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Soros Fund, Jane Castor, UN Resolution: Broadsheet April 25

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Dawn Fitzpatrick’s leadership at the Soros Fund has some detractors, turnover—or lack thereof—is cramping board diversity, and we enter the Year of the Lesbian Mayor. Have a terrific Thursday.


‘The Year of the Lesbian Mayor.’ That’s how Annise Parker, former Houston mayor and current president of the LGBTQ candidate-backing Victory Fund, hopes we’ll look back on 2019. And with the Tuesday election of former Tampa police chief Jane Castor to the city’s top office, it looks like Parker may get her wish.

Castor’s win follows that of Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot and Satya Rhodes-Conway in Madison, Wisconsin earlier this month, bringing the number of gay women to be elected mayor in the 100 biggest U.S. cities to three so far in 2019. (And there could be more to come: Jolie Justus is in a June 18 runoff race in Kansas City, Missouri.)

Their victories bring the total number of out lesbians ever elected to lead one of the 100 biggest U.S. cities from two—Parker and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan—to five, and the number of out LGBTQ people to have ever been elected mayor of a top 100 city from six to nine. Overall, there are now 38 LGBTQ mayors in the U.S.

The trio has also achieved a host of boundary-breaking firsts. Castor is the first openly LGBTQ candidate elected mayor of a major southeastern U.S. city. Lightfoot is Chicago’s first gay mayor and its first black female mayor. Rhodes-Conway is Madison’s first LGBTQ mayor—and became so after defeating a 22-year incumbent.

Reflecting on Castor’s win, Parker told the media: “While voters chose Jane because of her vision for Tampa, her willingness to be open and honest about her life lent her an authenticity that voters are drawn to not just in Tampa, but across the nation.”

Kristen Bellstrom


Call to action. Leaders including Theresa May attended the funeral of Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot by the New IRA while reporting on rioting in Derry. Priests and mourners at the service urged the political leaders present to take action for peace in Northern Ireland. CNN

Smooth sailing at Soros? At Soros Fund Management, Dawn Fitzpatrick’s two-year tenure as chief investment officer has been eventful and, some say, rocky. Fitzpatrick says, of criticism of her approach, that she “cleaned house” and gets that it “doesn’t feel good to some people.”  Wall Street Journal

Move along, men. The reason boards’ progress on adding women stalls isn’t a pipeline problem; it’s because those boards face agonizingly slow turnover. Directors tend to stay for at least 10 years, meaning that boards that aren’t increasing the number of directors don’t have open seats to fill with women. Wall Street Journal

World news roundup. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to hold another Scottish independence referendum if Brexit happens. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and France’s Emmanuel Macron are leading an effort to stop social media from being used to coordinate terror attacks. Also in France, Stéphanie Frappart will be the first woman to referee a top-flight Ligue 1 match, preparing her to do the same at the World Cup. In Kosovo, a rape case about a teen girl led to the region’s first widespread #MeToo moment. In Spain, the far-right party Vox is campaigning on an explicitly anti-feminist platform. And at the UN, a resolution on combatting rape in conflict was watered down after the United States opposed language on “sexual and reproductive health.”

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Shelley Broader resigned as CEO and president of Chico’s FAS; she’ll be replaced by Bonnie Brooks as interim CEO. Marlene Tromp was named president of Boise State University, the first woman to lead the school.


Private eye. A new tool from Bumble will automatically blur out lewd images. Called “Private Detector,” the feature is supposed to have a 98% success rate in catching those unsolicited photos before users see them. Fortune

Stacks on stacks. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can stop by Stacks House, a Museum of Ice Cream-type Instagram exhibit—devoted to women’s financial health. The space dispenses financial advice through punching bags that say “car payments” and “a ridable bucking piggy bank in the ‘retirement rodeo.’” The New Yorker

Cut the c-word. Is “catfight” gone for good? The sexist term has fallen out of fashion, writer Kayleen Schaefer notes. Even when women do get into physical or verbal altercations, those have recently been called just plain “fights,” from Cardi B and Nicki Minaj to Khloe Kardashian and Jordyn Woods. New York Times

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma HinchliffeShare it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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