Emerge WI Women MAKING History - Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

1. What was the first seat you ran for? What motivated/inspired you to run?

From my earliest days, even on the student council in middle school, I’ve believed the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has.”

I took that lesson to my service on the Dane County Board, the WI General Assembly and finally to Congress. I’ve been inspired by this experience each and every time I’ve run for office, because I know that I can be a part of making people’s lives better by being elected to office. When I ran for Congress it was because I wanted to affect health care reform, which is the dominant issue that got me into politics, because I believed that a dedicated group of individuals could work to bring affordable health care for all. Now I am running for Senate and I still feel inspired by those early lessons, today we need leaders willing to take on the task of tackling the hardest problems in order to make life better for all Americans.

2. One of the reasons women give for not running for office is that politics has become too negative. What would you say to these women?

When women stay outside of politics we fail to have our points of view heard and are often marginalized. Politics is very messy, but it is not a spectator sport, you must get involved in order to help make the change that you want to see. In addition, women should aspire to hold office not just for themselves, but to be the role models for the next generation of young women who aspire to get into politics as well.

3. What piece of advice or inspiration would you give to women of all ages considering following in your footsteps and running for office?

I would tell them that they should absolutely run for public office! At a time when issues affecting women are at the forefront we need to have women’s voices in the room actively participating in the discussion. I believe that a woman can hold any office in the nation and even become president, and women of all ages should share the same optimism when thinking about running for office.

Tammy Baldwin 3 questions.pdf70.57 KB

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