The statistics aren’t good. According to recent estimates, women make up just under 20 percent of Congress and less than 25 percent of all state legislatures. Only six of our nation’s governors are women—12 percent. Of course, we’ve never elected a woman president. But we are 51 percent of the population. And the research shows that when women participate in government, we make it run better, more collaboratively. We’re a check on partisan gridlock. Ladies, we get shit done. Historically, women have needed to be convinced to enter politics, to be asked. But within weeks of the 2016 presidential election, thousands of women have announced they plan to run. And we want them to win. So, we’re giving them and the women who will follow them a weekly example of a woman who has won, who did it. The point: You can, too.

Erin Maye Quade was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016, winning a “purple” seat previously held by a Republican. During the race, her opponent, Ali Jimenez-Hopper, suggested that the fact that she is biracial and married to a woman was to her discredit. “This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing, it’s basic human respect and it’s shocking to hear from anyone,” Maye Quade said, when asked for comment. “That’s not the tone I want for this election — at least for me.”

In my family, growing up, women were the heads of the household. That was always just how it was. My mom was a corporate executive. She was the senior vice president of Wells Fargo Insurance, and she would do Take Your Daughter to Work Day, which later became, Take Your Kid to Work Day. She would be singing with me in the car ride. We’d be laughing and making jokes. And then we’d get to her office and she would just be so commanding—she’s a tiny woman. She’s like five feet tall. She’s actually 4’11”, but she makes me tell people she’s 5 feet. It was amazing to see how she took control in a room of people and made these decisions that affected a lot of people. She has always given me great advice. I have a lot of heart, which I get from her. She’s always helped me temper that in both my professional and personal lives. She modeled for me a way to just be in the world. She’s an amazing woman.

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