Today’s 3 Things: Political Parity, Douthat’s Delusion, and African American Women’s Priorities and Concerns

Political Parity
Check out Political Parity, a newly formed coalition of political leaders launched to double the number of women in political office by 2020.  A bi-partisan effort, the group is chaired by former US Ambassador Swanee Hunt and co-chaired by former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts Kerry Healey.

The group will be guided by an impressive roster of leaders and advisors, including Mary Hughes who runs the 2012 Project, aimed at increasing women candidates this campaign cycle, and Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), based at Rutgers University.

Back Story on Komen
New York TImes columnist Ross Douthat doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to the breast cancer prevention movement.  In an op-ed on Sunday (where the overall point of his column was to take the media to task for “siding with Planned Parenthood and ignoring half of America”), he makes this un-researched claim:

. . . the fight against breast cancer is unifying and completely uncontroversial. . . .

Anyone familiar with the breast cancer prevention movement — or who bothered to do a Google search — knows that there are deep fissures in the community.

The back story is that the Komen Foundation is a white-glove advocacy outfit, tepid in its pursuit of environmental contributors to breast cancer, and closely tied to its corporate contributors.

At the other side of the spectrum is the feisty and effective Breast Cancer Action, founders of the Think Before you Pink campaign committed to raising questions about “pink ribbon marketing, the conflicts of interest in the cancer industry, and why so many women are still being diagnosed.”

African-American Women: Priorities & Concerns
The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation teamed up to conduct a fascinating national survey focusing on “Black Women in America” — which hasn’t received enough attention.  Click here for the January 23 article in the Washington Post, and here for the poll results on priorities and concerns and impressions of First Lady Michelle Obama. Pay particular attention to what people worry about and their different perceptions about the impacts of racism and sexism in their lives.  Also, huge majorities of both African American and white women believe the First Lady is both a good mom and a good role model.

Women & Families Hurt by Recession and Budget Cuts

Here’s a link to an opinion piece, Women, families hurt most by recession, budget cuts, I wrote for HealthyCal.org.

The article covers a game-changing study released by the California Budget Project and the Women’s Foundation of California.  Here a link to Falling Behind: The Impact of the Great Recession and the Budget Crisis on California’s Women and their Families.