"You can change Alabama," Panel encourages women in politics

Four young women are becoming the political role models they believe are missing

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A group of people in the valley hasn’t lost sight of the fact none of the major candidates in Tuesday’s election are women. A panel of women involved in politics sat down to discuss the issue with a crowd Monday evening.

The women are each filling a role they believe is open and shouldn’t be: Stepping up as a young woman in politics.

"It doesn't need to be a lot of older men,” said Erica Jarrell. “We need women and young women coming out and making sure we're heard in policy decisions in Alabama and across the country."

Four young women are becoming the political role models they believe are missing.

"You can achieve and make a change and do something different,” said Ivy McCurley. “We're gonna have to teach elementary school little girls that, 'Hey this is something you can be one day.' Because I know growing up I never thought that I could be president because I've never seen a woman in office."

They say stereotypes are barriers... Ones they're breaking down.

"We're basically labeled emotional or not strong enough,” said Jessica Washington. “So I think it's sort of trying to figure out how to overcome that barrier that is really in my opinion not a barrier. I think you make your own story as you go."

And their stories have just begun. Sixteen-year old Ariana Smartt sees young men at her high school with more confidence, especially when taking on political leadership roles. Her story's begun with inspiring other young women to take the lead.

"I feel like I have to do something,” Smartt said. “So being involved is really, really great for me and it's so rewarding and I feel like I'm a part of something."

"It's never too early to get involved with politics,” said Jarrell. “This is your life too. You can change Alabama."

Jarrell says you don’t have to have a political science degree to get involved in politics. She’s involved and says she feels like she’s making a difference.

 


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