There are some times in our lives when we just need to speak up. No amount of rationalization (someone else will do it or one person won’t matter) will suffice. We feel compelled to say or to do something to make a difference.
This is one of those times for our country.
Americans are still suffering in so many ways—unemployment, foreclosures, inadequate healthcare, and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, to name a few. Now, more than ever, we need to tell our politicians what WE need and want. Quite frankly, they need our guidance.
This blog is a call to action—an opportunity to speak out and to be heard. A national effort is underway to hear what women have to say about politics and politicians. You can be a part of the upcoming book about women and politics, 51% Women and the Future of Politics. Your voice will be heard--all you need to do is to speak up. There are many opportunities on our website, including a national survey and a call for brief essays.
Listen to what one mom in Maryland had to tell us. I think her message may resonate with many of you.
"I am a mother, a recent college graduate, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a full-time employed environmentalist. Politics profoundly affects me in each of these roles and in my everyday life – from daycare for my children, to student loan interest for myself, from women’s healthcare for my marriage to social security for my father, and from Medicaid for my brother to compliance legislation for my job – yet woman are so underrepresented in every facet of public government and I am left to “trust” that the men will understand my unique needs and have the knowledge to act accordingly."
"However, my role as a political campaign volunteer strikingly illustrates an irony to this under-representation and the basis on which that “trust” is built…the grassroots political campaign volunteers in my community are overwhelmingly women. I see a huge community of women working – despite all their other responsibilities – to shape political issues and to promote elected officials. Elected officials that are usually men – in campaigns that are usually funded my men – but in community centers, churches, and around kitchen tables that are filled with women. We may not been seen as much as men, but behind every elected man is a room full of women. We are the 51%."
Women do make a significant difference in our world. That’s why I’m calling on you today.
Think about what is meaningful and important to you in your life. Then, speak up about it as though your future and the future of your children depend on it. In fact, it just might.
For me, this is one of those times.
Terri Spahr Nelson, Editor
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