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On August 26, 2020, America celebrates 100 years of voting rights for women. It’s been 100 years since women have been granted the right to vote in our country. And that does not include all women. Black women were not given full voting rights until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. And yet, they were an incredible part of the struggle back in the beginning of the 20th century. America’s troubling history with women’s rights has included black women. Black women were at the forefront of every major battle in U.S History – the abolition movement during the 1850s, the suffragist movements of the 1860s and 1920s, and the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950s and 1960s. Together, black and white women have paved the way for all women to have racial and gender equality. And yet, we have a long, long way to go.
Dare to Run is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to train women how to run for public office in New York and in 14 states around the country. We have a two-semester certification program that gives women all of the tools and skills they need to run ambitious campaigns for public office in their respective communities. This year, in honor of Women’s Equality Day, Dare to Run is proud to celebrate 100 years of voting rights – and what that means for our country. Since 1920, women have impacted every single election in our nation’s history. They have contributed to what is known as the gender gap in electoral politics – the difference between the men and women vote. As you may have guessed, overall, women tend to vote for more Democratic Candidates; men tend to vote more Republican. The gender gap between men and women’s voting trends is deeply partisan and has grown increasingly so over the last thirty years. Experts predict it will continue to be that way for a long time. Dare to Run is proud to celebrate women’s history this year with a small celebration in honor of the past, the present and the future.
We toast the ladies of the past – the women suffragists who fought for our right to vote in the early 1900s, who went on hunger strikes and protests so that future generations of women would be able to vote.
We toast the ladies who completed the first Cohort of Dare to Run – Giselle, Keyla, Nayma, Shanequa, Melissa, Jillian, Wanda, Sheba, and Jusinta – you are a phenomenal group of women and we are so proud to recognize the contributions you have made to your communities in New York City and beyond. We look forward to watching all of your accomplishments as you embrace your journey to public office. We toast the ladies of the future – the incoming class of Dare to Run for Fall 2020 – Karinna, Stephanie, Dorian, Tammy, Sharon and JoEllen – we salute your dedication to running for office and changing your communities and the world you will one day leave behind. We know you will do amazing things with this information and we are so happy to have you be a part of this program.
And finally – we toast YOU: the person who is reading this blog post. Check out https://www.daretorun.org and learn how YOU Can enroll in the program, get the hands on tools and skills you need to run a successful campaign for public office, and change the world. It is within reach. Happy Women’s Equality Day!
Founder and CEO
Dare to Run
I am the son of an Air Force brigadier general and served myself to the rank of colonel. Of my 57 years drawing breath, I’ve spent 51 of them directly or indirectly serving this once great nation. So, as you might imagine, I found myself on Nov. 8, 2016, more than a little dismayed at the news we had elevated Donald J. Trump to the nation’s highest office - a man so clearly unfit to lead America.
But over time I’ve come to appreciate Trump in ways I did not expect. Now, I am thankful that we elected Trump. Because Donald Trump is exactly what America needed. Trump is a mirror, a warning, and ultimately a catalyst for change. Reflected in Trump is all that is wrong with the United States: the injustice of our broken social contract, the crassness of our politics, and the cruelty of our economy. Trump is also the shock that a mature democracy needs for action. To use a timely metaphor, Trump and his supporters are a virus, and they have activated our democratic antibodies. What we are seeing in the streets is the body fighting the infection.
America was the first modern nation, created of, by, and for the people—supposedly a nation with no class structure, where anyone could reach their potential. But that was a myth. America had classes: slaves at the bottom—treated not as people but property—then poor and working-class whites, and atop it all our original aristocracy of landed gentry and traders in the South, merchants and industrialists in the North. We fought a civil war to end slavery but failed in its aftermath to establish the more perfect union mentioned by our Founders. What we are seeing in our current moment is not only a race war but a class war. America must confront systemic racism to move forward, but it also must acknowledge that we have created a permanent underclass of all colors (though mostly Black and brown). We are a society where your melanin content and your zip code determine your future.
Beginning with Newt Gingrich in 1994, Republicans stopped trying to govern and instead began accumulating power. McKay Coppins writes in his profile of Gingrich in the Atlantic, “… few figures in modern history have done more than Gingrich to lay the groundwork for Trump’s rise.” Effective governance requires compromise, trust, and mutual respect. Gingrich’s new version of Republican had no interest in that. He destroyed the bipartisan structures for governing and even resorted to name-calling and conspiracy theories—over the line at the time, but in hindsight presaging Trumpism.
A straight line can be drawn from Gingrich’s “Contract with America” to the tea party in 2009. Another outsider movement characterized by distrust of government, expertise, and experience, the tea party helped elect a rogues’ gallery of loathsome lawmakers—I’m looking at you, Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas). Trump’s dystopian vision of America is the ultimate flowering of the outsider, populist, anti-government thinking that has metastasized in the Republican Party over the past decades.
Under both political parties, America has rolled back regulatory guardrails and created a volatile economy that values the wrong things. Executive compensation packages for publicly traded companies show that our current economic model rewards short-term financial performance, placing little value on the broader social landscape. It also encourages risky and complex structures that are susceptible to wild swings and disastrous crashes. When bailouts are needed, it’s not the wealthy who pay. The system helped create the greatest wealth disparity in the United States in 100 years. As wealth is concentrated at destabilizing levels, our tax system, according to leading economists, is increasingly regressive, pushing the burden of taxes onto the shrinking middle class.
Over the same period, we dismantled the meager social safety net we had. We have reduced access to food aid, job training, and unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, the cost of health care and higher education has skyrocketed, placing both out of reach for many Americans.
Now for the good news.
Everything wrong with America is manifested in Trump. The hunger for power, the vile derision of people who don’t look like you, the cruelty, the privilege, the gleeful ignorance, and mendacious narcissism. Our revulsion at Trump is causing Americans to ask: How did we get to this place? And how do we get out? That will take time and hard work by well-intentioned people from every corner of American society.
But the process has started.
What is happening in our streets is how open, progressive societies improve—fitfully, imperfectly, frustratingly, sometimes tragically. But we do improve. So, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for showing us what we were becoming and helping us find the courage to confront it. We are going to be OK.
by USAF Colonel (ret.) Curtis Milam
Today at a Hearing, where Sally Yates was invited to testify, Republican questioners pulled a typical ‘power play.’ That is, they would ask her a question, then not allow her to provide an answer. Clearly, and Sen. Leahy (R-VT), brilliantly called this out, she was ‘overridden’ because she is a Woman. Women STILL do not engender respect in the ‘Old Boys Club.’ Vote those out who have no regard and respect.
photo by engin akyurt
When you see me wearing a mask when I’m out in public, or at the supermarkets, or working, or going to the doctors I want you to know that...
- I'm educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus.
- No, I don't "live in fear" of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
- I don't feel like the "government controls me". I feel like I'm an adult contributing to safety in our society and I want to reach out to others to do the same.
- If we all live with the consideration of others in mind, the whole world would be a much better place don’t you think?
- Wearing a mask doesn't make me weak, scared, stupid or even "controlled". It makes me kind and caring.
- When you think about your appearance, discomfort, or other people's opinion of you, imagine a loved one - someone’s child or your child, your dad , your mum, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle or even a stranger, someone you don’t know but who, like you, is loved. Now imagine them placed on a ventilator, alone without you or any family member who is allowed at their bedside. Sick, afraid, alone.
- Ask yourself if you could have helped them a little while wearing a mask?
If we can be anything during this pandemic, let’s choose to be kind, thoughtful, mask wearing people!