Like the day, I'm a bit overcast: Eileen Brady, my candidate, has been defeated in her run for Mayor of Portland, Oregon. She sent a "Thank you" to supporters:
In 1972, a very small group of women--black and white--started the Women's Political Caucus in Baltimore. We had no background in politics, no money. We were knocked off by the very savvy, well-funded women of Montgomery County, Maryland--very close to that notorious Washington beltway.
As I sit back today from my current home in this different universe in the Pacific Northwest, how do I put it all together? Looking at where we came from in the late 20th century and where things are for women now, my feelings are mixed. I need to figure out how to direct my energy/my dollars in the few years left to me.
Emily's List receives a monthly contribution from me in its work to select pro-choice Dem women. The other day you asked me for more to support Claire McCaskill's re-election in Missouri. Sent a check right away. But soon was disappointed to learn that she was uncertain on joining Obama's support for gay marriage. I would not have sent that $25.
You need to tell me more about the Democratic women you promote.
I endorsed Eileen Brady because this city needs a smart leader with an instinct for what is best for all Portlanders--women, children, men. Endorsed her because her company, New Seasons, gives parttime workers health care and she has put considerable volunteer energy into that issue.
We have terrible racial problems here; I wish she had addressed these more fully. We have a serously underfunded public school system--same for social services. Would she have been well-advised to put the considerable money raised along with her personal resources into an effort with more likelihood of creating change? To her credit, already strongly pro-choice, she immediately announced enthusiastic support for the President's on gay marriage.
Does your organization ever advise potential candidates about working together? About what issues each must stand for as Democratic candidates for office? These are hard times for women. I want to be behind women candidates who get that my daughter, my granddaughters are entering uncertain times for women.
Women running for office must recognize that we need an energy field that brings us together. We know about "every man for himself." What we need again is a women's movement for all of us, for a path that leads to lasting cultural change.