I used to think that when someone called me, or in fact to be called an idealist, was some kind of a slight. But somehow, just now, 30 plus years into adulthood, I realize that in fact making the ideal real is all an idealist is about. And it’s a pretty powerful thing – to me, it means I never give up (okay, well, I rarely give up) – especially on really big picture things. Here’s a bit of what I’m talking about:
School district superintendents at your neighborhood coffee? Entire city councils, state elected officials and big city mayors tweeting themselves? What’s coming over people? Could it be that a critical mass of content finally has piled up (in no small part here on the Civic Commons: Dan’s blog post, his and Luke Frazier’s radio show on the subject of school board meetings, and this conversation started by a local resident) and folks are taking the hint that this is exactly what they should be doing, especially if they’re elected people in charge of taxpayer dollars?
The Internet and many other varieties of technological innovations multiply the ways in which we can engage with each other. My Civic Commons work often makes me think about how our platform makes saying “no” to engagement an impossibility, because it is so safe and easy here.
And yet the safe and easy isn’t even what the folks reaching out in any of those examples to which I’ve hyperlinked have in mind. If it was, you wouldn’t read about a superintendent who goes knocking on doors to get input and have conversations.
Read the rest here.
Has anyone ever called you an idealist, or have you ever called someone an idealist, especially in a pejorative way? Maybe you need to think again.
Please read the full post at the Civic Commons (and add to the conversation) but here’s the teaser:
If someone is offering to send me to Seattle, Washington to attend a four-day conference dedicated to talking and cogitating, does anyone who knows even the remotest thing about me believe I would ever say no?
Precisely. With a blog called, Writes Like She Talks? Yeah. No.
And so it was that I spent October 11 through 14 in the Pacific Northwest at the 5th National Conference of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. Being an itinerant backgrounder, before heading out, I dedicated a good chunk of time to researching the sessions, speakers and attendees, as I tried to assess whether my perception that I’d be among rooms full of kindred civic engagement enthusiasts would be borne out.
Within a very short time of reviewing the materials, my anticipation of the conference developed into almost a hunger for being among others who “get it.” Organization after organization listed included words like “civic” “democracy” “public” “engagement” or some meaningful combination of those words in their names (although initiatives with titles like “Portsmouth Listens” and “New Hampshire Listens” relayed the same notions).
Seriously? I was like a kid in a candy store from even before the pre-conference activities began. And, just as with each of the three formal conference days, there were dueling good options (and I’m not including the Vice Presidential Debate). My highly annotated hard copy brochure tracks my struggles with narrowing the choices as I tried to figure out what to attend and who I wanted to hear and meet and caucus with if at all possible. But here’s the way it broke down ultimately:
Because I have not seen enough or many women-oriented sites covering this. I’m not sure what’s up with that, and it’s absent from all along the political spectrum.
From Minnesota Public Radio which seems to be covering it well: Sexual Assault in the US Military
The Daily Beast: Lackland Rape Scandal Shines Spotlight On Military Failure
Short answer? None.
Long answer? Read his full analysis here. An excerpt of how he breaks it down:
Actually, Mr. Romney has a bit of a problem. The Republican women with the most traditional qualifications for the vice presidency tend to be moderates, especially on abortion choice, probably making them unacceptable to the Republican base. Another group of up-and-coming female governors and senators may not be adequately seasoned for the rigors of the campaign trail. The few exceptions are probably too old, or too controversial, to be smart choices with swing voters. It has nothing to do with their gender, but any of the women that Mr. Romney might choose would be at least a little risky.
Then again, when I watch stuff like the new Political Animals, all I can think about is how primal people’s quest for power can be. Unsavory doesn’t begin to describe it.
You don’t have to have seen any of the media coverage of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s The Atlantic cover story to know about her story – because her story is just one of hundreds of millions. Don’t let the privilege in her life fool you either about the real underlying issue: women and men want fulfillment and to feel fulfilled in their lives. What must change to achieve any of that, for any of us, anywhere along the socio-economic spectrum? Fulfillment should not be reserved for those who can buy it.
Some reading to get you up to speed on this evergreen but maybe ever more pressing issue as younger generations demand answers:
For an historical perspective and in honor of Nora Ephron, her 1996 Wellesley commencement speech in which she absolutely addresses these issues
The Atlantic: 1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism and Make the War on Women Possible (this is the piece that got the recent round started)
The Atlantic: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All (the Anne-Marie Slaughter piece)
The New York Times on the AMS piece: Elite Women Put a New Spin on an Old Debate
Rebecca Traister at Salon.com on Slaughter: Can modern women “have it all”?
