An anniversary is a great time to reflect on one’s past. I wrote a piece last month that reflects on our accomplishments of 2013:
The goals of 2014 are far too critical to dwell on our past. Legislation and rhetoric against our rights is occurring at an increasing rate already this year. How do we stop this momentum?
Consider that mid-term election funding for Republican candidates on a federal and state level has reached a new high while the Democratic Party’s biggest Super PAC just announced they will spend nothing on the elections this November. It was the mid-terms of 2010 that gave us legislators who have taken the rights for which we have fought for decades backward.
Consider that it will take far more votes for Democrats to win U.S. House and state level seats in many states due to gerrymandering.
Consider that mid-term elections garner a very low turnout which favors Republicans. 63% of eligible voters voted in 2008; 59% in 2012; only 42% in the 2010 midterms. 65% of eligible women voters voted in the 2008 election; 46% of eligible women voters voted in the 2010 election.
Educating, registering and Get Out The Vote “GOTV” efforts will be a priority for UniteWomen.org ACTION. We have launched our “Laws of Two Nations” campaign. In the last three years, many bills have passed in either the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate that were not approved by the other legislative body. The House and Senate bills are often so diametrically opposed in theory that if all of the House bills became law, we would be living in a completely different country than if all of the Senate bills became law. We will be highlighting pro and anti-women candidates in federal and state races. We will be working with other organizations to register voters in the states and helping with GOTV efforts.
That said, we are all very good at preaching to the choir. We post, share and talk with people who are like-minded and politically engaged. The majority of Americans are not engaged in politics at all. Each one of us needs to make a commitment to reach out to ten people who do not follow politics, and share with them at least one fact on how their rights are being eroded and why it’s important for them to vote in November. Once you’ve engaged with the first ten, move on to the next ten until November 4th. Talk to your politically engaged friends and ask them to do the same.
UniteWomen.org ACTION will commit to reaching out to ten non-political organizations to educate them on the erosion of their rights and the importance of voting in November.
The only way we will win over the money flooding our elections and voter suppression laws is to turn out more voters. Together, we can make a difference!
About Karen Teegarden Karen is the CEO of UniteWomen.org, founded in February, 2012. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and works in the marketing and advertising sales industry in Michigan. Her daughter was raised to believe in her core that she was created equal. Karen began this journey to assure that all women live in a country that protects their equality.