Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On not giving money to political parties, especially after Women's no-Equality Day!

(Courtesy of equalrepresentation.org)     Subscribe in a reader

Got a letter in the mail today from Barack Obama asking me to write a check for the Democratic National Committee. Guess he did not know that I have not been a registered Democrat since going NPA in 12/06. Makes one wonder about their record-keeping, mailing lists and statistical pronouncements...In any case, why would I want to send the DNC a check?

The request came after 2+ years of President Obama not doing enough for women and a perfunctory statement -- authorized by law to mention both suffrage and the events of 1970, BTW -- released by the White House last Friday on Women's no-Equality Day. It's wonderful that two women were appointed to the Supreme Court and that the White House has honed in on women's issues unlike our former president. But there is still no actual plan/lobbying for Equal Rights or Equal Representation!

President Obama seems to think (like many) that Women's no-Equality Day is mostly about the right to vote, which "empowered America's women to have their voices heard in the halls of power." Nowhere did he mention the empowerment of women to look out for themselves through a fair share of seats at the tables of Congress. As de facto head of the Democratic Party, he'd like us to use the power of the ballot to vote for Democrats -- but how about specifically for the election of more women promoted and supported by his party to boost the USA's standing of #91 in the world for electing women? Same must be said about the leaders/programs of the Republican Party.

Just last week, some women's groups launched a national effort to stop attempts to take away women's health and economic rights by getting women to the polls in 2012. That's not a bad idea, but no one mentioned that electing more women along the way would be a more powerful way to preserve those rights. And before you scream not like Michelle Bachmann (running for President) and Sarah Palin (not yet running for anything), let me remind you that a Center for Women in American Politics at Rutgers University study on the state legislative level found that: "Women legislators of both parties are more likely than male legislators of either party to work on legislation specifically intended to benefit women." Both Democrats and Republicans will be elected to Congress by both Democrat and Republican voters (duh!), and more of both need to be women.

Congress is currently dominated by men who have other priorities. Women hold a measly 16.8% of the seats in Congress and have one seat on the Supercommittee formed to save us from economic destruction. Until those numbers change considerably, women's rights/programs will always be in jeopardy and we will always be dependent on men of both parties - and that appears to be just the way they like it.

Making very good sense these days is Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who recently called on business executives to stop giving money to DC lawmakers until they get their act together. And why should they/we fund billion-dollar campaigns that will only make us crazy in the coming months with over-the-top messages and partisan food-fights? And why should women fund any political party entities that have failed to come up with concrete blueprints for accelerating the election of more women toward real empowerment? Why - except to maintain the political status quo.

Thus I joined those who not only reject political party pleas for dollars that appear in their mailboxes, but do so by sending a message via the conveniently-supplied, postage-paid return envelope. My response to President Obama (and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz) was to draw a line through the money form and write "Not until the DNC makes concrete plans to elect MORE women," and off it went back through the mail. My political donations will go directly to women's campaigns -- and you can make most of those online.

Try it - I guarantee you'll like it!

-- then click HERE to access "The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women: What are we going to do about it?" on smashwords.com..

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 26th - Day of Action, Not Celebration!

(Courtesy of equalrepresentation.org)     Subscribe in a reader

How will you spend "Women's Equality Day" next Friday? Hopefully by recognizing that the main purpose of the day is not to celebrate women's right to vote. Something that came so late and took so many sacrifices by suffragists like Alice Paul (see the movie "Iron Jawed Angels") is hardly cause for celebration. Would Alice Paul want us to live in the past or focus on the future?

Yes, the date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution -- but the main purpose as proscribed in a 1971 Congressional Resolution introduced by Rep. Bella Abzug was to shed light on the fact that women still did not have equal rights: ``Whereas, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and.." (more on that HERE). Bella was not about organizing tea parties. In 1970, women organized a "Women's Strike for Equality" which ignited demonstrations/rallies in 90 cities/towns in 40 states -- and was also memorialized in that Congressional resolution.

235 years after independence from the British Empire and 40 years after the establishment of Women's Equality Day, women still do not have equal rights under the U.S. Constitution and hold a measly 16.8% of seats in Congress. 20 states send NO women to Washington. And the U.S. is 70th in the world for electing women, or #91 if you count the ties. Totally disgraceful!

