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Advancing Women Engineers in the Political Arena

    The 2012 projectThe under-representation of engineers in public office has a profound impact on policymaking and will continue to do so if more engineers are not involved in the process and encouraged to run for public office. Due to their vast knowledge on issues that affect the public well being, engineers have a great deal to offer the political arena, including championing much-needed improvements to the infrastructure in this country. Enter ASCE’s Key Contact Program, providing ASCE members with information resources to engage in the public policy process, and the 2012 Project, a non-partisan, national campaign to increase the number of women in legislative office by identifying and engaging accomplished women from under-represented fields and industries like engineering.  


    About the Speakers:

    Cathey W. Steinberg Cathey W. Steinberg As a state legislator, Steinberg was involved in issues concerning families and health care as well as energy and the environment. She was instrumental in the passage of legislation regarding victims’ compensation, child support, family medical leave, and the State Commission on Family Violence.  She served on the House Rules Committee and, in the Senate, chaired the Human Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee and the Aging and Human Ecology Subcommittee of the Youth, Aging, and Human Ecology Committee.  She also served on the Senate Judiciary and Ethics Committees. Additional legislative achievements include a landmark law to regulate land use by requiring impact studies before re-zonings (the Steinberg Act), the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights, the Georgia Child Care Council, under-age drinking laws, and tax relief for senior citizens. After her congressional race, she developed and was managing partner of Ahead of the Curve, a public policy consulting and advocacy training firm she founded. During her eight-year tenure, Steinberg worked with several advocacy groups on a wide range of issues such as teen pregnancy prevention and issues important to people with disabilities and their families, such as accessible housing, community-based services, and employment. Steinberg is currently enjoying her family (3 grandchildren), and traveling.  She is consulting and doing project work as needed.


    Patricia Reid Patricia Reid Lindner lives in Aurora, Illinois and served in the legislature for 16 years from 1992 to 2008. She was a member of the House Republican Leadership team and served as the Assistant Minority Leader. She served on several key state committees, including Judiciary II – Criminal Law, Child Support Enforcement, and Adoption Reform. She also served on Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations, Banking, Labor, Gaming, and Environmental Health. Lindner was appointed to serve on the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Juvenile Justice Transition Team. Before entering the legislature, Representative Lindner was a family law attorney. She previously served as a court appointed attorney for the Kane County Juvenile Court and was an Assistant Public Defender. Representative Lindner has a lengthy history of involvement in the governmental and political processes, dating back to her work in five congressional campaigns for her mother, former U.S. Congresswoman Charlotte T. Reid. She is a life-long Republican and active in her community.
    Representative Lindner received a Bachelor of Science degree in speech from Northwestern University. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in political science from the University of Colorado and a Juris Doctor degree from Northern Illinois University.


    Jean SinzdakJean Sinzdak is the Director of CAWP's Program for Women Public Officials, aimed at increasing the impact of women in politics and making political women’s leadership more effective through national, regional, and local events and programs for women officeholders, candidates, and campaign operatives. She is a key staff member for The 2012 Project, a national nonpartisan campaign to recruit women to run for office in 2012, and helps coordinate project faculty, communications, and campaign strategy. Sinzdak also manages CAWP’s New Jersey initiatives, including Ready to Run™, a bipartisan effort to recruit and train women to run for all levels of office, and the Bipartisan Coalition for Women's Appointments.  She was instrumental in the development of the Diversity Initiative of Ready to Run™ New Jersey, designed to attract more women of color to the political process.  Sinzdak is currently developing a national network of campaign trainings for women, using Ready to Run™ New Jersey program as the model. Prior to joining CAWP, she served as director of outreach and communications at the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) in Washington, DC. Prior to IWPR, she worked at the Council for Urban Economic Development, also in Washington, DC. Sinzdak received a Master of Social Work, specializing in social and economic development, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a B.A. in English from the University of Scranton.


    Addtional Resources: