Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ellie Smeal: '09 Elections, a Wake Up Call for Feminists

In both the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, social issues took a back seat to economic issues. This is understandable considering dismal unemployment figures, the housing crisis, fear of layoffs, and dwindling retirement investments. Bad economic times trump social issues.

What happened aside from the deep economic recession maybe tells the story more simply. Looking at the numbers the Virginia electorate of 2009 was not the same electorate of 2008. The 2009 electorate, to put it bluntly, was older and less racially diverse. In 2008, 20% of the Virginia electorate was under 30 years old; in 2009, it was 10%. In 2008, 70% was white, 20% black, 5% Hispanic. In 2009, 78% was white, 15% black, 2% Hispanic. Getting the vote out matters.

Feminists have much to worry about with both elections. The result is both states will have anti-choice leadership. In Virginia, the conservative Republicans also won solidly the Lt. Governor and Attorney General offices. Particularly troubling is the defeat of feminist and pro-choice Jodi Wagner for Lt. Governor, despite being generally acknowledged for her financial skills in navigating the state under the last two very popular democratic governors. As state treasurer under former Governor and now Senator Mark Warner and finance secretary under Governor Kaine, Wagner has been given much credit for Virginia avoiding the economic woes that most states have suffered and for being rated one of the best managed states fiscally.

Read the full version of this piece here.

Media Resources: Excerpted from Majority Speaks Blog 11/4/09

1 comment:

alliemcd said...

We can't let this happen across the nation in 2010! Young women, we must register to vote, register our peers to vote, educate our peers on the issues and mobilize people to get to the polls! Start gearing up for the 2010 Get Out HER Vote Campaign!