The group Better Days 2020 is planning an awareness and fundraising campaign to last the upcoming election year. Unlike other groups supporting women in politics, however, Better Days 2020 isn’t actively promoting female candidates for office. Neylan McBaine, its founder and CEO, explains how the organization is different from other women’s advocacy groups.
“The purpose of Better Days 2020 is to popularize the women’s history because we think that will change perceptions and behaviors," she said. "There are lots of great organizations that are encouraging and training women to run for political office or that are registering women to vote. We provide the history and the motivation and the legacy that we hope will give energy to those goals.”
One of the biggest tactics Better Days 2020 hopes to use is a new method of educating young people about women’s history.
“We have launched the first-ever women’s history curriculum for fourth and seventh grade Utah studies and fifth and 11th grade U.S. studies," McBaine said. "And we’re very excited about that because we believe that introducing these women to our children at the very youngest ages will help cement that attitudinal change that we are looking for, that allows us to say as Utahns that we are advocates for women.”
Among Better Days 2020’s other projects are compilations of county histories involving women in politics, new trading cards and posters, two major memorials – one commemorating the first legal female vote at Salt Lake City’s Council Hall, and the other a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon, the nation’s first female state senator, to be sent to the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. – and even legislation for a new license plate.