DARKE COUNTY — Amanda Hans is a Greenville resident, she’s a liberal, and she’s also an elected official; Hans was elected to the county central committee in May to represent the Democratic party for her ward.
She’s now working to start a group of women who are liberal-minded, who can come together as often as they’d like to discuss topics of the moment, she said.
“I wanted to get the liberals out of hiding (in Darke County),” Hans said. “I thought we could get some movement going and give women a safe place, where they can feel comfortable expressing their views, and initiate some change.”
On Tuesday, Jennah Craig, women’s caucus director for the Ohio Democratic Party, the only state-wide caucus director in the United States, visited Darke County to discuss with a small group of like-minded women the possibility of starting such a group here. It was agreed, that because of the demographics of the area, that it should be an informal group of women, meeting to discuss what’s currently happening in politics and working to get more involved in their community.
“We want to get women from the community more active, get them more involved in their community,” Hans said. “For the upcoming campaign, we really need to get moving and get out there.”
Craig was at the Tuesday meeting to offer her guidance and resources, she said, encouraging the women who attended to speak candidly and explaining that this year’s focus was on getting people to vote, rather than trying to persuade them to vote a certain way, Craig said.
“We try not to dictate what groups do,” Craig said to those interested in beginning a women’s group in Darke County to discuss ideas and keep up-to-date on the issues.
For more than a decade, Craig said the Ohio Democratic Party’s women’s caucus has identified voter groups in counties, reaching out and networking with voters, providing information, programs and training for voters and lobbying on behalf of voters.
A women’s group, such as the Liberal Ladies of Darke County, can encourage women to pursue leadership roles within their community, allowing gender parody, breaching some of the gender gaps, such as inequality in pay, and making sure that women have a voice at the table, Craig said.
Hans explained that she would like to see an informal group of women, who can gather and decide on what structure they would like to take from there.
The Liberal Ladies of Darke County will hold their first meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Greenville Public Library, in the third floor community room.