The Poky Little Pundit

Down to business and stuff

6 Comments

Rather than let the downward momentum of the end of the election pull me back into my usual stultifyingly apathetic self, I am hoping to use it like a slingshot to propel myself towards two clear goals: 1. to actually do something about a problem that concerns me and 2. to find a position that interests me in politics and run for it.

But before I get to that, I have to briefly segue to an alarming article on foxnews.com called “The war on men.” I mean, I am trying hard to develop some bipartisan skills here, but c’mon! This is shooting fish in a barrel. According to author Suzanne Venker, women are now to blame for the demise of men. We need to stop competing with men and just let them love us. Dang, Suzanne. I hate that I am even drawing attention to your terrible argument, but it is an example of just why my decision to enter politics is so important. So let’s get to that.

This girl really looks a lot like me. Love that I still think of myself as a girl.

Last week’s post concerned the first of my goals. This week, I tackle the terrifying second one. Make no mistake: I am not necessarily going to run for office – I’m going to try. Just as teachers do not fully understand a text until they have stood up in front of a room full of bored teenagers hoping to catch them looking stupid and actually taught said text, my purpose here is to understand the system – and what better way than to infiltrate it! Lest naysayers consider my choice to run a trifle forward, I want to emphasize that my goal here is to learn new stuff and make changes to stuff I don’t like. This should be a collective, society-wide goal for all of us, right?

But I have way more questions than answers. For what am I qualified to run? What do I want to spend my time doing? How do I find out what each position does? And what is a reliable source to find out all of this information?

This image, while initially not appearing to relate to my post at all, actually does! It references an article on Huff Post discussing women’s reluctance to enter politics.

So far, one of my best sources of information has been a 19-year-old ex student currently attending the University of Chicago. No joke! Whoever despairs of young people and their so-called apathy haven’t met any lately. Today’s post, therefore, also concerns how I go about obtaining information. So here’s where I will need some help from you, dear reader. (Bonus points for anyone who just thought ‘Jane Eyre’ in their heads.)

What websites do you rely on for your news? How do you avoid the blatant partisanship of most media enterprises? If you want to know what is going on locally, how do you find out without relying solely on The Seattle Times? Are there local blogs I don’t know about?

So far, I have spent time on the following:  The Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.wa.gov; The Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, www.wpcnet.org; The  Women’s Campaign Fund, www.wcffoundation.org, and Jill Miller Zimon on  www.writeslikeshetalks.com,  I have also sent emails to Representatives Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton as well as WA state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (BTW, so chuffed I know who all these people are!) What else should I be doing?

Though I despise the word ‘wordle,’ I may even make one out of all of your responses, so write in now! And think hard about how women really need to be supportive of men, because they are so, like, underprivileged and stuff.

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6 thoughts on “Down to business and stuff

  1. I actually think that article by Venkner was part of a book she wrote… same title. If I recall, it got panned by critics.
    You might try the Junior League (I know it sounds very southern, but hey) or the League of Women Voters (my mom was very involved in this when I was younger). And, you named my source for news – I ❤ Huff Post!!

  2. (I’m going to apologize ahead of time for no spell check in blog comments:))
    Hey Kristina! Ok – I said I would post and I finally am. I use the Colorado Statesman for local nonpartisan, politically specific news (http://www.coloradostatesman.com/). Regarding how to get involved, I am also thinking more and more about that. I am currenlty on a Governor appointed commission (the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commssion) and am learning a lot about policy vs politics. This is a natural fit as my background is land and wildlife conservation. However, with your background in education, have you thought about running for the Board of Education for your local school district or one nearby? In our district, the board members set and guide policy and regulations for the school district and make prominent decisions regarding curriculum, budget, school happenings, etc. (http://www.summit.k12.co.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=107). I don’t know if they are former teachers or concerned parents or citizens or have specific representations, but it might be an interesting place for you to start. I think that is how our local state rep, Millie Hamner (she is awesome by the way) started getting into making a voice in politics (http://milliehamner.zxq.net/). Let me know if you want to talk with any of our board of ed members – I’m friends with a couple of them. I also read High Country News and listen to NPR like an addict, not that they’re nonpartisan, but they often give me some good ideas of other places to look. AP and Reuters are often good in my opinion. Oh – Shawn Ousse (remember from MCGA) works for the Washington State Democratic Party and has for years. She knows quite a bit about politics and how to get involved. I can FB connect you if you want.

  3. The only thing worse than the Seattle Times are the people who comment on the articles. How can you have such a strong opinion, yet such a terrible understanding of the judicial process?? I digress… The NY Times and the Atlantic are my top picks for national news. For local happenings, I read the West Seattle Blog and The Stranger Blog (Slog). On a related note, I started looking into maternity rights during my last pregnancy and came across the National Partnership for Women and Families (www.nationalpartnership.org). Might be another good resource? GO Kristina!

  4. Oh! And I can’t forget Jezebel – one of my favorite resources of all, especially since they acquired former Stranger writer, Lindy West.

  5. Kristina, I read them all. Very informative, especially along the lines of the “know thine enemy” thinking. Actually, I like making mine enemy a friend……I’ve had the great joy (no, that wasn’t sarcasm, I actually do love it) of working as a policy advocate, policy mediator, and on a couple of successful campaigns. Back in the day – not so very long ago in life, really – I got to participate very successfully in the shark tank of Virginia politics. At the time, the commonwealth’s D electeds make our Rs look like raging commie liberals. Interesting work, and very rewarding….Here in WA, I’ve had some great opportunities to work locally and statewide (I will note that no good deed goes unpunished). I would love to talk with you, anytime, as I think our politics likely align for the most part, though I will admit I’ve been accused of being both an R and a D in the past and I consider myself to be neither. ~Allison (Erick’s wife)

  6. Thanks so much for comments! I’d love to meet up sometime to chat – either online or in person. And if my brother is to be believed, I think you just had a baby – congrats! Perhaps an online chat would be best…you will be busy, I am sure. 🙂

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