Diane Rehm spent an hour on this on Monday (June 25, 2012) (there’s a transcript and a podcast)
And on Sound of Ideas, also on Monday (6/25/12) at the 9:45 mark, the Women of Note panel gets into the subject too
Women’s Media Center: Having it all? The Wrong Question for Most Women
Thank you to Nora Ephron for all that she gave. From Women and Hollywood’s Melissa Silverstein:
I’m sitting here reeling from the news that Nora Ephron has died. No one even knew she was sick and now she is gone. The loss to movies, and especially to women in movies, cannot be underestimated. This is a woman who was an Oscar nominated screenwriter three times over for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. Not many people can boast one Oscar nomination and she got three. She was a successful writer who then at 50 became a director. In a business that prides itself on youth, and precisely speaking, male youth, this woman decided to become a director after a successful career as a journalist and screenwriter.
I think this New York Times obit is good but there are many other reviews of her and her work to be found, including clips of the best of the scenes she wrote, produced or directed. I also love reading her lines or hearing others say them now. Mostly, I’m so grateful that people like her come into being and leave these things to us. It’s almost selfish.
WARNING: Expletives used.
Here in Northeast Ohio, Monday morning shattered when news of a high school junior shooting several of his schoolmates started streaming into my inbox via news alerts.
At 8:18 a.m., I read: Breaking News: Report: Geauga County Sheriff’s Department and OSHP heading to Chardon High School (the original item isn’t even there anymore, there’ve been so many updates)
I didn’t have to read another word before saying the trifecta out loud to an empty house, “G-ddamnit. Shit. Fuck.”
Even as I write this, my stomach cramps up, my lower lids fill up and I bite my lip drawing in a huge sigh.
I thought that the first thing I’d write about in this post would be about what we know. But ha. Really — just ha. Because I also think about all that we don’t know. And what of either category simply doesn’t matter?
For anyone wanting to keep up or catch up, so far, the best source for information has been the Cleveland Plain Dealer and you can find all their reports on the Chardon shooting here. I’ve heard multiple news outlets congratulate them throughout the week, and I’d say they’re deserving.
I think, and I’ve heard from multiple others who also think that Rachel Dissell’s front page article today in the Plain Dealer, “Jimmy Dimora trial reveals former Cuyahoga County commissioner’s coarse talk about women,” does a very good job of putting the information revealed through Jimmy Dimora’s trials about how he and those around him treated women in both a local and a broader context.
Definitely check out the cleveland.com comment thread – be sure you’re sitting down, even if you’re used to the tone they sometimes take on. And also browse this comment thread on Connie Schultz’s Facebook page.
Folks, we have a long, long way to go. If this cause inspires you, please check out Name It Change It, an effort to catalogue and call out, on a non-partisan basis as you will see from the examples, just how rampant the sexism is, especially when politics is involved.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:10 pm February 2nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, Ethics, Gender, Government, intolerance, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Scandal, Sexism, Social Issues, Women | Comments Off
The last several months have been extraordinarily busy ones for me as I find and hit a groove with my work at The Civic Commons on behalf of the EfficientGovNetwork. You can check out what Jill built, with some very excellent assistance from the Civic Commons team, here and can join us in person to see what we’re working toward this Thursday at an afternoon hour-long City Club Forum:
Local Government 2.0
Ohio’s State Budget and What it Means
February 2 @4:30pm
The $112 billion state budget Governor Kasich signed in July 2011 is in full effect. The budget cut $2 billion to local governments and schools; repealed the estate tax and included an expansion of charter schools. The votes were along party lines- Democrats criticized the budget for including too many cuts and GOP legislative leaders praised the budget for filling in a multi-billion budget shortfall.
The City Club, in partnership with The Civic Commons, ideastream and
The Plain Dealer, will examine the state budget as well as educate the community on the policies and programs proposed to help municipalities.
Moderated by: Joe Frolik, The Plain Dealer
Randy Cole, President, Ohio Controlling Board; Policy Advisor, Kasich Administration
Kathy Mulcahy, Mayor, Orange Village
Tony Paglia, VP, Government Affairs, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber
*Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of the event. Reservations will be held 15 minutes past start of program, such as 12:15 for noon programs. Reservations will then be open to standby ticketing.
$20 Non Member
Reservations Toll-Free at 888-223-6786 or locally at 216-621-0082
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to pass this on to folks whom you think might want to join us.
UPDATE: I’ve been asked to offer some ideas on who I would put on this list. I’ll do that but also make suggestions about who IB should be sure they’re asking, especially since the NEO business community is one with which I’ve probably had the least interaction over time. Who would you suggest?? Please email me or leave names in the comment section.
