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25-Year-Old Congressional Candidate Says We Need More Women in Office

It's beyond important for women to get into the political sphere – and TIME shares our story about why. We MUST have our voices heard... and in order to do so, we've got to step up and represent one another!

by Lena Grossman

Erin Schrode, the ambitious 25-year-old who ran for Congress in California earlier this year, isn’t letting her defeat to incumbent Jared Huffman deter her from politics. In an as-told-to in Glamour magazine, Schrode explains her motivations in running for public office and why she believes more young women should be following suit.

Schrode’s political awareness dates back to when she was 13-years-old and helped her mom organize a local grassroots campaign called Turning Green, which campaigned against hazardous chemicals in beauty and hygiene products. Schrode then turned to lobbying for various green causes that she supported in the state capital before she was even legal to vote. This momentum carried into college, where she worked with large companies such as Nestle, Apple and Coca-Cola.

Schrode then shared her desire to run for office in an essay she posted on Medium in which she explained why “it’s time to deliver on the promise of my generation.” She filed with the FEC and announced her campaign with only 70 days to spare before the primaries. Schrode didn’t even come at second place, but she managed to keep the incumbent at his lowest to-date numbers. She told Glamour, “We ended up with 21,000 votes, and 21,000 votes is no small feat in 70 days, starting from literally nothing. No money, no name recognition, no support.”

Although she lost this time, Schrode says her “knee-jerk reaction” is to run for Congress again because young women continue to be underrepresented in Washington. “There’s no one under 30 serving in Congress right now, ” she said. “There’s never been a woman under 30 elected in the history of our country to Congress.” Schrode explained to Glamour.

Election loss aside, Schrode continues to be active in the political sphere. She recently joined the protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota, where police shot her with a rubber bullet. The incident was recorded and posted on Facebook. Schrode hopes that experiences will get other young people involved in politics who are “more willing to reach across the aisle.”

Read the rest of her story in Glamour here.


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