Friday, March 31, 2017

From Ms Representation - March 2017

Taking the bull by the patriarchyEarly this month, State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager, placed a statue of a young girl directly in front of the Wall Street bull. Her powerful pose, with hands placed at her hips, sends a clear message and I’m still hoarse from cheering. State Street’s message was, relatively, lost in the wash though it was surely encouraging. Point is: if this kind of thing happens only one month out of twelve, it’s time to observe National Women’s Month every month. Here’s a starting point.

Ladies, let’s celebrate!Remembering Jeannette Rankin! On April 2, we should all take a moment to clink glasses – one hundred years ago, as a Republican Representative from Montana, she became the first elected woman to sit as a member of Congress. Of course, this wasn’t without furious debate, but still…there she sat. Respect.

Give credit where it’s due!“It’s a tale as old as time: A man took credit for a woman’s idea” is the beginning of this piece, and that hardly needs an end. But if it didn’t, you might miss out on recognizing these 11 badass women’s historical accomplishments. And that would be a shame.

Looking for the good on social media?In an age where logging on to your social platform of choice can easily be akin to watching a red-hot dumpster fire, there is some good out there. If Instagram is your thing, @femalecollective might just be the (mostly millennial) online community you’ve been missing. I ran into the founder at the Women’s March and I’ve been hooked ever since. #follow

Tomi Lahren fired for defending her right to chooseYep, you read that right. Conservative pundit and host – well, now formerly so – on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze just lost her job after declaring, “…[the government] can stay out of my body…” Yikes.

In case you missed it…Faux feminism is the worst. The. Worst. Thankfully, the social commentary savants at Saturday Night Live painted the picture that plenty of women, myself included, have seen and experienced. It’s so spot on that I’m probably having more girls’ nights in this month than usual. Ladies, keep an eye out for this because it’s real and it’s ugly.

#WomenWearWhite for women’s rightsYou may have noticed something if you watched President Trump’s joint address to Congress weeks ago. All the white outfits in the audience were not the product of an impressive coincidence; they were a statement – not just a fashion statement. AND they looked downright fabulous.

Why It’s Become So Hard to Get an Abortion

When you can’t ban something outright, it’s possible to make the process of obtaining it so onerous as to be a kind of punishment.

At a town-hall meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin, last March, Donald Trump was prompted for his views about abortion. He’d been pro-choice once, but as a Presidential candidate he was an eager, if ill-informed, pro-lifer. Much of his answer took the form of free-floating clauses, like dialogue from a bad experimental play, which made his actual positions challenging to parse. But Trump did manage to make one point clearly, and to repeat it. When the interviewer, Chris Matthews, of MSNBC, asked whether women who’d had abortions should be punished, Trump answered in the affirmative.

Illustration by Harry Campbell
Politically speaking, this was not good. In recent years, the anti-abortion movement has tried hard to show that it cares as much about women as it does about fetuses. Right-to-life groups criticized Trump’s wayward messaging, and, later that day, his campaign issued a statement explaining that it was actually doctors who ought to be punished if abortion were made illegal again: “The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.”

Trump kept more or less to that script for the rest of the campaign; his choice of Mike Pence, a flawlessly anti-abortion evangelical Christian, as his running mate surely helped. But Trump’s off-the-cuff comment had briefly exposed a truth at the core of anti-abortion politics. Since the nineteen-nineties, states have enacted hundreds of new restrictions on the constitutional right to abortion, from obligatory waiting periods and mandated state counselling to limits on public and even private insurance funding. The cumulative effect has been to transform the experience and the reputation of a safe, legal medical procedure into something shady and disgraceful that women pursue only because they don’t know enough about it or because they are easily manipulated emotional time bombs.

In a clear and persuasive new book, “About Abortion” (Harvard), Carol Sanger, a professor of law at Columbia, explores the roots and the ramifications of this chastening regime. “Much of current abortion regulation operates to punish women for their decision to terminate a pregnancy,” Sanger writes. “This is so even though abortion has not been a crime since 1973, and even then, women themselves were rarely included within criminal abortion statutes.” When you cannot ban something outright, it’s possible to make the process of obtaining it so onerous as to be a kind of punishment, Sanger argues, drawing on the ideas of the legal scholar Malcolm Feeley.

Monica Rodriquez Fundraiser on Wednesday, April 26

Roused by Trump, First-Time Female Candidates Eye Local Seats


 NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Four years of increasing activism and growing political awareness recently brought Lacey Rzeszowski to Rutgers University here, to a packed room of nearly 280 women, each on the cusp of launching a bid for public office for the first time.

Spurred by the 2012 shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., she had pressured local and federal lawmakers on gun control legislation, first on the backs of postcards and then in live confrontations in town halls and congressional offices. Her advocacy led to calls for her to run for office, but Ms. Rzeszowsk had repeatedly declined.

Now, seeking solace and inspiration following the 2016 presidential election and the Women’s March on Washington, Ms. Rzeszowski, 42, is squaring off in a tough race against a local Republican for a seat in the New Jersey Assembly.

