Tag Archives: politics

If you eat one thing today, eat fresh corn because it’s in season now and it’s like DAMN. If you call one person today, call your senator about the Paycheck Fairness Act.

4 Jun

Okay, so actually I really hope you eat more than just a cob of corn today, and I think it would have more of an impact to call both of your senators (if you live in the U.S.).  But either way, the corn is juicy and it’s impossible to ensure fair wages in the workplace without payroll transparency!  Which is what the Paycheck Fairness Act calls for (the transparency, not the juicy).

So please, take a few minutes to chow some cobs and call your senators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act today.  But preferably not at the same time.

You can call 1-888-876-9527 to get easily connected to your senators.  Native Georgians like me, please confirm or deny my suspicion that you have to have a ridiculous name to be a Georgian senator.  Saxby Chambliss? Johnny Isakson?? Chocoball Mukai?!  Okay, one of those isn’t real.

Earning less than someone doing the same work is buuuuullshit.
Call your senators today.

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Just two things: A quick lesson for Komen

3 Feb

Well, it’s been a whirlwind week in women’s health indignation.  To recap briefly: The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, self-proclaimed “global leader of the breast cancer movement” (roll eyes here), decided early this week to sever ties with Planned Parenthood.  Immediately, outrage and backlash against this unwise, politically suspicious move proliferated across social media (TMMV’s twitter and my personal Facebook page included), and even reached NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s pockets.

As a result of all the bad press, Komen decided to back-track.  Trying to save face, they came out with an apology statement today, in which they reinstituted ties to PP and promised to “amend” their policies.

While I’m glad that Planned Parenthood will not lose those much-needed funds, there’s still a lot of BS that Komen needs to be called on.  To start, Komen would benefit from learning two simple things:

  • The definition of pinkwashing.  Pinkwashing (n):  A term used to describe companies that position themselves as leaders in the fight against breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease.  That perfume that Komen was hawking?  Filled with phthalates.  That cute lipstick with the pink ribbon on the cap?  Probably contains some lead.
  • The fact that health–especially women’s health–is political.  That concept is often lost in the sea of pink, but you can’t deny it.  So when Komen issues statements that say things like “We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics,” they sound more than a little naive.  And by naive, I mean clueless.

Truth is, Komen is the global leader of the breast cancer “movement.”  The foundation has a big voice in the national conversation about women’s health, and has the ability to steer the discourse toward one of genuine empowerment.  We need better preventive health care; we need better health policy.  What we don’t need is another bag of pink M&Ms.

Elizabeth Warren and the Commonwealth’s High Stakes

15 Nov

Elizabeth Warren, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, addressed a crowd of about a thousand people on November 13th in Boston. I was among them. In the middle of the indoor track/multi-purpose space at Roxbury Community College‘s Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, Warren and her team addressed the crowd, visibly pleased by the high turnout on the beautiful fall day.

Elizabeth Warren speaks to crowds in Boston November 13, 2011. Photo via Elizabeth Warren for MA, http://www.elizabethwarren.com.

The focus was clear: more honesty, transparency and equity in the nation’s economy. When Warren discussed her creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she received a standing ovation from much of the crowd- and she’s right to toot her horn over that victory. Warren spoke of her history as part of an American family on the edge of the middle class, and the truthfulness of her story shone through the hardening campaign trail speak. She came down firmly on U.S.-based firms based that pay no taxes here. All of that was important – but it’s not the whole story.

We don’t live in an economy; we live in a society. One of my high school classmates used this phrase to chide Republicans for focusing so much on reducing costs of government, rather acknowledging the people who need the resources that some government funding can provide. Well, it’s not only Republicans who can focus too heavily on the dollar amounts of governance. Though the reasoning is different, Democrats who lean too heavily into fixing our illin’ nation with fiscal policies alone will fail as hard as Republicans who’ve done the same. Money is but one of many resources that shape how Americans live, structure families, work, enjoy, commute, eat, shag, travel, spend, and die. Policies – and politicians – need to understand the importance of well-rounded policies and presentation in addressing life-or-death issues.

Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy will have to find a balance between the personal, political and financial if it is to succeed, especially with once-hopeful, now disillusioned 18-30 voters. Warren is a remarkably strong candidate, and is already running a better race than that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley threw down to fill Senator Ted Kennedy’s RIP-vacated seat in 2010.  It’s not more substance that is needed, exactly – but rather, more facets.

I hope that going forward, Warren takes the credit she deserves for being a smart, relatable attorney who learned Washington’s system the hard way, and stood up to corporate interests dabbling in politics. But with two wars abroad, the failed war on drugs and the truly grim war on women at home, we need to know more than her stance on lobbyists in Congress. Rather than play to moderates through vague answers on tough social issues, I want to hear Warren proudly tout Massachusetts’ healthcare as an example for the rest of the nation. I want her to put forth her views on issues such as immigration, environmental protection, and women’s rights (no, it’s not just about choice – though that’s important, too.)

Seeing Elizabeth Warren in person made me excited to support a strong woman candidate. But if Democrats are serious about taking this Senate seat back from Scott Brown and the Republicans, Warren will need to strengthen her appeal by taking clear, brave, and necessary stances.  And by providing the new solutions that the next generation is calling for.

I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up to No Good

27 Oct

“I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties imposed upon me by appointment as an Election Officer of the City of Boston, according to the Laws of this Commonwealth, so help me God.”

Yep.  That’s right, folks, I’m going to be a poll worker.  No, not that kind of poll worker – though I do have a lot of respect for sex workers.

Oh, you’re without an address and have no ID?  Right this way, m’am….

This is going to be interesting.