The MOMocrats are unabashed fans of New York's junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. After all, she's one of us: a mother of two who not only understands how challenging it is to balance work and family, but also how policy decisions impact our lives every single day.
She is also understands technology and social media: her staff communicates regularly with progressive female bloggers (including several guest posts she's contributed to this site), and she even met with several of us at last summer's BlogHer conference in New York.
Gillibrand is committed to women's equality, which still does not exist in this country -- not when we still have a pay gap of 78 cents on the dollar. And not as long as women make up just 17% of the US Congress.
"Too many women are sitting on the sidelines today and ...they are not engaged…too many women think that politics doesn’t relate to them," Senator Gillibrand said on a conference call with women political bloggers yesterday, to announce her new online project: Off The Sidelines, a website with information and resources to help women find their political voice and participate -- as voters, as volunteers and as candidates for office.
This is a topic that is near and dear to our MOMocrat hearts, and dovetails nicely with our own mission to inform and provide a forum for mothers to share their stories and network for progressive candidates and causes.
Over the years, we've heard from several women who don't participate in the political process, because they don't feel they have enough information.. or time. And while this is understandable, it is one of the reasons women continue to fight the same battles over and over again.
"My view is that the women’s movement is truly stalled," Senator Gillibrand said. "Too many women don’t understand why we need them to get off the sidelines."
From the Off the Sidelines website:
More women must get off the sidelines and make a difference in their community. Whether it's in the classroom, the boardroom, Congress or at home, it's crucial that more women adopt this philosophy to affect change in ways both big and small. Because if they don't, decisions will be made without them that they won't like the outcome of.
The Senator said she also feels that more women in Congress are the key to unlocking our current state of partisan gridlock, because females tend to be consensus builders and would be more willing to work in a bipartisan fashion.
Gillibrand pointed out that in the 91 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, full equality won't be realized until women use that right. And she feels it's not only a civic duty -- it's a key to fixing the nation's economic woes.
"We can and will do more because we have to. Women are the solution to our challenges and the key to locking the full potential of our economy," she said.