It’s just another list, I know, but still. I haven’t seen the print version yet of Inside Business with the Power 100 (Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald leads), but that top 10 under 40, with just one woman – we should all find that truly alarming if it’s at all representative of 1) who we are supposed to think are leaders and 2) if we agree with the definition of “leader” as defined by this segment, why just 10% of the top 10 under 40 are women. Tri-C and Case Western Reserve University are headed by women (and both listed in the top 10 women list), we have many judges who are women, doctors, philanthropists, clergy, public service, and yes, business.
I’m going to tickle Erick Trickey and see what light he can shed on this (thanks in advance, Erick).
Here’s the description of how it was done for the list published in 2011:
We started our search for the region’s most powerful by turning to those who know power best. We surveyed the leaders on our previous Power 100 list, asking them who wields the most clout in Northeast Ohio today, who gained power in 2010, who lost it and which up-and-comers are already proving themselves. We also invited the business enthusiasts on Inside Business’ e-mail list to offer suggestions and tips, which led us to trends and shifts that our sources in Northeast Ohio’s corridors of power confirmed. Finally, we applied our news judgment about the events and forces that affected our region in 2010 and our sense of which men and women most influenced the region’s economy and which are poised to do the same in the new year.
Nice photo and article about the opening keynote in which I got to participate at last week’s CampaignTech conference (which was really excellent). There are other articles and photos floating around out there but I’ve not had time to track them down.
Many thanks to Julie Germany, Shane Greer & Shane D’Aprile of Campaigns & Elections, Pete Snyder of New Media Strategies (NMS) and all the folks who put on this event. It was an incredible honor to be involved in not one, not two but three speaking opportunities there (here’s an article about the Innovators Award speeches and presentation) and I’m sure the message that local electeds and constituencies need to “get it” and now and how got across.
And – in the spirit of political leadership in the digital age, while I was at the event, there was a Road & Safety/Finance & Planning meeting in Pepper Pike which I observed, from my hotel in DC, via Skype. Another first for our city & for our city government. I wasn’t counted for the quorum, there were no votes taken and even if there would have been, I would not have participated. But it was great for me to follow along during a very long and content-rich meeting so that at this coming week’s City Council meeting, I can participate fully and well-informed. Many thanks to my colleague Scott Newell who provided the laptop through which I could view the meeting.
And that is not leadership.
Whether we’re talking Herman Cain’s economic plan (9-9-9 or 9-0-9) or how he and his campaign are failing to deal with Politico’s reporting on the settlement specifics between the National Restaurant Association (when Cain was its head) and two of its former employees regarding alleged sexual harassment in the workplace, Cain seems to believe that he can reduce, minimize and make disappear whatever complexities he thinks ail others from being able to come up with solutions.
The problem is, whether it’s people who view certain behavior of his as being inappropriate and constituting sexual harassment (even if he doesn’t see it that way) or people saying that his 9-9-9 plan won’t help the poor but would in fact exacerbate their economic standing, he seeks to make the complicating factors – women and the poor – disappear from the equation altogether.
Lucky for women and sadly for the poor, there are tens of millions in both groups. We won’t disappear and we don’t call people who would like to see that happen, “leader.”
Seriously, Herman. You can claim the leader mantle in a number of ways. Including, leader of the reductionists.
Stefanie Penn Spear is a resident of Chagrin Falls, a small business owner, mother of three and Founder and Executive Director of the soon-to-be launched 24/7 print and online news outlet about the environment, EcoWatch. I first learned about Stefanie after reading an excellent column she wrote that was published in both the Chagrin Valley Times and the Chagrin Solon Sun. In the column, she explains the natural alliance between business and the environment – two things about which she knows more than most people. In this exclusive interview with me, Stefanie details both the spark that ignited her dedication, and steps all of us can take to kindle the sparks and create sparks in others.
Please read the full post at Moms Clean Air Force.
On the heels of the release of Mothers’ of Intention: How Women and Social Media Are Revolutionizing Politics In America (disclosure: there’s an essay of mine in there), I interviewed author, journalist and political pundit, Joanne Bamberger, for Moms Clean Air Force. Please read the full post here in which Bamberger makes a clear case for the role mothers have in changing our world.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next summer. I’m interested to learn what process will be used to identify the voters who should receive the applications and the timeline to be deployed to make sure that the vote by mail applications are received by the voters with more than enough time for the 88 counties to mail out the ballots and get them back. What is the agreement regarding who will pay the return postage on the application itself? You get the idea of the questions to be answered.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OHIO VOTERS WILL BENEFIT FROM AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN
ED FITZGERALD AND OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE
All Ohio voters to receive application to vote by mail in 2012 presidential election
CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced today that he has reached an agreement with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and state legislative leaders to have voters in all 88 Ohio counties sent an application to vote by mail next year.
