Music Monday: Tomorrow!

In case you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a swing state, it’s a little bit like this:

 

I was one of 14 thousand people who showed up to see POTUS and “OLD POTUS” (as my mom says) in Concord New Hampshire yesterday.  Five hours in the cold gave us plenty of time to think about tomorrow and what’s actually at stake in this election – healthcare, equality, women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies, climate change, and more.  So while I know the ads are getting annoying… we’re tired of people knocking on our doors… you can’t stand to see another poll or political pin… just remember what’s on the line.  And don’t stop thinking about tomorrow – and then DO remember to vote tomorrow.  The future of our entire planet could depend on it.

 

 

Still not sure where to cast your ballot?  Click here to find out!

Keeping score

Alternate title: Picking your battles

I know who I’m voting for next Tuesday.  I’ve known for a long time – even before the state primaries.  I am passionate about politics because I’ve seen how it can have an impact – positive and negative – on my life.

There’s nothing wrong with being an undecided voter.  There IS something wrong with not voting.  Whoever wins on Tuesday will get to shape your town/ state/ country’s future, and it’s up to you to weigh in – even if you end up having to write in a name.

But if you’re still struggling because it’s hard to get beyond the talking points and tell who really believes in the same things as you, I feel you.  However, there are sites out there that will show you how people in office have voted, how candidates have filled out surveys, and what you can expect from people if they win on November 6.  Think about what issues are important in your life, and then find the candidate that matches your priorities – chances are, one is better than the other.

  • If you care about a woman’s right to choose, check out the NARAL Pro-Choice America Voter Guide.  No matter where you fall on the issue, the facts about records and statements are here.
  • If you care about food politics, look at this Food Policy Action voter guide.  You can see a lifetime score for current officials to help you understand how they vote on issues like ending domestic and global hunger, fighting for humane treatment of farm animals, etc.
  • If you care about the environment, check out the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard – one of the best scorecards out there with tons of information about who is standing up for our air, water, and earth… and who is not.
  • If you care about civil liberties, head over to the ACLU to check out their scorecard regarding key votes.
  • If you care about labor issues, see who AFSCME has endorsed for their stance of this topic.
  • If you care about health and financial security, look at AARP’s collection of candidates’ stances in their own words.

What other scorecards to you use to determine who gets your vote?

Still don’t like what you see?  Then I hope to see your name on the ballot next time!

PS: Not sure where you actually cast your ballot?  Find your polling place here >>

42 days left: Are you registered to vote?

No, really – are you?  Have you moved/ changed names/ decided to stop voting in your hometown by absentee ballot but haven’t done anything to move this forward yet?

Better safe than locked out of a crucial national election because you fall into this overlap (courtesy of Change.org):

Join voters across the country today for the first ever National Voter Registration Day to make sure that by the time the day is over, you are on your way to be registered to vote – including knowing where you actually need to go to cast your ballot.

And while you’re at it, maybe bug your friends and family too – the number of people who think they’re all set but who actually need to take a few more steps to vote is staggering, and could lead to heartbreaking results when the polls close on November 6.  Just send them a nice note today saying “Hey there!  I know you care about this election – time to make sure you can vote before registration deadlines close!”

The world will thank you later.

Greatest political ad ever?

As we get into the part of the election cycle where all the ads are recycled – and frankly, all a bit depressing and pessimistic – something this awesome shines like a beacon of truthiness.  It’s a symbol of why we vote in the first place and how important it is to know what’s at stake, rather than just checking a box and voting the party line.  There could be some good candidates you miss!

More information about how this awesome ad came to be here.

Change one thing

This weekend at the New Leaders Council Institute, I was charged with giving a moving two minute speech on the topic of “change one thing.”  It made me think not only of the big picture things I want to change in the world (inequality, racism, hate, etc.) but also about all the little things I would do differently if I was in charge of the world. Here’s my top eight* list for today – what would be on yours?

