Lawmakers urge young women to run for office at DC conference

More than 150 young women from more than 30 states gathered in Washington, D.C., on Monday for a conference encouraging them to run for office.

Attendees at the Ignite Young Women Run conference heard from lawmakers from both parties as well as speakers from the media and activist groups, including March for Our Lives, Black Girls Vote and United We Dream.

The event seeks to encourage women to run for office and teaches them the skills they need to do so. The effort is national, with the D.C. conference just one of a series of events Ignite hosts across the country.

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Reps. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillHouse Dems, Senate GOP build money edge to protect majorities Live coverage: House Oversight examines Trump family separation policy Lawmakers urge young women to run for office at DC conference MORE (D-Calif.), Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksAl Green says impeachment is 'only solution' to Trump's rhetoric Trump primary challenger Bill Weld responds to rally chants: 'We are in a fight for the soul of the GOP' Democratic strategist on Trump tweets: 'He's feeding this fear and hate' MORE (R-Ind.) and Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsHouse Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify Jeffries defends Democratic Caucus tweet slamming Ocasio-Cortez chief of staff Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud MORE (D-Kan.) were among the lawmakers speaking at the event.

Brooks, who recently announced that she would not seek reelection, urged the attendees to learn to work across the aisle. "Bipartisanship is a good thing," she said.

And she praised the young women in attendance. “There are a lot of hungry, capable people that I’m passing the baton on to,” said Brooks.

“Young people can and should have a choice. Women can and should have a choice,” Hill told the attendees in her remarks.

Two of the lawmakers highlighted the diversity of the Democratic House. Davids is one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.

“I wanted to bring a more representative voice in a place it has been lacking for so long,” she told the audience. “Our decisions impact every single person in this country. You get to decide what success means for you.”

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Campaign Report: Stage set for second Democratic showdown Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump Trump complains of 'crazed' media coverage over 'send her back' chants MORE (D-Mich.), the first Palestinian American woman to be elected to Congress, was unable to attend the event in person. But she spoke via video.

“Many of us women didn’t run to be the first at anything. We ran to change the world for the better,” she said. “It is so incredibly important that you run as you are, that you run unapologetically yourself.”

“If you don’t have more women in office, all the policies we want to see enacted are just not going to happen,” Anne Moses, the founder and CEO of Ignite, told The Hill.

Moses pointed to the last presidential election, saying that “2016 woke women up to the need to have more women in office at every level.”

Moses said "historically women have felt like there are tremendous qualification requirements to run," but she believes that changed after "having elected the most unqualified person to the highest office in the land," a reference to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE.

Moses insisted she didn't mean that "as disparaging to Donald Trump."

"But it is true that he does not have traditional political leadership qualities and experiences. I think it sort of lowered the bar in terms of young women thinking what you need to have [to run for office]," she added.