All the elected ladies (or, if you like it then you shoulda put your vote to it)

I get to tell you what’s on the front page of Sunday’s paper, because there’s no way anyone else is going to be able to steal it.

Sunday’s story is about an alarming decline of women in the ranks of local elected positions.

Between Clark County’s city councils and county commissioners, there’s 52 seats. Right now, just 10 of those are filled by women. In 2006, 19 of 52 were women.

And we’re not sure why that is. But I was able to put together an excellent round table discussion in Vancouver last week with six of those ladies, all city councilors: Jeanne Stewart and Jeanne Harris (Vancouver); Linda Dietzman (Camas); Linda Tracy and Kristine Carmona (La Center); Molly Coston and Jennifer McDaniel (Washougal); and Marilee McCall (Woodland).

No matter their politics, they were certainly able to come together on a few key points, which I’ll go over in the story.

But I had to share a few choice quotes that probably won’t make it into Sunday’s paper.

On being a powerful woman: Molly Coston used to supervise a group of much younger men, and one time, one of them called her a name sometimes put to women in power. But Coston said another man said, “Don’t worry Molly, it takes a real woman to be a ‘B.'”

On running the home, having a job and being an elected official: Jeanne Stewart joked about needing someone to give her an extra hand — “I would love having a housewife myself!”

Also on being busy: As they posed for a stunning group portrait at the Red Cross building on the Fort Vancouver National Site, Jeanne Harris quipped: “This is the first time we’ve all stood still all day.”

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