On Women's Equality Day you can take action to shed light on the the truth about the political status of U.S. women and invest in your future:

1) Remind/inform your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers about these inequities -- win their support, get them involved. Use email, Facebook, Twitter, the "bully pulpit," blog comments, bullhorns -- whatever it takes! (Sample message: Women's Equality Day - but no equal rights, 16.8% seats in Congress. Would US govt be in such a mess if there were more women in Congress? [138 characters])

2) Distribute this flyer (or your own version) to your community center, school, place of worship, neighborhood, professional group, etc.

3) Write a short Letter to the Editor of your local news paper talking about lack of equal rights and equal representation - insisting that the media shed light on the gross lack of equal representation when covering the 2012 campaigns/elections and also treat women candidates fairly. (Sample HERE - feel free to plagiarize :-)

4) Write a check to a woman running for Congress. (Don't waste time/money on opposing women you disagree with; spend those resources on women you agree with. 30% by 2020 is realistic if women can win 50% of "open seats" plus challenges.)

Onward & upward!

-- then click HERE to access "The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women: What are we going to do about it?" on smashwords.com..

Christine Gregoire will not seek a third term as WA governor http://electwomen.com/ EqualRepresentation


20 states send NO women to Congress? IA, MS, VT, DE have never elected a woman to Congress http://ow.ly/68OoS EqualRepresentation


Sunday, August 21, 2011

WI Rep. Tammy Baldwin frontrunner for Dem nomination to replace Kohl in Senate - http://ping.fm/e3s3o

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2011-12 Special Election Update!

(Courtesy of equalrepresentation.org)     Subscribe in a reader

2011-2012 Special Elections (so far):

Poll Shows Tight Race in New York Special Election to replace Anthony Weiner.

NRCC Already Spending Heavily In NV-02 Special to replace Dean Heller.

Oregon's 1st District race attracts 13 hopefuls to replace David Wu.

Special Election candidates/dates at www.openseatscongress.org...

PS: The U.S. is currently tied for 70th in the world (with Bosnia and Herzegovina/San Marino) for electing women to lower houses of national government -- or #91 if you count the ties!

-- then click HERE to access "The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women: What are we going to do about it?" on smashwords.com..

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Breaking News: Pelosi's Picks do not include women..

(Courtesy of equalrepresentation.org)     Subscribe in a reader

Women petitioned for 50:50 on the so-called Congressional "supercommiteee" to solve our economic problems -- a somewhat silly request considering that women only hold 16.8% of all seats -- and we got ONE (Senator Patty Murray as co-Chair AND Chair DSCC/ouch!). Shows exactly how much clout women have on the national level. Asking (wishing, hoping) is not the same as demanding, especially with no consequences..

Pelosi did choose one Hispanic member, Rep. Becerra -- otherwise, the committee is made up of Sen. Murray and 10 white men. That includes Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD), who was elected in 2002 when women ditched long-time friend and pro-Choice Republican Rep. Connie Morella, ostensibly to help Dems win the House. That did not happen. Instead we got one less woman in Congress.

Van Hollen subsequently chaired DCCC with the help of Debbie Wasserman Schulz, and did zero to accelerate the election of more women to Congress. Just sayin'...

-- then click HERE to access "The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women: What are we going to do about it?" on smashwords.com..

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Equal Representation boost in rebellious Tunisia!

(Courtesy of equalrepresentation.org)     Subscribe in a reader

Read the Women's eNews article "Tunisian Election Law Gives Women Equal Chance" (August 9, 2011) and weep. Here are some excerpts:

"But in April, the electoral commission established to draw up rules for the constituent assembly elections, slated to take place on Oct. 23, took a huge step and adopted a gender-parity system for candidate lists for the constituent assembly.

"This required political parties to alternate men and women on their lists from top to bottom. The electoral commission can reject a party list that does not adhere to this rule."

When will we get election reform aimed at accelerating the election of women to Congress? It ain't happening through more candidate trainings, osmosis or anything short of concrete programs/rules changes that those controlling our political life avoid with the lame excuses! This is the word we must spread on Women's Equality Day!

Women hold 16.% of all seats in Congress, 20 states (40%) send NO women to Washington. The USA -- clearly not as advanced as we pretend to be -- is now tied for 70% in the world for electing women with Bosnia and Herzegovina/San Marino. Are you not appalled?

-- then click HERE to access "The Truth About the Political Status of U.S. Women: What are we going to do about it?" on smashwords.com..