Mainstreet Women: You Keep My Hope Alive

I love Alicia’s response to “what’s one thing you’re really proud of and wish every girl could experience too?” What I wish for all girls is that they give birth to something new. Whether it is a child, a book, or a business, that’s what we’re here to do. (Alicia, CA) The book I'm writing on real women, Mainstreet Women, is giving birth. It is my way of sharing what women across the nation care about, are proud of, stand for, want political leaders to know, and wish for our country. This blog is a part of the labor (of love) to keep connected while I work toward honoring Mainstreet Women’s voices, grit and glory, to the best of my ability. A STAND Hearing and sharing Mainstreet Women’s voices with the world is also taking a stand. As our nation’s leaders bicker, wars rage, poverty grows, inequities widen, and with the Sandy Hook tragedy fresh -- I look to women to make change happen -- to keep my hope alive. And, putting Mainstreet Women's voices out in the world is a call to action. No matter what side of the political spectrum you lean, my hope is that these voices change mindsets and catalyze actions – both on personal and the public levels. Mainstreet Women have … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: More What We’re Proud of & Wish Every Girl Could Experience Too

A WISH:  EVERY CHILD EMOTIONALLY SECURE It was hard times growing up in the ‘dirty 30s’ in America but I always had family around, I was never hungry. I had all my emotional needs met. We were secure. Not financially, but emotionally secure. Yes, every girl, every child – that is what I wish for them – to have the security that I had. *Elaine, NE #2 THEME:  EDUCATION, PROFESSION & PASSION According to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap report, U.S. Women are No. 1 in the world for educational attainment. Not surprisingly, Mainstreet Women are proud of their hard-earned education that enables them to pursue passions and professions. (The U.S. currently ranks 22nd overall. We're No. 55 in political empowerment, No. 33 in health and survival rates, and No. 8 in economic participation and opportunity.) For girls, I want them to know that education has made all the difference for me. Not my titles, I don’t use them though others do, but the fact that I did it. I have confidence that I can learn what I need to learn to succeed. Kathy, ID My education is what I’m most proud of. Despite not having a family who could do it for me, I had the … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: Voices, Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts?

As I started writing about how Mainstreet Women define themselves, an article jumped out at me. The Kansas City Star newspaper – Mainstreet Women Paula and Julie’s home – reported History-making leaders are chosen for the Kansas Legislature.[i] The story had been picked up by Governing.com, a daily that curates news stories about our government from across the U.S. The title made me curious enough to read further. The sub-headline:  “Ray Merrick is Johnson County’s first House speaker since 1982.” Then, sentence two:  “Susan Wagle is the first woman to preside over Kansas Senate.”  The article is 39 total lines, of which 26 are devoted to Merrick (along with a picture) and 10 that mention Wagle; “Although Wagle, 59, makes history as the state’s first woman Senate president, she thinks her election is more meaningful in another way:  she is a cancer survivor.” I reached out to the Star’s reporter, Brad Cooper, to ask why Wagle’s history-making feat got less print. Brad quickly responded and engaged in an appreciated email exchange with me. He pointed me to other newspapers that carried the story. He reminded me that papers gear toward local relevance. Next step, find … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: Unpacking Main Street #3

Mainstreet Women Question #1: Tell me a little about where you live, your main street or what you consider main street to be. (Post 3 of 3) Mainstreet Women I interviewed defined Main Street as place, people, and a philosophy. Women also described Main Street as a choice, a way to embrace diversity. And, women said its where passions, influence, and love join them together with others on this human journey. Whether hearing ourselves called Main Street initially puzzled, rankled or resonated, how about thinking of Main Street like this? "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home--so close and so small they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity."  Eleanor Roosevelt, 1953 MAIN STREET = PLACE FOR FAMILIES & NEIGHBORS I live in a neighborhood that feels like true Americana. For example, every 4th of July everyone pours out into the streets of our neighborhood for a big potluck. On … [Read more...]

Mainstreet Women: Unpacking Main Street #2

Mainstreet Women Question #1: Tell me a little about where you live, your main street or what you consider main street to be. (Post 2 of 3) “My Main Street, where I thrive, is the village. I want Main Street to be a place where my daughter grows up knowing the mail person, the shop owners; a place where she is friends with the oldest neighbor and the youngest. That’s the Main Street I want and I’m tired of being so divided – I want us to reach out neighbor to neighbor.” (Stefani, MO)   I don’t know about you but I’ve been actively mindset shifting since Mainstreet Women shared their magic wand call for authentic dialogue, less divisiveness, and greater tolerance. Like Cindy in NJ said, “I’m an everyday Mainstreet Woman. I work, I pay my bills, I pay my taxes.” And, Mainstreet Women’s immense power (80-90% of consumer influence in our nation, 53% share of voters) opened my eyes to the fact that we can lead the change we want to see – not just in ourselves – in our nation. While our elected officials in DC made the rounds of Sunday pundit shows this morning to make sure we know it’s the other guy’s fault, I heard the fiscal cliff ticking time bomb on Main Street. What if … [Read more...]

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