Lacey Rzeszowski, 42, spoke at an event in Summit, N. J., on Saturday. Ms. Rzeszowski is squaring off in a tough race against a local Republican for the State Assembly seat in New Jersey’s 21st District.

Political activism of all persuasions, ignited largely in response to President Trump, has swelled in the wake of the 2016 election. A monsoon of marchers swept through Washington following the inauguration, letters and phone calls flooded the White House and Congress, and protests erupted at congressional town hall meetings across the nation. But in the social media age, where protest movements often remain relegated to cable news screens and hashtags, some have wondered whether the fervor and energy would be reflected in local, state and federal ballots.

The answer seems to be a resounding yes. A surge in demand for programs around the country like the one at Rutgers, along with a significant spike in off-year small dollar fund-raising for local races, suggests that the protest movement is producing a flood of first-timers, led predominantly by new female candidates, on local ballots, from school boards to town councils to state legislatures.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From our Orange County Caucus Sisters


Are you angry yet?  If not, you should be!

Since the inauguration, we have struggled to keep up with all the events and meetings.  And, and of course, keeping up with Trump's rantings on Twitter. As a result of the fallout from the election, people are angry and they want to be more involved in the political process. We have more citizens stepping up to run for office than ever before.  I couldn't be happier to see so many citizens who are engaged enough that they are taking time out of their busy schedules to rally at their Congress person's district office and attend meetings to strategize.

As you are well aware, several bills have been introduced that will destroy social programs, eliminate the EPA, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Afordable Care Act.  We have our work cut out for us!  And that's why  we need you to join us for our monthly meetings and join NWPC OC or renew your membership!   Below is a sampling of the bills that NWPC is concerned about:

HR 610 - Vouchers for Public Education
HR 899 - Terminate Public Education
HR 370 - Repeal Affordable Care Act
HR 354 - Defund Planned Parenthood
HR 147 - Criminalizing Abortion

Join NWPC OC for our monthly meetings to strategize, hear what the experts have to say, and write letters (at the conclusion of each meeting) to our Representatives. 

Upcoming Meetings & Events
NWPC OC has FOUR (and counting) great events coming up that we want you to know about.

March 21:
  Visit our table at the Orange Coast College Resource Fair between 10 am & 2 pm.  2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.
March 22:  Join NWPC OC for the Monthly Members' Meeting, featuring Special Guest Speaker, Ana Gonzalez, Public Affairs Advocacy Manager with PPOSBC.  The meeting will be held at the home of Lisa Gallagher in Anaheim - address given upon registration.  Visit our Event page for details and to register.

April 22:
  Join NWPC OC and Represent OC at OCEA, 830 N. Ross St., Santa Ana, for a Panel Discussion with Elected Leaders and Campaign Organizers.  If you are a candidate in the 2018 election cycle, you won't want to miss this!  Download the flyer or visit the Event Page for details and to register.

April 26:
  Join NWPC OC for the Monthly Members' Meeting, featuring a Panel Discussion with experts who work with Sexual Assault victims.  The meeting will be held at the Duck Club in Irvine.  Download the flyer or visit the Event page for details and to register.
Sherri Loveland: NWPC OC

NWPC OC · PO Box 14133, Irvine, CA 92623-4133, United States

Thursday, March 9, 2017

How These States Are Fighting to Protect Reproductive Rights

How These States Are Fighting to Protect Reproductive Rights

Feb 08, 2017

Amid uncertainty over the future of reproductive health care coverage in the U.S., some states are going on the offensive.
President Donald Trump has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act — citing a potential replacement in the next year or so — but hasn't been clear on whether the new law will retain access to birth control without co-pays. Although Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court is unlikely to lead to an immediate repeal of Roe v. Wade, the president has long cited the possibility that adding an anti-abortion rights judge to the court could reverse the ruling. In response, some states that favor current laws regarding birth control and abortion care coverage are introducing bills that could keep access intact should changes happen.
"There are states all around the country that have their eye on what is happening at the national level, and looking at what can we do in our state," says Lorie Chaiten, director of the women's and reproductive rights project for ACLU of Illinois.
Legislators in Oregon introduced a bill in January called the Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 2232) that is intended to ensure insurance providers in the state cover contraception without copays, even in the event that the Affordable Care Act is repealed. It would also ensure similar coverage for reproductive health care services like sexually transmitted disease screenings and abortion. It also prohibits insurers from discriminating against a person based on their gender identity.
The Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 currently states that if the Supreme Court ever overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion will become illegal in the state. House Bill 40, which was introduced by legislators in January, seeks to repeal that provision in the law. It also seeks to ensure that women using Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance will have abortion coverage.
“If the Supreme Court ever overturns Roe, immediately in the state of Illinois all abortions become illegal and criminalized,” Illinois Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, who introduced House Bill 40, told the Chicago Sun Times. “To get ahead of what might be a nightmare scenario for women in this state, we should strike those words. We need to be ready in case the worst happens, the unthinkable.”
New York
In late January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a ballot amendment that would put women's right to an abortion in the state constitution. The governor announced his plan at a rally in support of Planned Parenthood, arguing New Yorkers should have the right to vote on the issue. Through this process, access would remain in place in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned or changed by the Supreme Court. The proposal hasn't been formally drafted yet.

