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Happy Friday, rulers! I’m filing from Chicago where temps have been in the single digits and folks sacrifice style for warmth. What’s your trick for surviving the winter or do you pine for it if you live on the coasts?

Some women’s organizations picked up the mantle of voting rights legislation this week when they pulled support for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat who voted with Republicans on Wednesday to reject a change to the filibuster and thus effectively kill the Democrats’ bill expanding voting rights.

“Sen. Sinema’s decision to reject the voices of allies, partners and constituents who believe the importance of voting rights outweighs that of an arcane process means she will find herself standing alone in the next election,” EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler said in a statement.

Women, especially Black and brown women, are among those who would benefit most from the bill, whether it’s from the provision adding an additional two weeks to vote before Election Day or the one that makes Election Day a national holiday. Finding time to get to the polls has long been a challenge for mothers, especially women in the “sandwich generation,” who are caring both for children and the elderly, and for those in low-wage jobs who can’t afford to take time off work, a group dominated by women.

“There’s a ripple effect when women have less access to the ballot. It means there are fewer women who get out to vote. That’s the bottom line,” Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters, told Women Rule.

She said women’s limited access to the ballot is exacerbated by gerrymandering, which reduces political power among minorities and particularly affects Black women, the Democratic Party’s most powerful voting block. “The majority of the population — women — is disproportionately impacted time and time again,” Solomón added.

Before senators voted Wednesday evening, EMILY’s List, a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice women, announced it wouldn’t support Sinema in future elections if she didn’t back down on the filibuster. NARAL, the abortion rights organization, also threatened to withdraw support from candidates who wouldn’t adopt the rule change — a decision that will affect Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, too. And a group of big dollar Democratic donors who have given money to Sinema in the past threatened to fund a primary opponent and demanded she return their contributions.

Sinema and Manchin refused to budge — which some saw as a direct betrayal of women.

“Some elected officials have taken this role on as if they are hired to be an individual and legislate their individual ideas,” LaTosha Brown, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told Women Rule. “They were hired to represent constituents and they’ve moved far away from that.”

Speaking of Sinema specifically, Brown said, “If she no longer represents the issues of women, she should no longer be in that role.” For her part, Sinema said that while she supported the legislation, she couldn’t support waiving the filibuster for this bill.

Only a “major structural change” to the electoral system can bring about greater representation at the polls for women overall, says Brown.

It’s not a new idea.

Former Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has been advocating for expanding voting rights much of her life, having picked up the mantle from her father, the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. “He thought it was the most important Civil Rights action that you could pass,” Townsend said in an interview.

“We would sit around the kitchen table every night and go around and talk about current events. And my mom would have us talk about it when she ran the carpool,” recalled Townsend. “The question of the filibuster was a topic of discussion. [It] was used by southern senators back then to get the Voting Rights Act killed.”

Townsend says women’s roles in holding communities together make it necessary for them to get to the polls. “Women are the people who live longer, who work in more low paying jobs, who aren’t paid as much as men. Women raise and bear children, and if we’re going to have healthy families and healthy communities, we need to have those voices heard.”

She sees this week’s vote as a setback but not the end of the debate.

“There are issues that don’t go away. This is one of them,” Townsend says. “It’s about power and there will always be a struggle for power. No one gives it up easily.”

“Kristi Noem’s on a Political Rocket Ship. But Don’t Rule Out a Crash,” by David Siders for Politico Magazine: “SIOUX FALLS, S.D. One Saturday last fall, around the opening of South Dakota’s pheasant hunting season, a crowd of businesspeople and political benefactors who’d come to meet and hunt with the state’s governor, Kristi Noem, trickled back to the Sheraton for dinner and an auction.

“The whole weekend had been billed as a business recruiting event for South Dakota, and auction proceeds went to conservation efforts in the state. But the vibe was almost indistinguishable from a typical political fundraiser: an evening, closed to the press, where donors mingled with political staffers, where a governor thanked supporters, and where Tim Laudner, the retired Minnesota Twins catcher and hunting enthusiast, got held up for handshakes at the door — the mix of celebrity and personal access that defines a modern political career. …

“A star of the coronavirus pandemic, Noem had become an unexpected Republican sensation in 2020 and into last year, at the height of partisan warring over the pandemic. As she theatrically defied mask and vaccine mandates and cast South Dakota as a ‘beacon of hope’ for the skeptical and recalcitrant, she became a staple on Fox. CNN branded her ‘the female Trump,’ while Trump himself encouraged Noem to primary her state’s ‘RINO’ senior senator, John Thune (an invitation Noem declined). GOP state and county party chairs in early presidential nominating states began inviting Noem to speak at their events, and her stock rose among the Conservative Political Action Conference set. Last summer, she earned a personal takedown in the impeccably parlor-liberal pages of Vanity Fair — a badge of honor for any Republican.

“But sustaining the GOP’s interest has proved more difficult as the pandemic lingers on.”

“She took on Trump, Juul and the Sacklers. Now she wants to run Massachusetts,” by POLITICO’s Lisa Kashinsky: “BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a progressive lawyer known for taking on former President Donald Trump and Purdue Pharma, will launch her campaign for governor on Thursday, according to two people familiar with her planning.

“Healey’s entrance could maximize Democrats’ chances of retaking the office the party has so rarely held in recent decades.

“It’s also likely to keep another potential contender, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, out of the open-seat race. Walsh has been weighing whether to return home and run, but people close to the former Boston mayor have repeatedly said he was unlikely to enter the fray if Healey did, despite the more than $5 million that remains in his campaign war chest.

