A political consultant and professor at the graduate school of political management at George Washington University will visit Sam Houston State University for the first time to discuss women’s role in the government.
Nancy Bocskor, who has owned her own business for the last 25 years fundraises for members of congress including Texas representatives. Today and tomorrow she will be conducting a series of workshops with select students.
In 2007, she switched her focus to writing, speaking and teaching women around the world in an attempt to help them achieve success. She has also authored the book “Go Fish: How to Catch (and Keep) Contributors” which advises on practices for both political and non-profit fundraisers.
“Studies show that men wake up and go ‘you know what, I think I’d like to be in congress or I’d like to be president,’” Bocskor said. “Women wake up and tend to go ‘are we smart enough or good enough?’ and we know that we have to recruit women an average of seven times before they’ll even consider running for office. So I come in and I help women with this learning curve and explain to them that they are certainly qualified to run for offices. Sometimes the path to public service is a little different from a woman and a man, but it’s no less important.”
According to Bocskor, there are currently more than 100 women in the United States Congress finally cracking 20 percent—a first in history. Although this is a positive development, American women still lag behind other countries like Mexico which requires 50 percent of all candidates and elected officials have to be women in their upcoming elections.
“There are more than 513,000 elected official in the United States, and we’re finding that many people just have no interest in running for school board or city council—any office, so I try to make sure people understand that it is part of our civic responsibility that our nation is run by citizens in public service,” Bocskor said.
Having worked with and taught SHSU graduates, Bocskor said she is excited to visit with SHSU students.
“One of my goals while I’m there is I want to encourage women to apply for “New Leadership Texas” which is held in June at the University of Texas for which I serve as the faculty in residence,” she said. “We select about 30 to 35 young women from across Texas to participate in five days of women’s political leadership training. We spend a day going to the capitol, we spend a day seeing what the city council does, and teaching women how to communicate. But last year no one from Sam Houston participated so this year I want to try to recruit some women to attend this great program.”
Although Bocskor said both men and women are vital components of the political process, her goal is to convince women in particular that they are worthy of running for office.
“When women run, they win in the same percentages as men,” Bocskor said. “My challenge is to inspire them and encourage them and tell them that they actually are qualified to run. If you don’t run, who will? I always want to make sure Americans especially recognize that they’ve got to run and for women in particular, I remind them that if you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the menu and that’s why it’s important for women to step up.”