Book Review: Your Voice, Your Vote by Martha Burk

The biggest complaint I hear from my friends around election time is that they just don't understand all the issues and what candidates are arguing about. Who is right on Social Security? What really will jump start our economy again? Is there really a War on Women?

Luckily for us Martha Burk, co-founder of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, has written Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman's guide to Power, Politics and the Change We Need.

As we enter the final days of Election 2012 and with the conventions [DNC/RNC] just days away, this is a must have for every voter, not just women voters.

Burk spends the first six chapters painting the political landscape and why it is important to have women in leadership positions. Chapter three dissects the gender gap -- the phenomena
where women tend to vote Democrat over Republican.

But the heart of this book is Burk's explanation of the issues. Taxes, health care, reproductive rights, war, the military, pay equity, Social Security, and many more. All issues that few of us are comfortable explaining to a friend. As much of a policy wonk that I am, there are issues where I learned a lot from Burk's explanations.

Burk spends most of the book drilling home the message that women must go out and vote. And to vote for our rights:
If your incumbent "brings home the bacon" in road and bridge projects but votes against your basic rights on abortion, you can't look the other way. If a candidate promises to solve the mortgage crisis but stands against woman's access to paid family leave, child care, or fair pay, don't ignore it. (p13)
While Burk claims that the book is nonpartisan, it is clearly feminist. It does not hold back from criticizing the Democrats for their stances, but those of us who follow political news know that the Grand Old Party wins hands down on legislating against women's rights.

If you are someone who is undecided and still trying to figure out who to vote for at the national, local or state level, you need to get a copy for yourself. Please head over to Powells or Indiebooks. Read the book and then share with the women in your life. Or buy a few copies and start an election discussion group.

Disclaimer:  I requested this book from Martha Burk for review.

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