Jacksonville’s New Initiative for Women: Nine in 15

By Melissa Ross

slideshow_image_sizer.phpThere was lots of excitement around WJCT when PBS Newshour’s Judy Woodruff came to our studios to kick off a new initiative in Jacksonville- “Nine in 15.”

That’s the name behind a grass-roots drive to encourage more women to run for local office. Nine Jacksonville City Council seats are up for grabs in 2015, and a determined group of local civic leaders want at least some of those seats to be held by women.

Prominent community activists Pam Paul and Carol Thompson are leading the effort.  It’s timely- only three women currently hold seats on the 19-member council.  “Women are more than 50 percent of voters, so it seems to us they should have a seat at the table,” Paul told the Florida Times-Union.

Sadly, Jacksonville is reflective of the nation as a whole when it comes casino to women in politics.  Here are a few sobering statistics:
•    Women hold only 17% of the seats in Congress.
•    Only 22% of all statewide elective executive office positions are currently held by women
•    State Legislatures are only 24% women.
•    Only 6 out online casino of 50 states have a female governor

Studies have consistently shown that women are less likely to enter the political arena because they’re simply less likely to be ASKED to run. Now, they’re being asked, and supported. Keep your eyes on this initiative this year and next!


melissaAbout the Author
First Coast Connect  host/producer Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards.