I think the #Metoo campaign is a result of what began last January in Washington, DC. Women and men marched for a variety of reasons; one of which to make it clear we are not okay with powerful men grabbing our private parts. A year has come and gone, and women continue, in a variety of ways, to carry the torch of the march. Whether it’s #metoo or women in politics, women continue to stand up and say “Enough.” Yesterday my sister called and shared the following story.
“My husband always said I would make a great politician. Usually, it was when I was winning a discussion, but none-the-less. Last night his prediction became a reality.
This victory was more significant than just any running for political office. Last year after the presidential election several people vowed to get involved. I, like many others, were disappointed by the swift change in direction of politics, but with three young children, two jobs, a husband who travels, and no real daycare, my plate seemed a little full. I thought about changing jobs in order to get more involved in politics. Two opportunities presented themselves on the horizon. One was a prestigious job with the Governor but would necessitate over an hour commute each way and long, long hours. I would never be home. The other opportunity was local and very close to home: City Council Ward 1 Representative. The city council position for my neighborhood had just been vacated, and the Mayor was seeking someone to take the position and then run for the office in the November election. Running for an office was out of my comfort zone. I can interview with the best of them, but running for office is a whole other beast.
The interesting part was that during the budget negotiations for our small city the year prior, I had been angered by my ward’s representative when he voted against funding summer programs for children in the city. While my children actually don’t attend those programs because my work schedule is flexible, I am acutely aware that there are working families for whom the summer strains daycare options. I also love where I live. It is a place that kids can ride their bikes to the neighbor’s house, play outside, and generally be kids. I live in community, real community. Part of that community is taking care of all our children, not just our own.
And so with all of that, I sent an email and volunteered to serve. The bonus was I didn’t have to actually get elected. I could just sit for an interview with the mayor. I was appointed in August and LOVED serving and solving the big issues of our community. In order to keep my position, I had to run for election.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet my husband at the polling place with our three kids, to see my name on the ballot, and to vote. Having never voted before, my husband cast his first vote alongside me and helped make me an official politician. The solidarity of that vote was not lost on me as I joined part of history as a female public official on the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State.”
I’m so proud of Michele. My sister is an elected official. Her husband’s first time to cast a vote was for his wife and all of it happened 100 years to the month after NY state allowed women to vote. Iconic.