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 HillThe Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur files to run for Katie Hill's House seat Rep. Veronica Escobar elected to represent freshman class in House leadership Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees MORE (D-Calif.), Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksOregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden won't seek reelection Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE (R-Ind.) and Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsWarren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight Here are the Democrats who aren't co-sponsoring an assault weapons ban Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule 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 TlaibKrystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Sanders: Fighting anti-Semitism 'is very personal' Bloomberg run should push Warren to the center — but won't 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 TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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.