Day 12 Action:
Here’s the deal: Those of us who believe in the self-evident truths of Equality, Justice, Truth and Honesty, and feel that they should be displayed on the international stage of our public offices – did not participate (read: vote) in the numbers that actually represent us in this, or any, election. And just a fraction of that minuscule number are currently holding or running for office, on any level.
And now our country is facing the greatest political evil,* of our times. Because of that lack of participation. Because we took this country for granted. We willfully ignored how precious, and (apparently) how fragile, this glorious system of ours is. So now, the times, they are a-changin’, and so it must follow, that the times are changing us. Though many of us keep thinking of us ourselves as the same people we were yesterday, we are not.
Just two Wednesday’s back, you were an everyday person, a regular citizen trying to live life on your own terms, but this week you wake up to a new you. This person, perhaps all of a sudden, now understands what drove a simple farmer to turn and lead his entire country against an oppressive regime. You GET William Wallace. On a more contemporary scale; you see how a simple lawyer could say -enough- and begin to lead his country against an oppressive (coincidentally enough, the same) regime. You GET Gandhi. You certainly understand how a woman in the early 1900’s could come together with other women and stand to say US TOO. You GET Lucy Burns and her compatriots in arms. And, more than ever, you can understand how a preacher from Alabama can lead an entire nation into a movement of Equality and Right, when he knew there would be those who wished to silence him. You GET Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now it is more personal and you can relate to these grand figures of history as who they were- two Wednesdays ago- regular citizens, who stood up to say ENOUGH. You now understand how a regular person, with no previous designs or aspirations- would find the audacity and the momentum to stand up and be counted as one who will stand for all others.
This is not meant as vitriolic hyperbole (though that is the name of my new punk band). Our country is in dire straights, and we are in need of warriors who will stand and lead us in the democratic manner that has been our country’s claim-to-fame for over 240 years.
Perhaps, you are saying “HELL YES!” at this moment, and are beginning to think that running for office and really participating in this country’s democratic system is for you; so that you can be for all of US. Well, there’s an app for that- o.k. not literally, I checked – BUT there are a plethora of organizations who can help get you started, at the ready, just waiting for you to say ENOUGH!
Even if the limelight isn’t for you – it takes more than one person to make this country tick (let’s hope). And getting involved with any of these organizations would certainly be doing your part in keeping the Republic strong and lending one more voice to the ideals of Equality, Justice, Truth and Honesty.
Library of Congress: Women of Protest, photographs from the records of the National Woman’s Party (originally the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage)
Library of Congress: An American Memory of the CU and the NWP
National Women’s Party: Lucy Burns (chewing bubble gum and kicking ass, and she’s all out of bubble gum.)
Organizations and Actions:
Emily’s List – “We ignite change by getting pro-choice Democratic women elected to office.”
Emerge America – “Emerge gives Democratic women who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. We are the only in-depth, seven-month, 70-hour, training program providing aspiring female leaders with cutting-edge tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system. We currently work in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.”
Higher Heights – “Higher Heights seeks to elevate Black women’s voices to shape and advance progressive policies and politics. By strengthening Black women’s civic participation in grassroots advocacy campaigns and the electoral process; Higher Heights for America will create the environment in which more Black women, and other candidates who are committed to advance policies that affect Black women, can be elected to public office.”
IGNITE – “Building a movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders.” Founded on the belief that until women have equal power, their rights will be ignored, they train young women from high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States. Their founder and president Dr. Anne Moses, started iGNiTe “to build political ambition when girls and young women are forming their identities and aspirations, and to forestall the fact that, without a significant intervention, the United States won’t reach gender parity for at least another century.”
Run For Something – “We’ll take a chance on people the usual “institutions” might never encounter. We’ll help people run for offices like state legislatures, mayorships, city council seats, and more. We’ll do whatever it takes to get more under-35 year-olds on the ballot.” –Their goal is to place five good candidates in state or local races in 2017.
Running Start – “By educating young women and girls about the importance of politics, and imbuing them with the skills they need to be leaders, we give women the running start they need to achieve greater political power.”
She Should Run – “She Should Run started as a project in 2008 and has evolved to become a movement working to create a culture that inspires women and girls to aspire towards public leadership.”
Women’s Campaign Fund – Change the Players, Change the Game
WKTB Note: We searched high and low, but are sure we’ve unintentionally left some out. If you know of an org helping people get elected – let us know and we’ll update the list.
*The term “greatest evil” is not a term taken lightly or used in a manner that overlooks or denies the atrocious and heinous acts and times that our country has previously committed/seen. It is an acknowledgement, of the fact, that that which threatens the very bedrock of our core ideals and structure as a nation, and that which divides us so severely, in the year 2017, after all the lessons we have learned and all of the previous evils we have committed/seen – that this must surely be the greatest evil of our times.
Photo Credit: Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart