Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Grassroots mamas

I've never been much into politics. The folks in Washington seem as removed from me as I am from them. I'm not alone: approval ratings are low for both our Republican not-quite-lame-duck president and our Democratic congress, who are at a standoff regarding the things that matter most to us. As Rain Dog and I discussed yesterday, it seems that most people feel like change can no longer happen on a national level - only on a regional, even grassroots, level.

I joined MomsRising.org several months ago, but hesitated to "do" anything - even sign a petition - because, well, I'm not political. Besides, what could average people do? Then I got an email from them that showed exactly how ordinary people can still make a difference in this country. Mere weeks after receiving a message about their "Power of ONEsie" project, a new message showed that that project had led directly to paid family leave legislation in the state of Washington. I thought that was pretty amazing.

So far, I've signed two online petitions: one for healthcare for all children, and one for equal pay for equal work. I've never been much of a feminist either, but this isn't about bra-burning or man-hating... it's about putting ourselves in other families' positions and understanding their realities, where mothers are fired because they took time off for a child with a broken arm, and where parents work three or four jobs yet still have no healthcare for their children. Do people really think it's acceptable to have a childhood mortality rate that puts the United States behind 36 other nations?

For years, "special interests" have been excoriated for "ripping the country apart." Folks, without a majority that cares about much beyond Paris Hilton, special interests are all this country has left. MomsRising may be a special interest, but it's in our interest. Can you say the same about politicians?


Blogger PT-LawMom said...

I sign 'em all. I probably will never be elected to office because of my views, but I try to consider each request for a letter to my Congressman/Senator when it comes across my e-mail and usually will go for it unless I'm opposed to the message or the organization. I agree that MomsRising is really having an impact. I was so impressed with their "Power of ONEsie" campaign. Hopefully they'll make many more strides forward on behalf of parents nationwide.

19/6/07 10:37 AM  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Me too. I must get 15-20 a day. I sign most of them but contibute to few. My name apparently is promiscuous.

21/6/07 4:07 PM  

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