"A quiet man is a thinking man, a quiet woman is hatching a plan."
While you have not heard much about it, we have lost three gutsy and gracious women legislators to the scurrilous scalpel of redistricting. We owe Kathy Ashe, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield and Elly Dobbs one helluva group hug, and a huge debt of gratitude. Please join me and send them a giant “thank you”, for their leadership, integrity, courage and tenacity. Their presence will be greatly missed in the next legislative session.
In my opinion, this redistricting action by the GOP, is a grave tactical error on their part. Why? Because these women warriors are no longer constrained by the rules of decorum for elected officials, nor are they now in the minority. What they are now – is well-armed professionals, with insider knowledge of the system, and more importantly, the knowledge of where the bodies are buried. I reckon these boys forgot that old saying; keep your friends close and your enemies closer. In the words of the inimitable Governor Rick Perry “oops”.
In the Republican Life Boat, it is Women and Children Last.
Those dear boys under the Gold Dome – God love ‘em, ‘cause who else will? – worked with maniacal determination during redistricting to get rid of these pesky outspoken Democratic women, who were always pointing out the folly and mendacity of these boys. These women consistently served as the firewall against the good ole boys, and their callous disregard for the disadvantaged, and their often heartless legislation crucifying the poor. Any one remember the buzz phrase “Compassionate Conservatism”? What a spectacular example of Orwell’s Doublespeak.
Will 2012 be the Year of the Woman?
I sure as Hell hope so! We have not had a year of the woman since 1992. In my humble opinion, that is just too dang long. Do you remember why 1992 was the year of electing women? Quelle horreur!
It was because in 1992, women all across this county watched the Judge Clarence Thomas hearings in stunned disbelief, as an all male Senate Committee – full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing – grilled Anita Hill. She endured their inquisition, with intelligence, dignity and courage. She was the epitome of grace under fire.
Meanwhile, women who watched the hearings were on fire! And they expressed their mortally wounded sense of justice and outrage with action. Women ran for office and women won, in unprecedented numbers. Ironically, thanks to Justice Thomas, we gained 24 new women members of Congress. Undoubtedly, that will be the last time we women will ever have reason to give thanks to Justice Thomas.
Regrettably, I must also point out, that in the 2010 mid-term elections, for the first time in 30 years, we had a decrease in the number of women elected. We lost nearly 80 legislative seats. Ladies, not only are we not moving forward, we are backsliding. We must step up and run for office. We must serve on the frontlines in this Republican War on Women. If not us, who? If not now, when?
You Are the Critical Piece. Yes, That’s Right; I’m Talking to You.
In any emergency or crisis situation, there is usually a turning point. Such a moment is called critical if it determines the outcome of a situation. You are the critical piece, and you can determine the outcome by getting involved now!
You can run for office, and you can win. Look around at these guys running things now. How hard can it be? Really? You don’t think you can do better? Really? Dagnabit, if they can run and win, so can you!
Opportunities abound. Look around, identify a seat, then go for it. City Council, Mayor, County Commissioner, Coroner, Public Service Commission, State House, State Senate, District Attorney, Judicial Seats, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, School board, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Labor, Secretary of State, State School Superintendent. Just pick one and go for it.
Here are a few very immediate and very perfect opportunities. There are others.
· State Senator George Hooks, a Democrat from Americus just announced that he is not running for reelection, after 32 years. Currently, his 14th senate district composed of 12 rural west Georgia, is the largest in the state. The district includes Dooly, Macon, Marion, Peach, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Upson and Webster counties and portions of Crawford County.
· There are also two new open Democratic House seats: HD 94 DeKalb/Gwinnett and HD177 Valdosta.
· Last, but surely not least, is HD151. Gerald E. Green, who currently holds this seat as Republican, and is a traitorous turncoat. He was elected a Democrat, and then switched parties right after he was elected. This district is 53.5% in Democratic voting strength. Step up; we need a REAL Democrat representing us in this seat. So kick off your heels and put on your boots. Let’s kick his butt back home where it belongs.
OK Ladies, these are once in a decade opportunities and each offers a great chance with open Democratic seats – that are oh so winnable. Go for it. If you have any questions you just give me a call 678.775.8946.
Qualifying dates for candidates are Wednesday, May 23 – till – noon on Friday, May 25th.
The 2012 Project - there is a village waiting to help you.
There are a lot of great resources to support your campaign, but most importantly there is a large network of women, who are standing by, ready to help you. You are not going into this alone. We are sisters in solidarity. As my Momma used to say “Many hands make light work.”
One resource, The 2012 Project has assembled a faculty of former elected women legislators to share with you the facts about women's under representation and the many benefits of public service. Women who are interested in taking the next step toward candidacy will be connected with leadership institutes, think tanks, campaign training programs and fundraising networks designed to help them succeed in their own states.
If you just can’t, I mean really can’t, run for office this time, then ask a woman to run. Women need to be asked to run. Or you can volunteer in a campaign of a woman who is running for office – there are never enough volunteers. If you can’t run, helping a woman who is running, to win, is the next best thing. Lastly and most importantly, please give money to a woman running for office. Put your pocketbook where your politics are.
We must each do our bit, because if we do, we can make our world saner, safer and fairer. Moreover, we can ensure a brighter future, for our children, and our grandchildren, and beyond.
I leave you with these words from Hillary Rodham Clinton, “I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction: that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I've had every opportunity and blessing in my own life - and I want the same for all Americans. Until that day comes, you will always find me on the front lines of democracy - fighting for the future.”