At the Network of enlightened Women’s 2022 Leadership Retreat in Austin, Texas, Ellen Troxclair offered remarks surrounding advocacy and advice for young conservative women. Ellen Troxclair is an author of the book Step Up! How to Advocate Like a Woman, small business owner, non-profit leader, former Austin City Council Member, mom, and proven conservative.
Troxclair’s political career took off when she and her husband bought their first home and were shocked to learn about the unreasonably steep annual increase they would be required to pay in property taxes each year. This realization inspired Troxclair to take action – she decided to run for Austin City Council to make a change. She explained that she “wasn’t qualified, but was passionate, has a good work ethic, and was willing to step outside of her comfort zone.” These qualities led her to become the youngest woman to serve on the Austin City Council (and the only conservative at the time).
During her time in this seat, Troxclair managed to lower property taxes for all homeowners by implementing Austin’s first homestead exemption. Even though it was 10 to 1 on many votes, Troxclair constantly strived to find common ground with her colleagues and believes that what is most important is that she followed through on her campaign promise. This not only impacted people in her community but also impacted people across the state. She is a prime example of the impact you can have if you identify a problem and actually take action to fix it.
The next portion of Troxclair’s remarks shifted to a message portrayed in her book, Step Up! How to Advocate Like a Woman, which seeks to “inspire women to turn the same leadership, compassion, and tenacity they already bring to their families and workplaces into effective advocacy for their communities.” Upon entering into the political arena, Troxclair was shocked to learn how few women have represented the state of Texas in political office. She touched heavily on “the confidence gap” in relation to the lack of women running for office both in Texas and across the United States. An alarming statistic she shared is that when it comes to job applications, men tend to apply for jobs when they meet just 60% of job qualifications whereas women tend to only apply when they meet 100% of the qualifications. Given this, it is no surprise that men tend to find themselves in more sought-after jobs. When it comes to politics, she shared that women, on average, have to be asked seven times before they run for office, while men only need to be asked once before launching a campaign. Troxclair went on to explain the importance of breaking down this barrier and instilling more confidence in the women around us. An insightful comment she shared was that “the person delivering the message has an impact on how impactful that message will be.” Troxclair’s inspiring message lends clarity to the importance of ensuring that more women, especially conservative women, find their way to political office in the coming years.
Troxclair closed by sharing a few tips with the NeW Chapter Leaders. She encouraged the women to always be respectful (even if you’re not given the same respect in return), be brave enough to put yourself out there, consider running for office, and believe in yourself.
This blog was written by Abby Daniels, NeW alumna.