Miller McCune: A new initiative from Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics is attempting to draw more women in to politics, grooming them for public office, after seeing female participation as candidates reach a plateau after 30 years.
"Women waded steadily into politics from 1971 until 1991, culminating with the famous Year of the Woman in the 1992 election. That fall, 24 new women were elected to U.S. House of Representatives, and five to the Senate. But in retrospect, that election was more a high-water mark than harbinger of things to come. Women’s political participation has largely been flat-lining ever since.
'That flat-lining holds true for candidates as well as office-holders, reinforcing the notion that if women run, women win,' Walsh said. 'The problem we have is not that women are running in huge numbers, they’re increasing every year, and they don’t get elected. The problem is they’re not running in first place. That’s the real challenge here.'
Walsh was speaking on a conference call Monday afternoon to detail an ambitious new CAWP initiative to draw women into politics, at just the moment when they may feel most discouraged. The national, nonpartisan 2012 Project hopes to exploit what researchers have learned over the last several years about why so many women don’t run.
Frequently, women cite predictable roadblocks: family, privacy, the negativity of campaigns, the daunting task of fundraising (women like to raise money for other people and causes, Walsh notes, but they are often uncomfortable doing so for themselves).The most common explanation, though, is a bit more surprising: “Nobody ever asked me,” many women say.
The 2012 Project is planning to do that — to put the idea to women who have never considered it before. The initiative will target women over 45 (of any party), the baby boomers who were the first generation of women to have extensive career options, and who are now past the responsibility of raising children. The project wants to find women in finance, science and technology, energy, the environment, health, small business and international affairs. 'We not only want to diversify in terms of gender, we want to add value in terms of expertise,' said Mary Hughes, the director of the project. "
Seattle Times: Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate will be overseeing the creation of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The appointment will give her direct access to the President and allow her to recruit staff and initiate policies that protect consumers, such as regulating mortgages, student loans and other consumer-credit products.
"President Obama on Friday named Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate and Wall Street adversary, to oversee creation of an agency to regulate banks, lenders and credit-card companies. Sidestepping a Senate confirmation fight — for now — Obama stopped short of nominating Warren to head the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Instead, his action will let the Harvard Law School professor and expert on bankruptcy to move quickly to shape the bureau.
The interim role for Warren, 61, averts a political problem for Obama in this election season. Rejecting her would have angered many party liberals. Liberal and consumer groups had lobbied hard for her, along with some lawmakers, including Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Senate Republicans view Warren as too critical of Wall Street and big banks. The business and banking community opposed her as director of the new bureau, contending she would make the agency too aggressive.
The creation of the bureau was a central piece of the legislation overhauling the financial-regulatory system that Obama signed into law in July. Its genesis was an article that Warren wrote a year before the near-collapse of the financial system in 2008, a crisis blamed, in part, on abusive mortgage practices. The new bureau is charged with writing and enforcing new rules covering the largest banks to the smallest storefront payday lender. Lenders will face new restrictions on the type of mortgages they write and won't be rewarded for steering borrowers to higher-cost loans. The bureau also is to protect borrowers from hidden fees and abusive terms."
This past Sunday, the Emerging Leaders Network of NCRW presented an enlightening workshop on establishing effective mentorships. The workshop was comprised of two sets of mentor/mentee relationships including Deborah Siegel, Founding Partner of She Writes, blogger, and author most recently of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild and her mentee, Courtney Martin, author and blogger for Feministing.com; and Khushbu Srivastava, Independent Strategy Consultant and her mentee Vanessa Singh, SIPA Student at Columbia University.
I found young people trying to make their lives matter each and every day, straining to be of service to others, asking important and complex questions about how one can be ethical and authentic in one’s activism and still pay the rent at the end of the day.
I am filing this under "love this." The Ms. Foundation for Women gave a nice shout out to young feminists today on their blog, Igniting Change, as part of the Young Feminist Blog Carnival. "Feminism matters to me because it takes into account all of these issues and addresses the interconnections of identity, oppression, and activism," says young feminist (and Ms. staffer) Rebecca Villatoro. Don't miss this fabulous video she include in her blog post:
The National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) announced the launching of a new initiative in partnership with Investing in Girls (IIG), a joint venture to help high school girls from a broad range of backgrounds and communities develop interests and careers in the financial services industry.
Please join us for a Mentorship Workshop, hosted by NCRW’s Emerging Leaders Network on Sunday, September 12th starting at 3:30pm. Courtney Martin of Feministing, Deborah Siegel of SHE WRITES, Khushbu Srivastava and Vanessa Singh will discuss their own experiences with mentorship and lead an interactive discussion about the advantages and challenges in establishing effective mentoring relationships. Following the workshop, there will be an opportunity for networking.
WHAT: Workshop on Establishing Effective Mentorships