“Healey, who’s been ‘seriously considering’ running for governor for the better part of a year, has long been viewed as Democrats’ best shot at reclaiming the governor’s office. Republicans have held the position for most of the past 30 years, a streak broken only by former governor and presidential hopeful Deval Patrick.”

Read more here.

“How Women Can Get Comfortable ‘Playing Politics’ at Work,” by Lisa Zigarmi, Julie Diamond and Lesli Mones in Harvard Business Review: “By now, it’s a tired refrain: Women, particularly women of color, are significantly outnumbered at the senior leadership level in organizations. …

“The causes of the leadership gender gap are numerous, as are its proposed solutions. One area of research points to differences concerning women’s response to ‘office politics.’ … This article identifies some commonly held beliefs underlying women’s aversion to being political at work. Next, it offers mindset shifts that have helped hundreds of women use political skills to their advantage. …


1. From “My work should speak for itself” to “It’s my responsibility to show people how my work connects to theirs.”

2. From “Building connections is an extracurricular activity” to “Building connections is a force multiplier.”

3. From “It’s inauthentic” to “I’m being paid to have a point of view and share it.”4. From “I’m not someone who plays hardball” to “My leadership tactic needs to match the situation.”5. From “The penalties are too great” to “I prioritize my growth.”

“States are increasingly considering equal shared parenting in custody cases. This young Kentucky couple serve as a test case,” by Sushma Subramanian in the Washington Post: “Jordan [Pyles] and Ashlyn [Harrell] never married. Their relationship had floundered even before [their child,] Ann, who is identified in this story by her middle name, was born. Ashlyn had been prepared to raise the child on her own, but from the beginning, Jordan had embraced fatherhood and sought to be an equally active part of Ann’s life. Ever since, Jordan and Ashlyn had been on an exhausting emotional and legal roller coaster. …

“Jordan decided he needed to convince Ashlyn to consider another option [beyond one parent being the main custodian and the other granted visitation]. … The [Kentucky] state legislature was expected to pass a shared-parenting law mandating that, except in certain situations, 50-50 parenting time would be the presumptive arrangement for permanent custody orders. …

“Cultural and legal norms in favor of 50-50 parenting — in which children spend equal time with both parents — have long existed in countries such as Sweden and Belgium. In the United States, over the past 25 years, there has been a broad movement by families and courts to give divorced and separated fathers more time with their children and to encourage less traditionally gendered parenting. But while joint legal custody, which involves shared decision-making about schooling, location, religion and health, is the norm, a 50-50 shared parenting outcome is still the exception, according to Michael Mosbeg, past chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section. …

As the push for equal-parenting laws continued to spread, the Kentucky law — and the experiences of parents like Jordan and Ashlyn — was about to become a potential bellwether for custody arrangements across the nation.”

“‘You never forget it’: These are the stories of life before Roe v. Wade transformed America,” by Shefali Luthra in The 19th: “With national abortion protections hanging by a thread, stories of a pre-Roe v. Wade nation matter now perhaps more than ever. To better understand the decision’s impact The 19th spoke with people across the country about their memories of life before the 1973 decision, as well as how things have changed in the years since.

“These are memories from women who received illegal abortions, those who campaigned against abortion rights, and those who worked as health care providers before and after 1973. Below are their stories, in their own words.

Suzie Scott, 73, of Laramie Wyoming — “It was spring in my sophomore year in college [in 1968] and I was here in Laramie, at Wyoming University. The word was in Laramie — because we’re quite close to the Colorado-Wyoming border, it’s about 50 miles — that if you knew the right folks, you could drive to Colorado [where doctors might provide illegal abortions]. …

“There was kind of a third party that I found out about this provider in Colorado. I called and of course the first thing, right up front, was that all procedures were to be paid in cash, up front. If I recall right, it was like $575. Where does a college student find an extra $575 in 1968?

“It was my money, [my boyfriend’s] money, and money from some of our friends. …

“I went in the back door, and I remember just being scared to death, absolutely scared to death because I didn’t know what to expect. They were going to inject me with some sort of solution that would in a few hours result in a miscarriage, if you will. …

“About four years later, I was working in Denver. I got on an elevator and there was the doctor [who had performed the abortion]. I remembered his face. I just, you know, punched the next floor and got off the elevator.”

The writer, author and Picasso muse is now 100 years old. Read more here.

Jasmine Hilton will be a criminal justice reporter on the Washington Post’s Metro desk. Previously, she was a breaking news intern. …

Kelsey Donohue will join First Lady Jill Biden’s communication team. Previously, she served as assistant press secretary and digital strategist for former First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the East Wing’s Let’s Move! Campaign. (h/t Morning Ag) … Sarah Oh, a nonresident fellow at The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab who formerly worked at Facebook, is joining Twitter as a human rights adviser. (h/t Morning Tech)

Retired Maj. Gen. Kim Crider, the U.S. Space Force’s former chief innovation and technology officer, has joined Deloitte to lead its artificial intelligence innovation work for the firm’s national security division. (h/t Morning Cybersecurity) …

Molly Murphy will be president of Impact Research, the new name of longtime Democratic polling firm ALG research. Previously, Murphy was partner at the company. … The Raben Group has added Tonya Veasey as a senior adviser and Emily Chiang and Noelle Howey as principals. Veasey previously was CEO and president of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Chiang previously was a public policy manager with Facebook. Howey previously led Everytown for Gun Safety’s cultural and entertainment advocacy team. (h/t Playbook)

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2022-01-21 10:08:09


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