I was not happy with the outcome of the election. Demoralized would be the best word to describe my state of mind last week. Truly demoralized. I ranted. I raged. I binged watched 10 episodes of The Crown straight through because you can really get a lot of TV in when you barely sleep for 48 hours and give up TV news because the visuals may put you over the edge.
And please don’t tell me to get over it. Remember when the Equal Rights Amendment didn’t get ratified in 1982? Me, too. I was 17 and I’m still not over THAT. So the prospect of having a man with a long history of misogyny and no public record of supporting women’s issues in the Oval Office isn’t something I’m going to learn to accept overnight.
The issues that I care about, that I vote on, are all rooted in the idea that women are equal and, as such, deserve equal access to education, to sports, to equal pay for equal work, to protection in the work place and at home, to health care and to family planning services that allow them to make the best decisions about their own future to ensure economic empowerment. For all of my career, almost 30 years now, I’ve used my work as a writer, broadcaster and producer to amplify those issues through radio, magazine columns, videos, novels and speeches. I feel it’s my duty stay informed about issues related to women, working mothers and families because I have a platform and I take that responsibility seriously. It’s not a casual interest for me or something I would toss aside for a tax cut.
I realized over the weekend that my responsibility to keep an eye on the incoming administration and hold their feet to the fire on issues that matter to me doesn’t disappear because the election is over. In fact, it grows even more urgent. Then I got busy.
I wrote a Post-Election To Do List, because that’s what women do:
- Act Locally
- Act Nationally
- Act Globally
- Act Personally
You can listen to the Satellite Sisters podcast about my Post-Election To Do List here or read below:
I live in Southern California and I’m proud of it. Every day, we get up and make it happen here in the Golden State in a diverse, creative, inclusive community. We got a lot going on here and we like it that way. By a 2 to 1 margin, California supported Hillary Clinton and her policies as the way forward for our forward-thinking state. Many of the groups feeling vulnerable after this election are part of our day-to-day lives in Southern Cal: immigrants, Dreamers, single moms, LGBTQ folk, freelancers and entrepreneurs who rely on Obamacare for Health Insurance. There are a lot of opportunities to support organizations that support these communities, from coaching AYSO soccer to donating money to a free health clinic to sponsoring an immigrant studying for citizenship (it costs). I’m focusing on an organization here in Pasadena that I’ve worked with and donated to over the years: Mother’s Club. They support both immigrant mothers and their young children with a two-tier program that offers the moms classes in ESL, job skills and parenting while giving the kids a high quality pre-school education. My plan is to get involved on a deeper level so I understand the stressors on this group of people and support the next generation of Californians to get a great start in life. Let’s get more women on non-profit boards all over the country.
It’s tempting to stay in the bubble and keep my head down, but that’s not really how I operate. I want to make sure that I keep the big picture in mind. So, I’m going to Washington for that Million Woman March on January 21st. I’m not a marcher. I’ve never participated in anything like this, but I figure: now is the time. As of this year, I’m an empty nester, I work on my own schedule and I have a bunch of Frequent Flyer miles I can use. I know when I was a working mom with young kids, I could never do anything like this. So, I’m going to DC to march for those California mothers who can’t make it because they’re working or have young children or kids with special needs. I’ll march for them in January. Other ways to Act Nationally without leaving home? Ssupport organizations that are staying on top of civil rights and First Amendment issues like the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center. Or support investigative journalism with a subscription to a national paper like the LA Times, NY Times, Wall Street Journal or Washington Post. If you’re a magazine fan, try The Atlantic for long form political analysis or The New Yorker, analysis with cartoons.
My interest in women’s issues has always had a global component and through my work on Satellite Sisters, I’ve been able to stay informed and speak with people doing important work when it comes to human rights, economic empowerment, maternal health and environmental action. A few years ago, I joined the American Women for International Understanding, a non-partisan NGO that supports women-to-women interaction and citizen diplomacy. We collaborate with the US Department of State to honor the International Women of Courage and provide grants to these amazing women around the world making their communities better. It’s been satisfying work, but it’s clear the incoming administration won’t be taking a leadership role in women’s global issues. The light bulb went off that the grants we give and the awareness we raise as citizen-diplomats is even more important. I’m doubling down on that commitment and making sure the women leaders and change-agents get the recognition and the funds they deserve to continue there important work. Pick your global issue—climate change, human rights, refugees- and stay informed. Call your representatives and the White House when votes come up that affect those issues.
I’m getting a dog. I’ve been two years without a canine companion and I think it’s time to adopt a new friend. More Wagging, Less Whining. I’m allergic to many dogs breeds, but not German shepherds so I’m on the lookout for an adult, female German shepherd dog who likes to walk on a leash but not bark too much. I’m stalking rescue and shelter sites, but let me know if you hear of a mid-sized, mid-energy GSDs. For others, maybe it’s the time to take up meditation, give up coffee, train for a marathon or read all the books on your To Be Read list. I say, go for it.
Whatever your path is, get on it. all the best,
Related posts by Lian Dolan:
Bring the Olympics to LA from Pasadena Magazine