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 HillGOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi announces Porter, Haaland will sit on Oversight panel Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders's decision to revoke Young Turks founder's endorsement MORE (D-Calif.), Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksThe rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 Hispanic Democrats endorse Latina for open Indiana seat Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (R-Ind.) and Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsHaaland, Davids included in 'Jeopardy' clue for historic first as Native American congresswomen The Hill's Morning Report - Vulnerable Dems are backing Trump impeachment Vulnerable Democrats signal support for impeachment articles this week 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 TlaibHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Michigan governor urges Zuckerberg to enforce community guidelines after hate speech, threats surface Ayanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia 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 TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' 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.