Is there any woman that does not believe that she deserves a paycheck equivalent to that of her male counterpart?  Paycheck inequity is not a new issue, in fact even fifty years after the passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act women continue to earn an average of 77.5 cents per dollar that a male with an equal skill set and qualifications earns.  Sadly, the gap is even wider for African American and Hispanic women, at 62 cents and 54 cents, respectively.[1]  Earlier this month the Senate Republicans blocked a vote to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) to the Senate floor.  The current White House administration has asserted they will continue to support and work for paycheck equity; nonetheless today’s make-up of the Senate doesn’t bode well for further action in the near future.  The current make-up of the Senate is comprised of only 20 women:  16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.   Since women tend to lean Democrat, it is a viable argument that if more women ran for office, they would likely be Democrats and would work to advance women’s issues, including paycheck fairness.

But how do we get more women into Congress so that they can vote for women’s issues?  How do we inspire women to run for local and state offices so that they can eventually seek higher, national offices?  We must ensure that potential women candidates are identified, educated, motivated, and most importantly, supported when they run for political office at all levels of government.  The Emerge America (www.emergeamerica.org) and Emerge Kentucky (www.emergeky.org) programs are the premier training ground to prepare women to run for and to seek higher political office, and I am honored to be a member of the 2014 Emerge Kentucky class.

During our most recent all-day training session in Northern Kentucky, Courtney Foley, Deputy National Director of the Sierra Club, focused on developing a ground operation for a campaign.  Each class participant calculated the true time commitment to effectively run a race at any level – local, county and state.  What an eye-opening experience to realize that to reach an undecided voter and hopefully “swing” them to our side, we need to complete seven “touches” through direct, personal contact!  As a career mom who travels frequently for work, it was quite a reality check to sit down and schedule time for door to door walking, fundraising calls, and attending various summer events like parades, festivals and fairs.  Running for office is a huge commitment for anyone, particularly for working moms.  However with the training I have received from the Emerge program since January, I feel more confident in preparing an engaging campaign message; I have an understanding of how to reach voters in my area efficiently and effectively; and most importantly, I have a network of amazing and inspiring Emerge women who are with me every step of the way.


[1] National Women’s Law Center, “Women of Color Fact Sheet”, April 2012.

Why Rich Guys Run The Local Government

I plan to run for state legislature in 2016 and I also plan to win. Kentucky needs leadership that understands the mechanics of engaging companies in the global marketplace, and that is what I have made my living doing. For the last 20 years my career has been all about working with companies to compliantly import raw material for manufacturing and exporting finished goods to foreign customers. Our state needs laws that incentivize manufacturing for export, tax breaks for employing people that make exported goods and legislation that supports vocational education to prepare our workforce for high tech and green industries.

Here’s the rub. I make a fairly decent living and am the breadwinner in my family. My husband works and has a reasonably good salary but I make almost twice what he does. We are tremendously blessed to have a comfortable lifestyle. We’re not rich by any stretch but instead are solidly middle class. That being said we need my income and could certainly not maintain our home and our son’s college savings without it.

In Kentucky our state lawmakers do not meet more than 60 days one year, and 30 days the next, alternating years. They are paid a per diem of $188 on session days and when committees meet. My state rep was paid approximately $26,000 last year as was my state senator. My state rep owns his own successful business in the construction industry and my state senator is a retired police officer. Both are secure financially. I on the other hand, would have to take a 75% pay cut to work 40 days every two years and still need to support my family.

I am a smart, talented woman with a wealth of diverse business and social experiences that could add a great deal of value to the legislative process and help the citizens of Kentucky, However I cannot sacrifice my family’s security so that I may work for the betterment of my state and its citizens.

Is it then just a cruel fact then that only the wealthy are destined to govern, like Plato said in “The Republic”? Are the masses left to demonstrate, voice their beliefs and hope desperately that those in power will listen to the people that elected them, rather than to the businesses that paid for the negative advertisements we’re all tired of by the middle of October and April? It would seem so. And it would seem that at least at the state and local level the best we can hope for is a generous rich person who remembers once in a while that real working people elected him/her. Maybe they will even throw a legislative bone every once in a while.

I want very much to work in state government as an elected official. Specifically I want to represent Boone County to ensure that legislation is targeted to and benefits the unique manufacturing, distribution and export potential that is here today. 2016 seems like a long way off but in reality it is not – so I’d better get cracking on developing supplemental income.

Suggestions for legal income supplementation welcome.

The QOL Covenant

What is quality of life?  We all have a broad concept of what it means; however when it comes down to constructing an actual definition “quality of life” (QOL) is different things to different people.  In its simplest form we could say that QOL is the wellbeing, or absence thereof, in a society.  Nonetheless, the CDC has identified social, mental, and environmental constructs that all contribute, negatively and positively, to the overall QOL of a culture, political region, or civilization.

