Massachusetts state Rep. Lori Ehrlich of Marblehead says on Tuesday night when Hillary Clinton formally captured the Democratic nomination she and her family became emotional.
To see a woman ascend to the top spot in the country in a major American political party is not only great for women, but it's also great for America.
“Watching the nomination with my husband and daughters electronically brought us all to tears," Ehrlich said. "Just to see a woman ascend to the top spot in the country in a major American political party is not only great for women, but it's also great for America. We are a stronger nation when we promote women.”
Ehrlich, who represents the 8th District, says her grandmother was born before the suffragette movement when women shed blood, sweat, and tears to fight for a woman’s right to vote. She hopes with Clinton's nomination, it'll be sooner than another 100 years before women again make history in politics.
“I remember back when I was a kid in the '80s and I remembering hearing about Geraldine Ferraro running on a ticket in the vice presidential spot," Ehrlich said. "I remember everyone thinking wow this is earth shattering. She didn't win, but it's taken us a long time to get to this point.”
Ehrlich says it exciting to see perceptions are changing. Both her daughters are entering male-dominated professions—biomedical and political science—and she says for them to have a woman who’s unafraid to pursue the top spot as a role model profoundly affects them.
And women continue to break the glass ceiling. Ehrlich points to the Massachusetts State House, in a very progressive state, where she says the walls "are lined with portraits of men."
“It’s not that women were excluded on the walls, but of the 20,000 people who have served in this one state legislature only about 175 are women," she said. "I look forward to the day when I’m not such a novelty.”
She says Clinton has brought women that much closer to serving and working in higher positions, which is changing norms for the next generation of boys and girls.
Ehrlich says change is slow. She’s hopeful and appreciative of this major milestone. She says to see a woman possibly ascending to the position of president of the country shows the world what we’re made of and accurately reflects what America looks like. She says she's going to work hard to make it happen and looks forward to the day it does.
To Listen to State Rep. Lori Ehrlich's interview with Marilyn Schairer click on the audio file above.