WASHINGTON, D.C.–Women have been able to vote and hold office in Indiana for 100 years. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1919, and ratified the next near. Since then, Indiana has sent several women to Congress. Republican Susan Brooks said she never felt like being a woman hindered her political career.
The WIBC News Special “Hear Them Roar: 100 Years of Women in Politics” premieres Memorial Day on 93 WIBC.
Her first appointed position in government was as deputy mayor of Indianapolis for Mayor Steve Goldsmith, in 1998.
“Mayor Goldsmith wanted to focus and have a high-level position very focused on reducing crime in the city and the criminal justice issues, and I had been a criminal defense attorney for 13 years,” said Brooks. “Mayor Goldsmith always had female leaders at city hall. Similarly when I went to the U.S. Attorney’s office, I took the place of Judge Judy Stewart, of Brown County.”
Brooks said several other female prosecutors preceded Stewart.
“Indiana actually has a fairly long history of women in the type of roles that I’ve served in,” she said. “I think I’m really fortunate to come from a state that has had a lot of women step up in elected offices.”
Brooks, though, has been looking more to the future than into the past, leading recruitment efforts for Republican women to run for U.S. House.
“So, we have more than 100 women now in the U.S. House. I hope that in this next cycle we will have significantly more Republican women and I’m certain that Democrats will continue to have a lot of women in elected office.”
Brooks said even though she believes the country is behind where it should be, that we are slowly getting to where we should be with women proportionately representing the country in D.C. She said that she was asked to run for office, and that she hopes others won’t have to be.
“I hope that women consider raising their hands themselves and consider putting themselves out there and consider getting on the ballot without being asked,” she said. “Just getting people accustomed to having women leaders and women’s voices at the table, I think that’s critically important. And, I hope that men and women and boys and girls support those efforts.”
Brooks said she believes the country will have a female president.
“I do think we will have a women president certainly within the next 10 to 15 years and I think the country is ready for that,” she said.
PHOTO: Susan Brooks on Twitter