COLUMN: Ballot Box: It is time to run

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I was ecstatic when Elizabeth Warren announced she was running for president on Feb. 19.

I was in high school when I first discovered my admiration for her strength. I presented about her life in my leadership classes and spoke about how I one day aspired to be like her. 

On March 3, I posted all over social media about how great it was to be able to cast a ballot for a woman I believed in for the office of President of the United States. 

Again, on March 3, I watched as Joe Biden won 627 delegates and Bernie Sanders won 551.

I watched as Warren gained only 64. 

On March 5, I sat there as Warren announced she was dropping out of the race and as my hope to see a female president within the next four years vanished.

While there may have been flaws in Warren’s campaign, it is absolutely ludicrous to believe the final three people running for president of the united states should all be straight white men over the age of 70.

Six women and seven people of color ran as democrats for the office of the president. The opportunity for diversity was there, we just didn’t seize it.

While a record number of 131 women serve in the 116 Congress, this is still a small percentage of the total 535 congressional members. On top of that, only nine women serve as committee chairs.

Therefore, the focus should not just be on breaking glass walls and making progress in width. The glass ceiling and upward expansion, or making it into higher-level positions, is essential to achieving equality.

For far too long, the political world has not treated women as equals. They are held to higher standards in the way they look, how smart they are and the way they interact with the world.

Organizations in the United States are aware of this struggle, such as MM. Lafluer, who pledged to offer complimentary clothing at no cost for any woman who runs for local, state or national office.

RunforSomething also helps young progressives who wish to run for political office, offering resources, training, mentorships and referrals.

It is our time –– as students and as women –– to speak loudly in the ears of our fellow Americans. While the loss of Warren still stings in my hearts, it is time to push. It is time we gain more seats at the table.

As Warren said, “What I have learned is that real change is very, very hard. But I’ve also learned that change is possible if you fight for it.”