Archive for November, 2008

As we all hear about the great stories of women voting at the recent elections, one in particular stood out in my mind that I’d like to share with you all.  This is the story of Tameeka Kelley and the applause she received the day she brought her daughter to the polls to vote!  Tameeka is one of our members and strongest supporters.  Read on….
“Election day, I awoke with such new ambitions, not for myself, but for my children. I’ve never understood clearly why voting was so important, until the word “Change” became the desperate need for our nation.
Being a mother of three children, and not being able to afford a loaf of bread simplifies the need for change. Overall, this economy is deeply consumed by debt that my family and I had nothing to do with creating, but it is unfair that we the tax payers have to bail out the irresponsible. I seriously have to question, are we living in a country of democracy or enslavement?
I’m a very concerned parent and feel that it is very pertinent that we communicate with our children and expose them to what is necessary, especially  at time when it seems as if we are living in an abject society. As parents, mentors, and leaders,  we influence our children to make intelligent decisions by giving them options that can be determined often times by balance of good or bad. Well, the day of the election I gave my daughter no options but exposed her to the privilege  and power of voting. I had to drive 45minutes to from Hercules to Hayward  to get  the polls. I expressed to Thalia that voting was the only way we, as her parents can contribute to help change our nation. I also explained to her that we were not just voting for Barack Obama because he was an African American, but because he understood most of the problems that mommy and daddy were facing. Also, I told her that Obama has a plan, and is aware of what it is going to take to give her and her siblings a better opportunity in life.
We arrived at the polls, and as we walked through the door to vote, I explained to Thalia everything that I was doing at that moment and why. One of the most touching moments as I was signing my name on the confirmation list, is when  I glanced at the sheet and saw my parents signature. This was actually the first time they voted, which gave me even more of an adrenaline rush. I showed Thalia and she gave me this smile of honor and innocence that only a child can give, that she was proud and confident.
My daughter and I went through the ballot and the first thing we did was vote for our President.  She quickly spotted Obama and Biden’s names, and drew the line to accomplish our mission. I also explained to her all of the propositions as basically as possible.
As we completed the ballot and proceeded to place it in the machine, I couldn’t help but notice people staring.  As Thalia cast our vote into the machine, people began to clap and cheer. That was a special moment for my daughter and I, because from this historical experience she will remember and become a generational voter, when she is eligible to vote. I wonder, how many people will she encourage and impact to exercise their right to be heard. I’m already a proud parent, and now even more so, a proud American!! My vote helped to determine our 44th President-Elect,  Barack Obama.
The footnote to this story is that Tameeka has been deeply involved with Engage Her and has motivated and inspired her parents to vote for the first time. So she has exercised the greatest power and influence of all. She encouraged her parents to vote who have never participated before. She also gave her daughter Thalia the experience of a lifetime to be celebrated when she voted at the polls.  Tameeka contributed mightily to helping us rebuild and encourage our families and communities to participate.  Congratulations and kudos to Tameeka for all her hard work and efforts.   Mable

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Yesterday was a historic day for millions of people all over the world. Not only Americans, but people who are globally affected by the United States.  I’m sure everyone was experiencing a wild range of emotions over Barack Obama’s win to become the next President of the United States.

For my family, watching Barack Obama deliver his speech I sat on the sofa with my two sons, Scottie & Kyle cuddled together and my husband Craig listening intently. It’s hard to describe our feelings but I thought about the future of my children and what the world will look like moving forward. It was fascinating seeing the crowds in Chicago waiting for Obama and for the crowds in Arizona listening to John McCain’s speech.

No matter who you voted for or wanted to win the White House, today is the first day of a new beginning. A new era when people of multi-cultural families and communities will play a critical role in the development of this country. The ability of all our citizens and guests to come together, leverage our contributions, listen and respect each other and move forward will be the foundation for our country’s ability to continually innovate, lead and promote equality for all. I think everyone will remember where they were when they first heard that Barack Obama won the vote to become our President of the United States.

Congratulations to everyone who voted, participated and now our collective work really begins. It is the dawn of a new beginning and we want to thank everyone who helped out to make this a collective victory.

Our Engage Her team is excited and looking forward to working with everyone to make sure we participate and get our voices and actions heard.  Mable

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As we’re fast approaching the elections, there may still be a lot of people out there who are unsure, undecided or haven’t made up their minds whether or not to vote.  Maybe you’re voting but you want to know what else you can do to get more people to vote. Or maybe you’re thinking of voting, but you’re confused or unsure of the voting ballot. A couple of ideas:

1. Vote for your choice for our next President.  If you’re unsure of all the issues on your voting ballot, don’t be discouraged. Just vote for the things you know about and skip the rest. People don’t seem to know that you don’t have to know everything about all the issues. Just vote about what you care about.

2. If you’re at the polls and you’re running into problems or hassles with your name on the polls, ask someone for help. Ensure that you get the right to vote. There are more people going to the polls and monitoring to make sure everyone who is registered has the right to vote. So don’t get discouraged, don’t give up, ask for help and demand that you get to cast your ballot.

3. If you’ve already made up your mind to vote….great!  Why don’t you call your family and friends and make sure that they are voting and if they need any answers, or help getting to the polls, offer to help them out. A trusted family member, friend, member of the community offers a lot of encouragement and trust to women voters.

4. How about taking your kids to polls with you on election day? The White House Project is encouraging people to Take Their Daughters/Kids  to the Polls and I’m going to do that myself. I’m taking my twin boys who are 5 years old to come with me to my voting location since they’ve been hearing me talk about this election for the past year now. They will remember and they will get to see their Mom participate in the electoral process. It’s establishing a new tradition for our family. Something my parents never did, since they never voted and I missed out on all that education and awareness.

5.  Why don’t you call up a friend or a group of friends and watch the election coverage and results together? This is a historic election and there will be a lot of exciting coverage and commentary to hear about. It will give you an opportunity to share the enthusiasm and excitement with others and feel connected.

6. If you’re thinking of sitting out the elections because you don’t like the candidates, etc. think about your parents, grandparents or other family members who sacrificed a lot to bring your family to the U.S. to enjoy the freedom of speech and the right to vote for elected officials. In many countries, people still don’t have the right to vote and participate in democracy.  So let’s use our vote and the privilege wisely.

7. How about thinking of the kids and people who can’t vote? Your vote for candidates who represent issues that affect all Americans is a critical one. How about voting for the people who can’t vote or who don’t currently have the right?

This is an exciting time and November 4, 2008 is right around the corner.  Mable

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