Women’s Equality Day

Today is Women’s Equality Day. It was designated as such by Congress, spearheaded by the late Bella Abzug, in 1971 to honor the day in which women girl the right to vote in 1920.  This is a time to celebrate past progress and reflect on current progress and the future.

The present is, frankly disappointing. While women are outpacing men in education, the former make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women are only a paltry percentage of Company CEOs and presidents. OK, since women are a slim majority of voters (due to living longer), they ought to do better in the political arena. They do, but they fill only ~ 20% of congressional seats. Worse, the presidency is still entirely a men’s club.

The future does hold promise, though. Female representation in the halls of power is increasing, more quickly in politics than in business. Hillary Clinton is currently the front runner to become the first women president two years from now.

Aaitionally, we must accomplish five goals which are currently being worked on:

* paid medical and maternity leave for all workers

* income equality/comparable worth

* the right of women to control their bodies( contraception and abortion)

* an end to victim blaming (holding men accountable for violence against women)

* passing the Equal Rights Amendment at last. This historic document was written in 1924; ninety years is more than enough for women to wait.


In short, we have come a long way, but we have a very long way to go. Someone recently suggested that another suffrage movement be started up. It is long overdue.



Further Endorsements

Today is election day, so let us all get out and vote. I already have.

That said, it is also time to finish endorsements for today’s primaries.

* School Board District 3 – the incumbent, former Alachua County Education Association president Gunnar Paulson

* School Board District 5 – Rob Hyatt, who has the endorsements of the local gay rights organizations plus equality Florida, the North Central Florida. Labor Council, the Alachua County Education Association, and the Gaoinesville Iguana, was the 2009 county Teacher of the Year, and realizes that inadequacy of standardized testing, over Jancie Vinson, who does have the endorsement of the African American Accountability Alliance.

* Alachua County Commussion District 3 –  Harvey Ward; Lee Pinkoson has been too favorable to business and Republicans, such as when he voted against the anti-sprawl comprehensive plan after he took office.  ward opposes Envision Alachua ( Plum Creek’s development) and is endorsed by the Iguana.

*Alachua County Commission 4 –  Ken Cornell, because he is against Envision Alachua (Plum Creek) and is endorsed by the Iguana.


Nan Rich for Governor on August 26

Election Day is approaching again. The primary day in Florida is ten days away. EARLY VOTING STARTS TODAY.  Therefore, LET’S GET OUT AND VOTE! When we turn out, progressives win.

One progressive I plan to vote for is Nan Rich for Governor. My strategy is to vote for the most progressive candidate in the Democratic primary and support the winner in the general election. Rich, despite being minority leader in state senate and therefore an establishment fixture, has reasonable progressive credentials.

To begin with, she has the endorsement of the National Organization for Women, perhaps the best possible endorsement for a candidate. Another endorsement comes from former Florda Governor Buddy Mackay, a good man known for getting thongs done and whom this writer supported for U.S. senate. Rich has almost been endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus.

On the issue, Rich has been a longtime vigorous opponent of school vouchers. On gun control, the Democratic a Progressive Caucus of Florida has published a report which points out that while her opponent Charlie Crist consistently garner A ratings from the  NRA while in the Florida Senate, Rich, although she supported the Stand Your Ground law, received  F ratings from the anti-gun control organization.

On gay rights, Rich has consistently supported gay rights, including gay adoption rights, while Crist has gone from opposing gay rights as a Republican, to supporting marriage equality, but not adoption rights, as a Democrat. Although many LGBTQIA organizations are supporting Crist (likely because they see him as the best hope to defeat the horrible incumbent Rick Scott), she has strong connections to the gay community and has the endorsement of the Human a Rights Council in her senate district. She also has a consistent record on women’s issues and is known for her commitment to children.

Governor Crist on the other hand was a Republican for years before turning independent in 2010 and then Democrat. In the senate was nicknamed “Chain Gang Charlie” because he advocate a return to chain gangs and even addressed the senate holding a large chain. As attorney general he served under and was in line with the ruthless and nefarious Jeb Bush. He ran for governor as conservative. The only reason he left the Republican Party was that he was being unexpectedly routed in the 2010 GOP senate primary by extremist Marco Rubio. If Crist had won that primary he likely would still be an anti-marriage equality, anti-choice conservative Republican.

We desperately need to beat the very extreme Tea Party Republican currently holding the office of governor of this state. We need to unite around the winner of the Democratic Party’s nomination.  A consistent progressive is a better bet to fight for the change we need than a chameleon. That is why I will vote for Senator Nan Rich.

Three in a row!

Early this afternoon, according to Equality Florida, a Florida circuit court has declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. This time the case arose in Broward County, where a woman wants to dissolve a civil union she entered into in Vermont. The judge stayed his decision pending the attorney general’s appeal.

This is the third decision in 18 days striking the ban. Momentum for gay marriage is building in Florida and the rest of the country, momentum that was built was the classic civil rights formula of grassroots activism plus legal action./p>