"When They Go Low, We Go Local"

March 06, 2017

Women in politics event

Simmons Kicks Off Women’s-Centered College Week and Women’s History Month

“If you are thinking about [running for office], you need to stop thinking about it, and start planning,” said At-Large Boston City Councilor Anissa Essaibi-George. The councilor was a featured panelist on March 1 at “When They Go Low, We Go Local,” a Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored event that kicked off Women’s-Centered College Week and Women’s History Month.

Moderated by Senior Class President Kaitlyn Maloney ’17 and SGA President Taylor Lewis ’17, more than 50 students, faculty, and staff attended the event, held in the Linda K. Paresky Center. Joining Councilor Essabi-George as panelists were State Representative Chynah Tyler; Rosy Gonzalez ’07, a vice president at Northwind Strategies; Natalie Kaufman ’11, Chief of Staff to Jamaica Plain State Representative Liz Malia; and D.B. Reiff ’82SM, communications director for Councilor Essaibi-George.

Representative Tyler, who represents part of the Roxbury and Fenway neighborhoods of Boston, including Simmons College, advised women to “get out there and challenge the status quo.” Representative Tyler, who recently turned 28 and is the only African American woman serving in the Massachusetts House, also encouraged women to “get comfortable with being the ‘only’ and really focus on the idea that you can compete.”

The discussion, which included questions from the audience, covered a wide range of topics including barriers faced by women in public life; the importance of state and local government; how students can effectively engage in civic life; as well as campaigning, fundraising, and the importance of volunteers and staff.

(From left to right: At-Large Boston City Councilor Anissa Essaibi-George; Rosy Gonzalez ’07; Taylor Lewis ’17; Communications Director for Councilor Essaibi-George, D.B. Reiff ’82SM; Chief of Staff State Representative Malia, Natalie Kaufman ’11; Kaitlyn Maloney ’17; and State Representative Chynah Tyler.)