Where are the women?
By Kristie Wolff, executive director | North Dakota Women’s Network
The North Dakota Emergency Commission is responsible for allocating the $1.25 billion in CARE Act Funds the state received. These funds are intended to help families, workers, small businesses, and to preserve jobs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor and five other male elected officials make up the Emergency Commission.
Together, they alone are deciding for everyone how to allocate the federal dollars coming to the state through the CARES Act (and possible future funds).
One has to ask, where are the women?
When elected officials more closely represent the electorate, policy discussions and outcomes are better. We need a leadership team more representative of the people in the state as we decide what to do with over a billion dollars in funds.
The North Dakota Women’s Network supports calling a special session of the state legislature to address the many needs we are facing as a result of COVID-19. Additional voices will ensure fair and equitable allocation of the federal dollars for education, health care, small business and other important needs.
While the North Dakota legislature is only 21% female it brings more balance then the Emergency Commission with 0% representation.
The governor has made inclusion a pillar of his administration. I encourage him to make it a part of these critical discussions so that all our voices can be heard on how to best ensure a strong future for our state as we recover from the effects of this pandemic.
Wolff resides in Mandan, North Dakota.