STATEHOUSE–There has been a lot of talk of a “Blue Wave” or “Red Wave” coming to overtake the  midterm elections–a reference to either a Democratic or Republican outpouring of voters heading to the polls, resulting in a potential swing in either direction. However, a collective of Rhode Island lawmakers foresees a “Pink Wave” on the horizon instead.

“I think that the momentum of the Pink Wave started becoming apparent this year when there were literally thousands of women that had identified themselves as wanting to run for office,” RI Representative Lauren Carson said. “So that’s where the name Pink Wave comes from.”

According to Emily’s List, a political action committee that aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office, 36,000 women are seeking executive level, statewide offices this year– a 60 percent spike in the amount of women who ran in 2016. 

To harness that momentum, RI Representatives Carson, Teresa Tanzi, Edith Ajello and Deb Ruggiero are holding a press conference today at 10:30 a.m., as an initiative to get out and vote before the primary elections next Wednesday. 

“We’ve appealed to women running for office, we’ve appealed to women that support women, we think that the Pink Wave is alive in Rhode Island. And we would like to encourage all voters to vote, of course, [next] Wednesday–but particularly, we’d like to get women out to vote,” Carson said.  

Carson also went on to say that it was important for women to run for office and cast their votes because, as research has shown, they tend to be more collaborative than their male counterparts. 

“There’s a lot of research that demonstrates that women are more collaborative when they’re in office. I was just referred to a study that was done at the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP)–they’ve concluded that women work more collaboratively, that we’re more inclined to compromise, they’ve concluded based on their national work that women really want to get things done,” she continued.

CAWP is a university-based research, education and public service center whose mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women’s changing relationships in politics and government and to enhance women’s influence and leadership in public life.

According to the research center’s recent study, adding more women to national political offices is not just a matter of representation.

“With low Congressional approval, it’s our best chance to break the gridlock in Washington. As this research shows, women bring a broad perspective to policymaking and wield a more collaborative approach than men alone,” the introduction to the study reads. 

Carson also said that, while women are driven by collaboration and results, men tend to be driven by power. 

“[Women] are driven by the results. As caretakers, as mothers, as caregivers to our senior parents–it’s our responsibility as women to be caregivers in many, many communities, including our own households,” Carson said. 

“Not that men don’t do that,” she added. “I have a wonderful son myself, who is very compassionate and is a terrific guy. But traditionally speaking, women are more inclined to be concerned about bills that relate to families, to children and to senior citizens. And voters know that. They support us when we work in those issue areas and they support us because they can see, particularly this year, with the Pink Wave, we’re really driven and want to get things done.”

The Pink Wave press conference will be held in the library at the Statehouse today at 10:30 a.m.  Primary elections will take place next Wednesday, Sept. 12, with the general election taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

atrubia@ricentral.com

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