lillian’s List, and so on have helped women run for office. The PACs not only fund women candidates but also train them on how to run for office. Maggie Frymoyer, class of 2021, when asked what surprised her the most about the talk, said that “the idea of PACs and politics, in general, are usually seen as a negative thing, but this talk was refreshing, it highlighted the positives.”