This week we had the chance to sit down with Maud Maron, who is running for New York City Council, District 1 in 2021. And it gave us pause to consider why women can and should run for office.
By now we all know how historic the country’s 116th Congress has been for the record number of female leaders who have joined its ranks. And of course, the number of women running for the Democratic presidental ticket is also historic in proportion. We’ve heard fresh and exciting new voices and have started to feel like we are on a path (albeit still a long one) to parity. But women are still held to a different standard than their male counterparts (are we still talking about Hillary, Donald?). And women stepping forward and into the limelight has also put them at great peril. Case-in-point, the incredibly brave women in foreign service stepping up to testify). So, the question is, why do it?
Women and Advocacy
Well for most women leaders, the call to duty is stronger than its risks. And this has been the case for centuries. We are fierce protectors of our families, our children, home and communities. Women have mobilized in ways that have changed our lives forever. From Moms Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to Moms Demand Action — an organization notible for its millions of supporters (and unfortunately also the security required to protect its female president, Shannon Watts).
Leaders Amongst Us
Having tipped our toe into the civic realm with a stint as PTA co-president at an elementary school in Manhattan, we glimpsed the remarkable participation by parents, particularly women, in our communities. And we got to know Maud, who is currently a member of NYC Community Board 2; as well as, elected President of the Community Education Council (CEC) for DOE School District 2 (where we met). And that’s not even the full list of her civic contributions, nor her career and family obligations. And yet, she plans to take her public service next level with a run for New York City Council in District 1.
The Path to Office: Maud Maron
We sat down with Maud Maron recently and asked her why she is considering a run for public office. And why, especially, in the notoriously male-dominated & tough-as-nails, city of New York. Born in Manhattan, Maud has spent her career steeped in service. She began her career working for the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. And then in 1998, Maud joined the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division as a Staff Attorney. She and her husband, Juan, have four children and a passion for ensuring a safe and happy city for their children – and ours.
Maud is also a co-founder of Place NYC which advocates for a high quality, challenging education for every student in all NYC DOE Public Schools by increasing the academic rigor of all school curricula. See more here.
Maud Maron Talks About Her Journey and Plans…
Here’s what Maud Maron had to say about her journey and why it matters that women join in too:
Why You Should Run
We talk a lot about how women are reimagining a world where their voice matters. And by advocating for parity in politics, business, sports and elsewhere we ensure equal representation for half the population. So to innovate and meet the needs of everyone, we need the ideas and perspective of both sexes…equally. As we discussed with Maud Maron, the future of a city for our children is something we all want in equal proportion. So we need all ideas to put the best laws forward – for men, women, different ethnicities, as well as, different socio-economic groups.
So how can you get involved? Jump in and join the conversation. Take a seat on your children’s PTA board (which is a big job despite the tropes) or uncover other opportunities there are to to run locally. You are qualified and you can do it. We need more women like Maud Maron willing to take it on. If you have a question for the leaders we know in public service or would like encouragement to run, contact us here. We know you can do it.
[2021 Postscript: One of the great things about having conversations with women and better understanding their career paths is how it can intersect with your own. As a founder also of consulting firm MarketingtoSHE, I was so excited by what Maud was advocating for in my own community, that I joined her campaign as a consultant. So you can see how this story has unfolded at MaudMaron.NYC -Shannon]