The election is over and Terry O'Neill is the next President of NOW.
Terry was a VP when I was on the board. I respected her leadership style and her as a feminist. I am excited to see what she brings to our organization in this time of change. I say that not as a diss to her or her slate. I say that because we can all see around us that things are changing. We need to continue to move forward in order to get anything done.
The Sarah Palin supporters swung this election. The election was certainly close enough - less than 10 votes separated the two slates. Then again, if Latifa's supporters had been able to bring just a handful of additional supporters, we'd have an entirely different picture to discuss. The Palin people out organized us, plain and simple.
There are things I won't say here. I know far too many people are reading this and that this is my professional blog not just a personal blog. But I will say that I feel like Chicken Little in some respects. If only...
I haven't seen Latifa this morning, but I did see Janice. She looks good.
Someone asked me how long it would take to implement the internet changes that were promised from both sides. Terry's slate promised a site where every chapter could be hosted on the NOW website - something that sounds like an idea that was floated years ago and was quickly squashed - and I think that sounds like at least one year to be launched.
Some have asked why Palin supporters weren't allowed to speak during the plenary yesterday. Plain and simple, during a plenary isn't a time to vent anyone's grievances. There is a way to do that. Interrupting an invited guest's talk is not the place nor is it a way to gain respect from people who you might win over. The disrespect was overwhelming to people who were somewhat sympathetic.
One of the grievances I heard about was how to address the inclusion of pro-life feminists in NOW. *big ass sigh* If pro-life feminists want to be in NOW, I welcome them. Yes, I welcome them. I welcome them and say, "Join NOW. Join us in our fight to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Join us in pushing for single-payer health insurance so that women don't worry that even if they wanted to be a mom, they couldn't afford to take their baby to well-baby appointments or the immunizations. Join us in winning paid family leave so women can recover from birth and bond with their newborns. Join us crafting a system where college students can be moms and students with affordable infant care on campus. Join us on making choice a real choice. You don't have to escort at clinics, you just need to help us make everything else better."
As a student of feminist history I can't help but think of all the other times when the movement was at a cross-roads, especially when it was pitted as an "old regime versus new generation" battle. We go thru these periods, we battle each other and even with all our bruises, we end up going forward anyway. Our battles may set us back a few years and cost us valuable time, but I also feel that debate is necessary for a healthy movement.
The 2009 election report is as follows:
* 404 total ballots
* 72 ballots not used (meaning ballots printed but not used)
* 1 ballot voided
* 203 votes needed to elect slate
* 198 for NOW is the Times slate
* 206 for Feminist Leadership NOW slate
Now that the results are in, I need to sneak out of here and pack up to head home and celebrate Father's Day with the family.
Thanks to everyone who followed my reports, tweets and even Facebook updates. I'll get around to following people back on Twitter this week. If there are additional questions about this weekend, don't hesitate to ask.
Round-up of my live-blogging from the weekend: