Monday, June 23, 2008

You've Been Asked: Why Not Run?

I was reading a recent post by PunditMom about women's contributions to political campaigns/causes. She discussed what an impact it would have if every woman contributed just $27 to a candidate they believe in. She's started The $27 Revolution, and you should read all about it at her blog - simply click on the button at right. I applaud her efforts, and she can count me in as one of her $27 revolutionaries!

I want to tell you about an organization I support with all my heart...and with a small donation each month: EMILY's List. EMILY is not a person, but an acronym: Early Money Is Like Yeast (it helps to raise the dough!) How many of us out here in the blogosphere would love to run for office ourselves? How many of us think about it, but don’t know the first thing about how to start? How to raise funds? We wonder if our family, friends and co-workers would think we’re crazy. Well, EMILY's List is there to answer those questions and more. EMILY’s List encourages and supports pro-choice women candidates to run for office. Any office. Regular women like you and me. Not just folks like Hillary, or Barbara Boxer. In fact, if you take a look at this short clip, you’ll see what I mean. Seriously, take a look right now.

Ah, you’re back. Short, yet inspiring, don’t you think? So, now you’ve been asked. I'm asking you to consider it. Will you run? Wait, you don’t have to give me an answer right now…let it percolate. The best ideas always do. Will it be School Site Council at your kids’ school? The local School Board? City Council? State Assembly? Senate??? Whatever the office, EMILY’s List has some terrific resources for candidates like you, such as guides on how to fundraise, how to choose which office, how to evaluate whether you and your family have the time and inclination to go all the way. Maybe your best friend would be a great politician, and you’d make a rockin’ campaign manager…there’s info for both of you through EMILY’s List. They support and train outreach and grassroots organizing for women’s campaigns – but they do so much more! And I support them, every month, with a small donation.

As you probably know, we teachers did not go into our profession to become rich. So, EMILY's List gives me a way to contribute a small amount each month. You can literally give whatever amount you choose to contribute. $5 a month? $10? Whatever you are comfortable with and can feasibly afford, they are happy to put to use to elect more women like us to office. See? It's an easy way to join the $27 Revolution. And maybe even get your feet wet in the wonderful world of politics.

So, contribute. It's easy. Give one or two lattes a month to EMILY’s List…or to your favorite campaign or cause. At the risk of sounding like Sally Struthers, think what a better world we could create for a few bucks a month. Think what a better country we could create for our kids, with more women like us in office: making decisions regarding health care; preserving the Family Leave Act; or simply deciding how your child’s school should spend their funding (School Site Council rocks, and is a great place to start. Let your school office know you're interested for the next school year)!

Girl, you should run. Or help your girlfriend or your sister run. Email them the video you saw above and tell them they should run. At the very least, contribute. Because together, we can be a powerful voice, and PunditMom’s $27 Revolution, along with worthy organizations like EMILY’s List, can help us create serious change. Remember, you've been asked.