  1. Lego Friends – This is what I actually said in our class this weekend.  I believe that Lego Friends embodies pretty much everything that is wrong with our country in terms of sexism.  Girls were playing with Legos before, and they’ll keep playing with them now – by creating a separate product of building blocks that are pinks and pastels, we’re drawing a line and establishing boy toys and girl toys in one of the VERY few areas where this wasn’t already black and white.  Please, for the love of all that is gender  neutral, listen to the little girls and boys who are writing to you and go back to the drawing board on this one.
  2. Its – Look, I get what we’re trying to do here, differentiating between the contraction it is and that which belongs to it, but I’m tired of these shenanigans.  Give the damn second meaning an apostrophe already so it can match basically every other possessive version of anything.
  3. The hours of the T – Attention city planners: we didn’t move to Boston because we wanted to end our nights out in time to catch the last train at 12:30.  We came here because we wanted to be young and enjoy the good life, but you’re cutting our fun short with these ridiculous timetables and silly roads that make a 5-mile cab ride cost $35.  Since I doubt we’re going to build more efficient roads, can we please get some leniency with the weekend hours on the T?  Even just by an hour or two?
  4. Cover charges – Please go away.  That is all.
  5. The prevalence of pomegranate – This is being phased out, thank goodness, but the sooner the better!  I’m allergic and I’m sick of having to stay away from shampoos, dressings, and delicious looking drinks.  I’m ready for the next big thing, and hopefully this one won’t make me break out in hives.
  6. eBooks – It has finally happened that someone offered to lend me a book… on my non-existent Kindle.  I think that the more reading, the better in general, but the hard truth is that unless the other person has the same technology, you can’t share books this way, and that breaks my little bibliophile heart right in half.  Paper, please?
  7. The return of common decency – I want to see this happen, STAT.  It shouldn’t be ok to call a woman a “slut” or “prostitute” – whether she’s a waitress who pisses you off OR a 3L at Georgetown law who wanted to talk about the need for contraception coverage in the health care amendments.  We need to all come together and remind people – and ourselves – that this is inappropriate and we can be better than that.  Also, stand up for old people on the T and cover your mouth when you sneeze, please!
  8. The lack of Food network at BSC – It’s minor, but the only regret I had in finally leaving Planet Fitness for Boston Sports Club (in all their pool-and-spinning-class glory) was that PF got the Food Network and BSC does not, which means the end to my dinner adventure inspiration.  Instead, I’m always going to want a beer at MacLarens like in How I Met Your Mother.
This list is far from complete (see below) but it’s still nice to get these little wishes off my chest in case I meet a mini-genie one day.  Never say never!  And Lego – you can expect to hear from me soon.

*Hate imperfectly numbered lists?  Send me your top ideas and maybe I’ll adopt two more!

1600 Pennsylvania Ave

A woman’s place is in the House…
the Senate, and the Oval Office

aka

Sally goes to Washington 

Outside the West Wing

1600 Pennsylvania Ave – the place where history is made, the building the world is run from, the center of our executive branch, the house of the nation = my weekend entertainment.

Meg, a good friend from our days at Mount Holyoke College, made my day week year life? when she used her supreme power to score tour passes for the West Wing for Matt and me.  On an absurdly hot Saturday in January, I finally got to cross one major thing off my list when I picked up my security pass and strolled through the President’s place of work (and my future office?).

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Women and public service, on a scale of awesome

Cool: A new State Department initiative to support women in public service.

Cooler: The fact that Mount Holyoke College is part of this new program, and is going to serve as a world leader getting women involved in – and recognized for – public service.

Coolest: The fact that my dear friend Priti Rao is one of their success stories already!

Go Priti, go Mount Holyoke, go women kicking butt and making the world a better place, one public service position at a time!  Check out the Women in Public Service Project to see what great things they have in store for the future.

Q: What does love look like?

A: This:

Follow up question: after seeing such a great depiction of people in love, does it really matter who is behind the camera?  To me, this love is a million times more legitimate than Britney Spears’s 55-hour marriage, Kim Kardashian’s 72 day sham, and Larry King’s 8 weddings.  Can you honestly tell me that those people are more deserving of whatever holy, government honor that marriage implies than are the people in this Australian ad for marriage equality?

Here’s hoping that by the time I have kids, they won’t have to grow up watching their friends and loves ones being discriminated against because of whose hand they choose to hold at the end of the day.

You go, girl

You know that person who is so smart, so great, who just gets it – it being the change we need in this state/country/world?  The one who has no hidden agenda, who has no legacy to uphold, who is just a good person even before becoming a politician?

She just announced that she’s running for Senate.

I’ve been a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren since she thought of the idea of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) around which my last job was centered.  In the fight for financial reform, she perfectly melded the arguments of economics and the middle class family, and presented the problem – mortgages that are allowed to “burn your house down” while toasters get super strict regulations – and the solution – oversight much? – in a way that we could act on.  And when we did finally create the CFPB, we were both there to celebrate.

I am so excited that I’ll get to support Elizabeth Warren in her Senate bid.  We could use more people like her in Washington.

PS: Anyone who feels the same way is welcome to come crash on our couch a night or two in return for some days of canvassing!

PPS: “The ragged edge of the middle class” is my new favorite phrase of the day.  Check it out.