Gretchen Carlson: The Time Is Now for Women to Run for Office

Gretchen Carlson: The Time Is Now for Women to Run for Office

Feb. 23, 2017

Left or right, now — not later.

I watch very few mini-series but lately I’ve been transfixed by The Crown on Netflix. Apart from the brilliant acting and the fascinating storyline of a young Queen Elizabeth, I’m sure it’s also subconsciously helping me deal with my Downton Abbey withdrawal.
In a recent episode, the Queen, still in her twenties, dresses down a much older, revered and respected Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill for not notifying her when his health had deteriorated to the point of possibly being incapacitated.
Her script: You chose to withhold information from me … a decision that feels like a betrayal. Your breaking of that trust was irresponsible and might have had serious ramifications for the security of this country…. Is your health better now? I would ask you to consider your response in light of the respect that my rank and my office deserve. Not that which my age and gender might suggest.
Emphasis mine.
It’s at this point the viewer truly understands the power of the throne and, more importantly, that Churchill realizes that the Queen is ready to rule.
And, it got me thinking.
Could it be that Great Britain’s monarchy, sometimes ridiculed and seen as politically impotent, has had a major impact on the way the British people have come to revere women in top positions? Having seen women in powerful roles, such as queens, are the British more likely to accept a woman in a top position like, say, Prime Minister?
They’ve had two: Margaret Thatcher and now Theresa May, which of course is better than we’ve done, with our zero.
A recent study out of New York University, the University of Illinois and Princeton University suggests that by the age of six, girls in this country across all socio-economic and racial lines become “less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender and are more likely to avoid activities said to require brilliance.”
The research followed 400 children between the ages of five to seven within various studies. In one part, some of the children were told a story about a person who was “really, really smart” and then asked to guess whether that person was a man or a woman. Five-year-olds picked their own gender, but six- and seven-year-olds of both genders were more likely to pick men.
So what happens to change a girl’s world perception between the ages of five and seven? And how does that affect the career choices of young women? As one researcher involved in the study put it, “[T]hese new findings show that these stereotypes begin to impact girls’ choices at a heartbreakingly young age.”
Is that one of the reasons why we haven’t elected a female President?
Luckily, I had a mom who told me, from a young age, that I could be anything I wanted to be. She instilled in me a sense of confidence and belief that I’m passing along to my own kids. Who knows if simply being told to believe in yourself is enough to break through the stereotypes. In my case, it didn’t hurt, but it probably wasn’t the whole story.
That’s why I hope that in this incredibly divisive political environment, more women will choose to run for political office. Our time is now.
The past year proved that America desperately wanted an outsider to take center stage, but more importantly it proved that any of us can aspire to make the leap of faith and give it a try. While young women previously may have considered themselves unqualified for political office, the election of President Donald Trump, who had never held public office, counterintuitively took down some preconceived barriers to candidacy – for everyone. He did it and so can you.
It’s good to hear that some groups across the country are seeing a surge in young women planning to run for office. We need that.
While the number of women in Parliament went up by approximately a third in the 2015 election cycle — with Members of Parliament now 29% women, up from 23% — women here didn’t make any gains in Congress. The number of women in both the House and Senate remains unchanged at 104, meaning women here only make up about 19% of Congress.
Now is the time to seize the day — like Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May — by encouraging our girls to be anything they want to be, and to run for any political office, including the highest office in the land. Just like Queen Elizabeth who, as a young woman,demanded respect above and beyond what her gender and age traditionally may have warranted, we deserve the same respect some 70 years later. Let’s work together to see our own Madam President.
Gretchen Carlson is a former anchor on Fox News and an advocate for workplace equality and the empowerment of women

Quote from Hillary

"Every issue's a women's issue, so stand up, resist, run for office, be a champion."
— Hillary Clinton emerging from her post-election hiatus on Snapchat

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

50 Women Who Made American Political History

50 Women Who Made American Political History

March 8, 2017

Celebrate these trailblazers

The history of women in American politics is just as long as that of the nation as a whole. Even in the days before the Constitution guaranteed women the right to vote, many tried hard to make a difference as best they could — and succeeded, not only by breaking glass ceilings and proving that women could handle the job but also by introducing important legislation, standing up for their fellow citizens’ rights and much more.
Whether they held office at the local and federal level, whether they were appointed to the most high-profile jobs in politics or to a role many would never hear about, and even if they merely ran and lost, each made her mark. Some of them wielded their influence in the nation’s earliest days and others have only recently been elected to office. And, of course, that history is still being written by many women who have yet to make it to the history books.
It would be impossible to sum up the complete role that women have played in the history of American politics, especially considering the many female activists and thinkers who, though excluded from public office by nature of their gender, made a difference in the evolution of the nation’s governmental and political narrative.
But here, for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, TIME takes a look back at 50 influential women — specifically, women who ran for, were appointed to or married into a role in the U.S. government — who have helped define the history of American civic life.

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