A Conversaton with Town of Los Gatos Former Mayor, Marico Sayoc

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in politics?
MS: I advise young women interested in pursuing a career in politics to engage early in the community they hope to represent in the future. By engaging early, you will better learn and understand the various issues and voices of your community. You can also determine the value your candidacy can offer to the community.

Q: What is one skill you believe that women should have to facilitate a successful career in politics?
MS: Empathy is the one skill I believe women should have to facilitate a successful career in politics. You really need to understand your constituents’ concerns to represent them effectively.

Q: When will women in politics become the norm?
MS: I am hopeful that with the next generation of elected officials, it will be the norm for women to be at least 50% of the candidate pool.

Q: Why do you think women remain underrepresented in business and politics?
MS: Women need to be asked many times by many people before they even consider themselves qualified. I was asked by several people many times over the course of many years. I hope that when young women start to see women holding senior positions in business and politics, they can start envisioning themselves in these roles.

Q: While there is no clear consensus, about four-in-ten say that women who run for office are held to higher standards than men and need to do more to prove themselves. What needs to happen to change this?
MS: More women need to be in political offices to minimize the scrutiny and comparisons women currently face today. If women in political positions become a common occurrence, then there will be less attention to gender comparisons and more attention to performance comparisons.

Q: What has been your greatest achievement?
MS: As a Mayor I have had the privilege to sign

· A declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement,
· A memorandum requesting Congress address immigration reform and
· A Compact Against Hate, Extremism and Bigotry

Q: If there's one wish you could be granted to change the way congress works ... what would that be?
MS: If I had just one wish to change the way Congress works, I would wish for no political parties. Our representatives should represent the best interest of their constituents and not their political party.

Q: How do you rate the Government’s performance?
MS: I think all local governments are doing the best they can to balance their community’s many needs against a lack of resources and an existing regulatory framework required by state and federal governments.

Q: If you had the power, what one Government policy would you reverse?
MS: If I had the power, I would keep the United States as a signatory country in the Paris Agreement for Climate Change.

Q: Why should women-business owners support you?
MS: Women-business owners should support me for many reasons. First, my husband has had a small business for over 20 years, so I understand the challenges that faces small business owners. Second, as a woman that happens to also be a wife and mother, I understand the competing interests that face business owners with their time and resources. Regardless of the industry, I believe a supportive network of women leaders helps all of us.

Five Things About Marico Sayoc

1. If you could meet anyone famous past or present … who would it be and why?
If I could meet anyone famous past or present, I would like to meet Harriet Tubman. I would like to be in the presence of someone who was willing to risk her life to literally help other lives survive. She must have been afraid constantly and I would like to know how she can ignore that fear.

2. Can you tell us one of your passions in life?
I love to travel and experience new adventures.

3. How do you deal with stress?
I run and swim to combat stress.

4. It there a place you always dreamed about visiting?
I dream of hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro and then celebrating the challenge with a safari tour.

5. What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
Focus on what is within your control otherwise you will drown in noise that won’t’ ever go away.


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