Wellbeing is the state of being happy, healthy and prosperous, and that is the promise that leaders and potential leaders make to their constituents. “Vote for me, and I promise to vote for your wellbeing.”  It is the covenant, or promise, that exists between an elected leader and his/her voters.  When God made His covenant with the Israelites, he promised to take care of them and lead them to the Promised Land.  In exchange all they had to do was honor and worship Him, and follow the rules that He laid down (see the Ten Commandments, should anyone need a refresher on this).

So it is with our elected officials.  We promise to elect them over and over and over and over, and they promise to vote with our best interests in mind – to take care of us.  Three people who have promised to vote with Kentucky’s “best interests” at heart have voted to:

  1. Abandon the most vulnerable women and children in Kentucky by voting against the Violence Against Women Act.
  2. Repeal the Affordable Health Care Act
  3. Desert fellow Americans in New Jersey by voting against federal disaster relief
  4. Continue America’s dependence on fossil fuels and Big Oil by voting against bio-fuel refinery development
  5. Disallow agricultural reform and increased funding to grow fresh fruits and vegetables
  6. Prevent jobs coming home
  7. Thwart small business tax relief

These government initiatives represent critical elements of Quality of Life.  Who says that the government should step aside and let people take care of themselves, regardless of how vulnerable and helpless they are?  We have all been helpless although we don’t remember it.  When we were infants, most of us were not told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and take care of ourselves.  Those of us who were blessed enough to have parents or guardians to care for us were nurtured and guided until we were able to fend for ourselves.  Hopefully we were prepared to nurture and guide the successive generation. 

How exactly is that different than the government providing assistance to at risk children, people whose homes have been destroyed, families, seniors and veterans who need federal nutrition assistance through SNAP, and giving tax breaks and other economic development opportunities until they too can stand on their own?  Shouldn’t our goal be to prepare all Americans to nurture and guide successive generations toward prosperity, wellbeing, and the best QOL possible?

Take a look at the above list of seven government bills and funding initiatives, and tell me that each of these don’t support QOL.  You can’t.  Nobody can.  Because they do.  Democrats are about QOL – we want those vulnerable populations to be supported until they can stand alone.  We want a strong, healthy nation which can be achieved by assuring everyone has access to basic healthcare.  We want a secure nation with a foundation of economic strength and national security.  All of these are QOL issues, and all of them are supported by legislators other than the three Kentucky representatives on the Hill.

Those legislators have already broken their covenant with us, their constituents.  Let’s make a new covenant with candidates who truly will act in Kentucky’s best interest.



pro·mote: verb

  1. To help or encourage to exist or flourish; further: to promote world peace.
  2. To advance in rank, dignity, position, etc. (opposed to demote ).
  3. Education . to put ahead to the next higher stage or grade, course or series of classes.
  4. to aid in organizing (business undertakings)

general: adjective

  1. Of or pertaining to all persons or things belonging to a group or category: a general meeting of the employees.
  2. Of, pertaining to, or true of such persons or things in the main, with possible exceptions; common to most;
  3. prevalent; usual: the general mood of the people.
  4. Not limited to one class, field, product, service, etc.; miscellaneous: the general public; general science.

welfare: noun

  1. The good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group or organization;
  2. Well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.

Therefore the purpose of government is to help and encourage the prosperity, health and happiness of all people, not limited to one class. Now keeping in mind that the guys who wrote this were white slave owners, and these words did not include women and minorities, one concludes they were not the most inclusive group around. However the intent of that covenant with the citizens of the Baby USA (citizens being white guys, white guys and white guys) was clearly that EVERYONE has the inherent right to prosper, be happy, be healthy and be safe.

Wait, that sounds to me like:

  • The Affordable Healthcare Act
  • Let’s Move
  • Violence Against Women Act
  • Marriage Equality
  • Police officers. firefighters, emergency services

And every one of these things were OPPOSED by Kentucky’s representatives in the US House and the US Senate. Oh wait. They are privileged white guys. What year is this again? I know what next year is. Next year it will be 2014 and we have an opportunity to make a change for Kentucky and for women.

The power of government is sweeping and all-encompassing. Don’t believe me? Read the Constitution. Legislative, judicial and executive authority is powerful and all-encompassing, tempered with protections for the “blessings of liberty”. So government is the structure within which resides CHOICE: of faith, of sexual orientation, and of how one manages one’s own body, to the extent that choice does not adversely impact society.

The Right is the Party of Anti-Choice. They want to remove individual choice for other faiths, for women to choose what to do with their bodies, and for people to choose whom they will marry. Their policies do NOT promote the general welfare and they are, dare I say, ANTI-HUMAN.

Democrats are Pro Human Choice. Join us to learn more!