The deal was reached Thursday after a meeting between FitzGerald, Husted, senior staff of both leaders, and Cuyahoga County Councilman Mike Gallagher, a Strongsville Republican. It ends a standoff between the chief executive of Ohio’s largest county and the state’s chief elections officer.
“We went to bat for our constituents here in Cuyahoga County, and we ended up making voting more convenient for millions of Ohioans,” FitzGerald said today. “This is great news for anyone who believes public officials should try to keep voting simple.”
In the agreement:
n Husted has agreed to have his office send an application to vote by mail to voters in all 88 Ohio counties in advance of next year’s presidential election.
n In return, FitzGerald will freeze a county plan to send all active voters in Cuyahoga County an application to vote by mail this fall. The mailing will be replaced by an public outreach effort to make sure Cuyahoga County voters understand how to vote early this fall.
FitzGerald said he has spoken with House Speaker William Batchelder and Senate President Tom Niehaus. Both are publicly committing their support.
“This agreement represents one of the largest steps forward in access to the ballot in years,” FitzGerald said. “
# # #
I don’t get a good feeling from this – but let’s hear from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald. Very curious to know what his calculation was in agreeing to this, if Ohio SOS Jon Husted’s statement accurately reflects Fitzgerald’s understanding of the agreement. Here it is – I’ve highlighted the pertinent part:
Secretary Of State Husted Statement On Absentee Ballot Applications And Uniformity Of Ohio Elections
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 2, 2011
SECRETARY OF STATE HUSTED STATEMENT ON ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS AND UNIFORMITY OF OHIO ELECTIONS
COLUMBUS – The following may be attributed in whole, or in part, to Secretary of State Jon Husted regarding the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot request forms and maintaining uniformity in how elections are administered in Ohio:
“Yesterday I met with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Councilman Michael Gallagher to gain a better understanding of our mutual concerns regarding the distribution of unsolicited absentee ballot request forms.
“Through a productive exchange of ideas, we were able to develop a plan and achieve consensus to preserve the uniform standards I have sought statewide.
“Cuyahoga County officials have agreed not to send out unsolicited mailings for the 2011 General Election and the Secretary of State’s office will distribute absentee ballot request forms to voters in all 88 counties for the 2012 Presidential Election – so that each Ohio voter has uniform and equal access to their ballots.
“Leaders in the General Assembly, House Speaker William Batchelder and Senate President Tom Niehaus, have graciously agreed to support this plan and will appropriate the necessary resources from existing and available federal Help America Vote Act funds.
“I am glad we have been able to work out our differences but ultimately it will be the voters who benefit from this agreement. This will help reduce the chance of long lines at the polls during the Presidential Election and voters in smaller counties will have the same conveniences as voters in larger counties.”
For more information, please contact Matt McClellan at 614-995-2168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:54 am September 2nd, 2011 in Council, CuyahogaCounty, Elections, Ethics, Executive, Government, Law, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Transparency, Voting, WH2012, White House 2012, Whitehouse09 | Comments Off
As prolific a blogger as I’ve been over the years, well-known for tenacity, this issue is one that I’m going to have to keep up with on the sly while taking care of other business. After a few random thoughts, I’ve provided a few must-read or must-listen links.
1. This is about the voters, as Republican County Council member Mike Gallagher has said.
2. Voting is a constitutional fundamental right.
3. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is not a lawyer, though State Auditor Dave Yost is.
4. Husted’s threat to not process vote by mail applications was petty, mean-spirited and a personal attack on County Executive Ed Fitzgerald’s plans for how to keep our county’s voting system from sinking back into the morass it was under Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. It shows the gut level at which Jon Husted is viewing this issue, rather than at the independent level of securing all the rights of all the voters to the best of our abilities. And frankly empathizing with the way in which the large counties’ boards of elections have prioritized spending on making sure that vote by mail is utilized more and more so that the day-of voting problems for voters, as well as the costs and resources, can be reduced.
5. The state auditor’s suggestion that the public spending to be done by the County may in some way be contrary to law and therefore actionable is likewise petty, mean-spirited and a personal attack on the county executive.
6. Has it occurred to these fellas that maybe it’s Husted’s directive that bans county boards of elections from mailing out vote by mail applications that is the unconstitutional step because, despite how many time he uses the word “uniformity,” the reality is that his ban disparately affects voters’ rights which include access.
