When Shirley Chisholm broke both racial and gender barriers to become the first Black woman elected to Congress in 1968 and later the first Black woman to run for U. S. president, she leapfrogged over more barriers to power than any woman considering a run today can even imagine. Was she conflicted in her relationship…Read More
A few days ago, I went to the best funeral I’ve ever attended.
It’s unusual to say that about an occasion normally considered sad and somber. But the memorial service for Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, a well-known finance executive in the U.S. and the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, goes down in my book as a perfectly delightful send off.
Mickie founded her brokerage firm, Muriel Siebert & Co, Inc. which became part of Siebert Financial and went public in 1996. She also served as New York State’s Superintendent of Banking (referring to herself in her 2008 autobiography Changing the Rules as the S.O.B.). Mickie’s career has lessons for all women, no matter their occupation:
- Have a dream and go for it.
- Start your own game if those in power won’t let you into theirs — or even if they will but you prefer your vision of how things should be.
- No matter how high you climb, help other women rise and keep them close to support you.
It was all over the news for days. Every pundit, every political talk show, every newspaper running big retrospective spreads. Op eds galore, and reminiscences of what it was like to march together toward equality.
Today, August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, the day that commemorates passage of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, giving women the right to vote after a struggle that lasted over 70 years. A big deal, right?
Right. But that’s not what all the news was about. In fact, though President Obama issued a proclamation and a few columnists like the New York Times’ Gail Collins gave it a nod, hardly anyone is talking about Women’s Equality Day. At least not in consciousness-saturating ways that garner major media’s attention, as Saturday’s March on Washington commemorating the 50th anniversary of a similar Civil Rights march.
Yet the two anniversaries are rooted in common values about equality and justice for all. They share common adversaries and aspirations. Racism and sexism are joined at the head.Read More
On election night, journalism major Maegan Vazquez joined about one hundred fellow New York University students over the beer soaked floorboards of Brad’s, a popular site for locals and college 20-somethings alike. Keenly interested in politics, she’s been writing a terrific weekly column for my Heartfeldt Blog, titled “The Young Politica.”
Across town, I chatted with a couple dozen men and women at my friend Loretta’s Upper East Side apartment. As guests slipped into spaces on the elegant couch and chairs, like the old game of Sardines, each sighed, “I’m so nervous about the outcome of this election.”
Nov. 7, 2012 – New York, USA – Young women celebrate the result of the 2012 US Presidential election at Times Square in New York, USA, 07 November 2012. Democratic President Obama defeated Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the US elections. Photo: Rainer Jensen (Credit Image: © Rainer Jensen/DPA/ZUMAPRESS.com)
The pundits had us convinced that what turned out to be a rout would be a cliffhanger.Read More
My grandparents were all immigrants from tyrant-ruled Eastern Europe during the early decades of the 20th century. They treasured their voting rights as only new citizens can, and they instilled in me their almost sappy love of the American ideals of liberty, justice, and fairness.
Having struggled to get to their promised land, they considered voting their sacred duty. Every election, no matter what. They weren’t naïve about politics, nor did they expect their favored candidates to win every time. They just wanted their votes counted honestly and their voices heard fairly.
They would have loved Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s first female Secretary of State who served from 2007-2011. She’s a true American hero for cleaning up the state’s election system after its 2004 debacle, one that is remembered as one of the most sordid chapters in our nation’s history.Read More
Over the past six years, a new string of Voter ID laws has been pushed to legislation in 31 states. These laws require voters to show up with a valid ID at the polls. Voter ID laws, along with laws that allow those in the military to vote early, have been under the national spotlight in recent months, despite being practically invisible to the media when they were first proposed. These laws are ever-transforming and some are still being amended—less than a month before the presidential election.
There has been a recent push to delay Voter ID laws in many states until after the November election. It has been argued that this is the work of the Democratic Party’s agenda, because delaying these laws makes voting more accessible to the poor and the elderly; two groups which tend to vote Democrat.
Where are these changes happening and how will you be affected?Read More
At this point in the presidential race, students like myself do not have time to sift through crooked statistics and tired rhetoric. We have enough of those things on our plate already, considering that we’re reviewing for midterms.
Romney and Obama could have saved us the trouble. Most of the students I spoke with at New York University, which I attend, were already informed about the policy issues addressed during the televised train wreck. And those who were undecided said that they were still thinking through both policies because the debate offered little to them.
“I thought both candidates did an excellent job at talking their way around some key issues,” John Facey, a junior studying creative writing, said.
The candidates were just picking on each other like boys in the school yard. One friend likened Jim Lehrer’s authority to that of a high school substitute teacher: only after the fifth warning did the kids eventually settle down.
And just like almost every American who watched the debate on Wednesday, the student voter population was left scratching their heads once Lehrer finally called it a night.Read More
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on CNN yesterday morning that Democrats have a “very excellent chance” of taking back the House in November – pointing to Mitt Romney’s selection of running mate Paul Ryan as a “pivotal” moment in the campaign.
The Democrats need to pick up 25 seats to win back the majority.
Politico’s arena asked: “Does it seem likely that the Democrats could retake the House? With a 10 percent congressional approval rating, are Americans even paying attention to House races?”
Here’s my take:Read More
Are you watching the Republican National Convention? What do you think of the goings on?
Tell me your thoughts here. The Politico Arena question today talks about how Americans view Romney, saying a new Pew Research Center poll shows that more Americans are interested in the GOP platform than Mitt Romney’s convention speech.
Another Pew survey shows that 71 percent of Americans say that if Mr. Romney were elected president, his policies would be good for the rich.
This information may not bode well for Romney, who needs to overcome the perception that he is out of touch with regular Americans.
Will Romney’s convention speech make a difference for undecided voters? Or are Americans’ perceptions of Romney already largely cemented two months before the election?
Here was my top of mind reply, but how would you answer?
If Americans are more interested in the Republican platform than Romney’s convention speech, that’s good news for Barack Obama. The old adage “Watch what he does more than what he says” is true here. The platform is a harbinger of what Romney will do if he’s in office. And that, frankly, is frightening for women’s rights and self-determination, economic fairness and justice, and the economy as a whole. Think George W. Bush administration policies that practically bankrupted the country on steroids.
Romney torques himself into and back out of almost every position on the political map as he sense the winds of his base supporters blowing. His speech is likely to be carefully crafted as fodder to excite the base while stepping as lightly as he can around issues that are contentious with independents, moderate Republicans, and the few remaining undecided Democrats who are disaffected with Obama and might swing toward Romney.
Sometimes perception is reality though. Romney is perceived as not being in touch with regular Americans because he fundamentally isn’t in touch with the realities of our lives. If he gives an excellent speech, he might get a small temporary bump. But what his policies would do – or not – for average Americans is ultimately much more important.Read More
Ryan assures an even larger gender gap in November. And most likely a new age gap. So here’s a new prediction: Young women afraid of losing their access to birth control and seniors fearing loss of Medicare may well form the biggest new voting bloc in history. Let the games begin.Read More