Sunday, June 03, 2007

She wants more women to run for political office

She wants more women to run for political office Ms. Lawless, 32, co-author of the book, 'It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run For Office,' said the three most common reasons that women cite for not running for office are family responsibilities, doubts about their qualifications and that they haven't been specifically asked to run.
Well, I'm not so sure I agree.

People don't run for office -- people of both genders -- because they have better things to do with their time, money, efforts and emotions.

People don't run for office because it is a 'sink.' And, the sink (think sink hole) is massive.

The ROI (return on investment) for a campaign is fleeting. It isn't nill. But, the return is but a fraction of what is invested into the endeavor.

As to being asked to run, I think it is more telling when there are those who ask you NOT to run. I've been asked to NOT run for office many times. And, around western PA, the really interesting conversations happen when folks are bumped from campaigns, elbowed out, discounted as being "nutso", and are given perks to bail out.

Furthermore, there are plenty of times when I've seen people beg others to run -- only to be upset later. I've asked others to run for office. I've done that a lot. I've recruited candidates. But, I've not gone to great lengths to get them to run. I won't be a beggar to get a candidate into the public limelight. And, what does that say when there are others who are asked to run by having their arm twisted -- rather than being self appointed.

You need to know what you're getting into by being a candidate. Think it through. Think it through with others. Ask questions. I'll visit with you. But make your own decisions. And, make your own decisions to not run as well.

You can run to a problem. You can run from a problem. Or, you can stand and face the problem. Or, stand and face other directions. Life isn't generally an "ON" vs. "OFF" decision as there is a third option of "NEITHER."

I've got better things to do in life as well. But sure, I can stand from office, but at the same time I can do part of it from New Zealand.

Another huge problem as to why people don't run for office -- men and women -- is the media. In Pittsburgh, the media is a big, big problem. The is little trust there.

I feel that more people would get interested in running for office if there was more trust in the fourth estate. I'm talking about the local newspapers, radio shows, TV shows and bloggers (all new media) could be counted upon and trusted.

In other cities, with better media trust, the coverage is such that opportunities are presented to candidates to get their messages out to the people. With the universal understanding of better media dealings comes the associated opportunities of getting better candidates to enter the process.

We have people winning Pittsburgh elections who do NOT have web sites, could NOT build a web site, and can't get media coverage. They are flying under the radar, by design. They rely upon a few key alliances. They run under a party banner and can thrive when there are little hopes of being exposed. This angle of attack for candidates and campaigns is alive and well in Pittsburgh, sadly. They don't have a story to tell. They don't have solutions to deliver. And, they don't have the skills and tools to bring to the job at hand.

Our political landscape in Pittsburgh isn't healthy in terms of its coverage of candidates and campaigns. Hence, we have what we have -- too often. This is the same concept that frustrated Bill Peduto. He pulled out -- because of this very reason.

Furthermore, DeSantis can run, because of this very reason.

This needs to be fixed, and our best hope is to fix it ourselves with a 'surge' in online communications. Bloggers have done a great deal to help in these areas in recent times. But, there is still a lot to do.

Of interest in the article is the mention of children. Humm. Only three men mentioned "it" -- in surveys of thousands of men and women running for office. That is a telling fact that doesn't fit with my situation. I'm a man but I'm talking about children, kids, the youth and the future -- all the time. I don't ONLY talk about my kids and our kids -- but it is a pressing theme for justification of my acts and what I'm about.

A big part of the reasoning for my decisions to stand for office is children. I want our world and our city to thrive so our kids can enjoy opportunities here and be free to make their own lives for themselves without departing the region.

The comes the end of the story. The "punch line."

"Any man will run for office, but women hold themselves up to an unrealistic bar," she said. "When women run, women win."
B.S. Talk about holding up to an unrealistic bar is followed with an unrealistic statement.

How about this instead. "We all win when women run." Or better, "We all win when good people become candidates more often." Or better said for Pittsburgh, "We all lose when nobody runs because nobody gets coverage."

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