7. Finally, I will again point out that Husted knows exactly what it means to not abridge voters’ rights and we know he knows this because of his recently announced plans related to military voters. In other words, Husted, through his actions, has demonstrated an appreciation for the reality that uniformity of process is not the highest priority when it comes to voters rights. And in the case of military voters, he has decided to provide them with mechanisms that other voters will not get.
Voters in large counties, as law experts cited in today’s Plain Dealer confirm, likewise need mechanisms that other voters may or may not get in order to safeguard their voting rights.
The side on which Husted should be erring is on the side of the voters. This is a ridiculous fight for him to be picking – now or at any time. Read more
But for additional, worthy reflections on today:
A great post about what it is.
Three ways not to celebrate it.
A forward perspective that looks back at several key women.
A call to action from a sitting U.S. Senator who embodies what it means to bring other women along and be pro-woman (do not settle for any substitutes).
The launch of a campaign to make the vote we have count.
And last the lyrics:
We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats
And dauntless crusaders for woman’s votes
Though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they’re rather stupid!
Cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done, Sister Suffragette!”
From Kensington to Billingsgate
One hears the restless cries!
From ev’ry corner of the land:
Political equality and equal rights with men!
Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!
No more the meek and mild subservients we!
We’re fighting for our rights, militantly!
Never you fear!
So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!”
In response to a request I made today of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services’ communications department, I received the following information regarding the nine Ohio women who are, as I type this, about to be inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. I want to be clear: the people who helped me to get this information (three individuals in different offices) were lovely and very congenial and helpful. However, the fact that I had to take the steps I did to even get this information and the complete and total failure on the part of the Kasich administration to more widely acknowledge the individuals being honored today is shameful, embarrassing and should be reversed 100% in the future. This honor is now in its fifth decade of existence. It is nonpartisan. The diversity fail pattern of the current administration – intentional or unintentional – continues unabated. You can watch the induction here at The Ohio Channel.
Nine women will be inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.
The nine women inducted will join more than 400 members of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. The 2011 inductees are:
Cheryl A. Boyce of Franklin County for her contributions to health services. Boyce was born in East St. Louis, Ill. Her interest in public health was the result of the premature death of her father. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health education from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in health planning and administration for the University of Cincinnati. She has made Columbus her home for more than 40 years and recently retired as the executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.
Elizabeth H. Flick of Franklin County for her contributions to community and military service. Flick was born and raised in England but has made her home in Columbus for more than 50 years. In 1972, she put on the POW/MIA bracelet of an American veteran missing in Vietnam, but she decided that was not enough. Thus began a lifelong dedication to the veteran community.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) for her contributions to cultural activism and the arts. Watkins was born a free African American in Baltimore, Md., in 1825. The 1982 Smithsonian exhibit of 20 panels celebrating African-American women highlighted her as a pioneer for civil rights. She taught at Union Seminary in western Ohio, which later merged with Wilberforce University. She was also married and gave birth to her only child while living on a farm in central Ohio.
Brenda J. Hollis of Henry County for contributions in the military service and law. Hollis is an international criminal prosecutor based at The Hague in the Netherlands. She served on the first international criminal tribunals related to crimes against humanity since World War II. She attended elementary and high school in Henry County and earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). While at BGSU she was also an outstanding athlete in several sports. Read more
What is it with women like Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, who is just soooo difficult, and Elizabeth Warren, creator and designer of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, who is just soooo controversial and now U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D, FL-20) who is just soooo not acting like a lady?
I mean, really. Who do we think we are when we use our voice – a voice that was selected and in many cases, elected, from among many others to be heard and to give voice to people and issues that matter? To actually be heard, only to then fall below the expectations of acting like a lady! of always being non-controversial! of being…EASY (as opposed to difficult)! Come on – aren’t elected women supposed to be easy?!
Sigh – As so many tweets that are hashtagged with #actlikealady demonstrate (thank you to EMILY’s List), it is positively absurd to suggest that because a woman stands her ground on an issue, she is therefore in violation of a gender-based stereotyped expectation, placed on her by men who are similarly situated but who are expected to act similarly. Anyone remember U.S. Rep. Joe “You lie!” Wilson (R, TX) being told that he’s not acting like a lady? No – because the standard isn’t whether, once you are an elected official or a public servant, you must behave according to a gender stereotype at all times – or any time. The standard for an elected or public official’s behavior is that you behave like the public servant you are: advocating for, you know – the public. Are there behavioral expectations? You bet. Should they be based on gender – in such a way as to suggest that women are otherwise hysterical or out of order because they are not conforming to that gender stereotype? Read more