2014 Project Alabama: Why Women Should Run
The late Margaret Thatcher once said, “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”
Hmmmm… Let that sink in for a minute.
I don’t mean to alienate the men folk, but I truly believe that women, and in particular mothers, are natural born leaders. I mean really, just think of what it takes every day to get kids off to school; breakfasts, lunches, and dinners made; homework checked; boo-boos fixed; extra-curricular activities scheduled; and sibling rivalries settled. We’re talking serious time management, conflict-resolution, and communication skills. Not to mention, ingenuity, commitment, and oh yeah, a sense of humor.[sws_pullquote_left] “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher [/sws_pullquote_left]
Another woman who believes the skills of being a mom transfer nicely into government leadership is Audrey Salgado, Chair of The 2014 Project Alabama. And having raised six children of her own, I’d say Audrey knows a thing or two about leadership.
I recently had the chance to chat with Audrey about the Project and thought that on the heels of Mother’s Day, now was a great time to talk about how we can get involved.
The 2014 Project Alabama is a statewide, nonpartisan campaign to increase the number of women in the United States Congress and Alabama Legislative Districts and Executive Branch in 2014. The Project does NOT endorse specific candidates, but instead coordinates a broad-based recruitment effort to identify potential women candidates.
From January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014 The 2014 Project Alabama is working to:
- Reach out to women who have not considered running for office before, especially women of color.
- Coordinate a statewide volunteer network to carry out its mission.
- Launch a large-scale public education campaign to raise awareness about the lack of women in public office. And mamas, this is where WE come in…
WHY WE ARE PRIMED FOR THIS WORK
- BROADER PERSPECTIVE: That’s what women bring to the table, but only when we’re sitting there, a sentiment Audrey shared looking back on her time as a working mom, activist and life-long volunteer. And let’s face it, policy isn’t always created with actual implementation in mind; but who will be impacted and how is always on a mother’s mind.
- REAPPORTIONMENT: Every state legislative district in the country is slated to be redrawn, according to the 2010 census. And that means open seats. And open seats mean opportunities…for women to run.
- PUBLIC EDUCATION: There’s a lengthy and on-going discussion at both the state and national level about the condition of education in this country. And I don’t know many mothers of school-age children for whom this isn’t a top priority. Who better to sit at the table, better yet, stand at the front of the class and lead that conversation?
WHAT WE CAN DO
- EDUCATE OURSELVES: Did you know that women make up only 24% of state legislators nationwide? Or that Alabama ranks 48th in the nation in terms of female representation in state legislative seats? Knowing the facts is a key component of the Project’s public education campaign. And you can learn more by attending a Women’s Summit on Government Leadership, which serves as an introduction to The 2014 Project. (Details below.)
- VOLUNTEER: The 2014 Project Alabama is recruiting volunteers to share the facts about women’s underrepresentation and the benefits of public service. One of the best ways to serve is by becoming an Advocate. Advocates are trained spokespersons for the Project and help identify community organizations for outreach and education.
- RUN: For office, that is. I understand that for many people, public service is a calling; so if you feel it, go for it! And for goodness sake, don’t wait to be asked!
Listen, even if you’re not ready to run, there are still plenty of ways to lend your time and talents to this effort. The bottom line: If anybody can get it done, we can! Like the fictional (yet still inspiring) Leslie Knope, of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, start small but think big because your sons and daughters are watching.
Now, who’s in?[box style=”lavender, rounded” ]For more information about The 2014 Project Alabama, visit www.The2014ProjectAL.org or contact Audrey Salgado at AudreyThe2014ProjectAL@gmail.com. The next Women’s Summit on Government Leadership will take place this Saturday, May 18th at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Hampton Cove Clubhouse Conference Room from 9:30 – 11:30AM. (450 Old Highway 431, Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763)[/box]
Taralyn Caudle is a freelance writer and Huntsville native who returned to her hometown to raise her beautiful and energetic daughter, Gabby. When she’s not nurturing the talents of her budding artist, she can be found on the hunt for good food, good music, or a good deal on a pair of shoes. Practically possessed by politics, purple, and Prince, she loves alliteration (obviously) and has been known to quote music lyrics in everyday conversation, from Hall & Oates to
Kanye West Kendrick Lamar. Her current philosophy on life: a little bit of sarcasm and a whole lot of laughter never hurt anybody.
Love this! Back in February when I was trying to think of influential people for my “What’s Huntsville Reading” post, I had a really hard time thinking up local women who were in political positions or of influence. I would love to see more women involved in leadership roles in our community!
“If you want anything done, ask a woman” – right on!!! 🙂
Thanks for sharing, interesting reading!
I ADORE Leslie Knope and would love to be like her when I grow up! I’m heading to the Summit on Saturday – is anyone else going? I’m up for carpool!
LOVE this! Great write up! Let’s get it Alabama ladies!
Great post! I truly believe our country would be much better off with more women in power.
Audrey Salgado is my new hero!
Thanks, ladies! I’m really hoping this effort will gain even more momentum over the next few months, and I plan to share more events and updates throughout the year. And I must say Audrey IS pretty awesome! Hope to see you ladies at the Summit!
I attended “Ready To Run” in 2011. Great Program.