Heather L. Barmore
No Pasa Nada Heather Barmore Elsewhere About
Heather L. Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices

    Tuesday
    Oct212014

    Dispatch from Madrid: III

    (Dispatch from Madrid: I & Dispatch from Madrid: II)

    (This dispatch was written in Madrid but posted in Washington, DC because I am back in the US. Yay!)


    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost." ~H. Jackson Brown

    October 16, 2014: I just spent a ridiculous amount of time prying a gray hair (or two) from my eyebrow. I would say farewell to my dignity but I never had that much in the first place. Whatever. I’ll be 31 sooner rather than later. Though I am not where I had once expected to be (for once I am not contemplating the state of my ovaries), I am here. Standing in this apartment in Madrid, plucking gray hairs and overwhelmingly open, willing and able to welcome what is next. For the first time in a long time I am excited. Genuinely, heart-stoppingly, grinningly excited.

    Monday
    Oct132014

    Help New York Make Women's Equality a Reality

    Even though I am out of the country I am still working hard on election related items. A big one for me is to see the Women's Equality Party realized this coming November 4th. My lovely mother, Peggy Barmore (yay moms!), attended the kick off for the Women's Equality Express and wrote about it for this site.

    On Saturday, October 4, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled his Women’s Equality Express  a large coach bus accompanied by about a half dozen black Chevy Tahoes, into the parking lot of Albany’s Labor Temple, an often-used venue for public display of a meeting of the mind between organized labor and politicians in the state capital.

    Albany was the first stop for the express, which would make two more stops in Syracuse and Rochester before the day was done to kick off the campaign for the Women’s Equality Party. Christine Quinn, the former New York City Council Speaker and Mayoral candidate kicked things off  with the help of former Speaker of the New York City Council and New York City Mayoral candidate, Christine Quinn, who had this to say, “[The Women’s Equality Express] will travel all over the state between now and Election Day, sharing one important message; to empower, engage and excite people to go out on Election Day and make sure women and men who support women are heard loud and clear.”

    A standing-room-only crowd of state and local politicians, working women and men, community activists and media, were on hand to greet Governor Cuomo. Fathers hoisted young daughters on their shoulders, campaign-style placards called for “Choice” and “Full Equality,” and advocates for groups like Planned Parenthood donned pink tee shirts with the message: “Women Are Watching… And We Vote.”

    Maybe it’s my age, but all of this seemed vaguely familiar, like déjà vu, and rightfully so. I read the 10-point plank of the Women’s Equality Party, founded in the wake of state Senate Republicans’ rejection of the governor’s Women’s Equality Act in June.  As Cuomo himself would ask, who can be against:
        •    Pay equity for women,
        •    Stopping sexual harassment in every workplace;
        •    Stopping businesses from discriminating against pregnant women;
        •    Strengthening human trafficking laws;
        •    Ending hiring and salary discrimination against parents;
        •    Stopping landlord discrimination against women who depend on housing assistance;
        •    Stopping housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence;
        •    Allowing for the recovery of attorneys’ fees in employment, credit and lending cases;
        •    Protecting victims of domestic violence by strengthening order-of-protection laws;
        •    And applying the full standards of Roe v. Wade in New York?

    The ten points of the Women’s Equality Party plank aren’t solely for new laws but to also elect new lawmakers who have the political will to enforce legislation already on the books and the courage to appoint judges who are unafraid to uphold those laws.  Or, better yet, lawmakers who understand firsthand what’s at stake when politicians and corporations put financial and political gain ahead of equity and fairness and use the courts to reverse the progress of the last several decades.

    What is heartening about the Women’s Equality Express is the number of women leaders on board. In Albany, Cuomo was accompanied by Quinn, his lieutenant governor choice Kathy Hochul, Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin, NARAL Pro-Choice NY President Andrea Miller, Family Planning Advocates of NYS President and CEO Tracey Brooks, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, state Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan.

    NARAL’s Miller said, “New York is long overdue for making equality a right for women. The Women’s Equality Act will simply align NYS with Roe vs. Wade.”
    Brooks reminded the audience that “women are not a special interest,” while taking a shot at Cuomo’s rival, Republican candidate Rob Astorino. “Astorino is not a Rockefeller Republican,” Brooks said. “He’s not a Republican this state needs.”

    Hochul, who's in line to become only the second female Democratic candidate to hold the office of lieutenant governor in New York since Mary Anne Krupsak became the first female lieutenant governor in 1974, said, “If not us, then who will lead this charge?”

    “We can’t look to the Supreme Court of the United States of America to protect women after Hobby Lobby,” she said. “Gov. Cuomo is committed to righting the injustices against women in this state. That’s what the Women’s Equality Agenda is all about.”

    Cuomo put it differently. “This is about fundamental political change,” he told the crowd. Citing the passage of the Marriage Equality Act and his universal pre-kindergarten bill, he added “we want to make that kind of profound difference for women.”

    The Women’s Equality Party and it’s platform isn’t just rhetoric but renews the emphasis on the need for more women as elected leaders, judges and CEOs. Women in positions to act without the need for a male sponsor would result in real and enduring change and would truly make the women of New York (and any other state) equal to any male and, in the words of Governor Cuomo, “as entitled to full equality and full respect as any boy”.

    Learn more about the Women’s Equality Party here.

    Follow the WEP on Twitter and Facebook.

    Monday
    Oct132014

    Dispatch from Madrid: II

    (Click for the first dispatch from Madrid)

    "Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

    October 8, 2014: When you go out to eat here you just sit at a table. There is no requesting permission or formalities. It’s a free for all and people are eager to feed you. Yesterday I was given croquetas with my wine because who doesn’t like some fried food to go with their drink? Speaking of food ALL I DO IS EAT That’s it. Sure, there are a few moments of writing and walking and pondering the great mysteries of life but with each day I wonder what food there is to try next. My friends and family are going to be sorely disappointed when all I have for souvenirs is copious amounts of tortilla and loaves of freshly baked bread but whoops! Ate that too.

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