The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 22, 2008

State, region lag behind nation in women legislators


Gleason calls the initiative “a wonderful way to get women involved.”

State Sen. Lisa Baker, a first-term Republican based in Luzerne County, is a graduate of the Anstine program.

Baker said she has been interested in politics since high school, and her state government experience includes service as deputy chief of staff for Gov. Tom Ridge and Gov. Mark Schweiker.

But she said the Anstine initiative “really helped solidify my interest” in elected office.

“It gave me the insight on what it would take to put a campaign together,” Baker said.

The program linked Baker with a mentor, Republican state Sen. Jane Earll. And Baker said she wants to return the favor by acting as “a role model and a mentor for young women.”

At Chatham University, Lowe offers the “Winning Edge” – an intensive, three-day training program that has helped women prepare for politics.

“To me, what’s encouraging is that more women are getting involved,” Lowe said.

“When I see women willing to take that risk, I think that’s a really good sign for all of us.”

Some Web sites concerning women and politics:

National Foundation for Women Legislators:

Center for American Women and Politics:

Anne Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series:

Pennsylvania Women’s Campaign Fund:

Pennsylvania Women’s Legislative Exchange:

Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women:

Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women:

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