(AV17610) Women. Leadership and Service

(AV17610) Women. Leadership and Service


good evening my name is Diane vice
Durham and I’m the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and
Politics at Iowa State University and I’m pleased to welcome you to tonight’s
lecture on behalf of the Kat Center the women’s leadership consortium which is
part of the office of the executive vice president and provost and the committee
on lectures which is funded by GSB for this first in a series of two
presentations that we’ll have this spring called the women’s leadership
series tonight speaker how inaugurating our spring 2010 series is jackie norris
who will be introduced by Nora Tobin Nora is a senior in political science
and international studies and serves as co-chair of world affairs series and
also is a global ambassador for international student exchange programs
she has studied or done volunteer work in the Honduras the Netherlands Uganda
South Africa as well as served as a World Food Prize foundation intern and
Nora and several of the students associated with the Kat Center had the
pleasure earlier this evening of having dinner
with Jackie so please welcome Nora Tobin hello thank you for joining us today
before I introduce tonight’s speaker I’d like to take a moment and put on my hat
as the co-chair of world affairs series a member of Committee on lectures and
tell you about a couple of upcoming lectures we have for next week next
Monday March 8th the 8 p.m. will host the author of laughing without an accent
peruse a Dumas as part of International Women’s celebration and Women’s History
Month and the following day on Tuesday March 9th at 8 p.m. we invite you to
join us for an evening with award-winning investigative journalist
and author Seymour Hersh who will speak on the crisis in American foreign policy
it’s my pleasure to introduce to you all tonight jackie norris she’s a senior
advisor to the Corporation for National and Community Service which includes
Teach for America and AmeriCorps she previously served as the chief of staff
for first lady Michelle Obama and other Washington credentials include serving
as scheduler for Vice President Al Gore director of scheduling and advance for
HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo and service on the staff of US Representative Louise
slaughter her Iowa credentials include serving as Barack Obama’s senior advisor
on the Iowa caucus campaign and state director on the general election on Tom
Vilsack gubernatorial campaign and as Al Gore’s political director for Iowa
during the 2000 presidential election MS norris completed her teacher’s
certification and master’s degree in political science here at Iowa State
University please join me in welcoming jackie norris hello hi everybody I just say hi to I
see my family seated this is just wonderful go Nora’s family and I want to
thank Pat Miller and Diane by Sturm for hosting me tonight and Nora thanks for
the wonderful introduction you do really wonderful work on behalf of all the
students here and you bring in great speakers and challenging speakers and I
just think that’s a wonderful thing about Iowa State University I also want
to say it’s good to be home and this is really kind of funny I birth three
children here I got married here I bought two homes here I taught here I
got my graduate degrees here got married here I have family here I lived here for
ten years and some people say that I’m not really
an Iowan but I have to tell you this feels like home so thanks for allowing
me to be here I also was told that the best way to deliver a speech when you’re
nervous is to tell a joke so I’m gonna try one I’m not sure it’s gonna go over
here because this is a mixed crowd but they’re with me Katie Couric shared this
at a conference I won’t went to once whence you so there was a married couple
in their early 60s celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary they were
having a fabulous dinner and a fairy godmother appeared and for being so
loving she said I’m gonna give each of you a wish the wife answered I want to
travel the world with my wonderful dear absolutely fabulous husband so poof two
tickets for the Queen Mary to appeared then it was the husband’s turn he said
that an opportunity like this would never come again sorry sweetheart my
wish is for a wife 30 years younger than me well wish is a wish so the fairy
godmother thought about it she waved her wand and poof the husband became 92
years old so the moral of the story is that men
who are ungrateful should remember that fairy godmothers are women and that’s
what brings me here tonight to celebrate Women’s History Month as I sat down to
prepare for tonight I was struck by the realization that’s speaking here today
on the topic women leadership and service is really broad and it could go
in a lot of different directions I could speak about may Jameson who was the
first African American woman in space I could talk about Rosa Parks who played a
significant role in the civil rights movement I could talk about Melba
Pattillo and the role that she played in the integration at Central High I could
talk about Hillary Clinton and the role that she played on how people view a
typical presidential candidate but I also decided I could use the time to
talk more personally about my reflections on life leadership and the
critical role that women play and do play in service so I’m gonna begin a
little bit about with a little bit about me and a little bit about my family the
introduction gave you a sense of my background let me expand quickly and
tell you about the federal agency that I work for the Corporation for National
and Community Service it’s such a painful name we really should be called
the department of service or something like that I call us the little engine
that could it’s a small power-packed agency we’re the largest grant maker in
supportive service and volunteering we give grants to nonprofit organizations
to faith-based organizations and local municipalities all across the country
most people are familiar with AmeriCorps programs like Teach for America or City
Year or RSVP programs which support seniors across the country my job is to
support and implement the President and First Lady’s national service agenda
President Obama recently signed into law the Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act
it’s a historic opportunity to provide infrastructure to communities where
service can be a solution to local problems last year of the corporation
engaged 5.5 million Americans in service to their communities activities ranged
from delivering food to tutoring caring for homebound seniors
providing disaster relief building playgrounds cleaning up parks and so
much more the corporation is also charged with leading high-profile
efforts like Martin Luther King Day jr. Day of Service the September 11th
National Day of Service and remembrance and President Obama’s united we serve
campaign in addition to what was shared on what I just shared in my bio I also
have three little wonderful adorable boys Grandma Patsy yay but anyways they
are Washington there they are really enjoying their Washington experience and
I look around the room and I was pregnant with her but anyways it’s just
fun because I see so many faces of people that probably held the babies
when they were born and really supported supported the kids so what are the
Norris kids do in Washington they tour monuments they explore museums they ride
the Metro throughout the city they attended their first rock concert on the
White House lawn it was the Foo Fighters and somehow
Bruce Springsteen didn’t seem as much fun after they had been at a concert at
the White House lawn they have played with first dog Bo they’ve hung out in
the Rose Garden Sam manages some really good temper
tantrums sometimes in really interesting places
like the one he had in the White House when he couldn’t play on Sasha and
Malia’s place that because it was raining out but anyways he’s there
having a great time and they’re really enjoying it and some of you know my
husband John was recently confirmed to FERC to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission and he’s doing wonderfully so tonight I wanted to share 7 reflections
on life and leadership that have helped me get where I am today and that I think
have taught me a lot about kind of life and and in life in the professional
world throughout the lessons I’ve tried to weave in some stories that I think
would be interesting and if I there’s something that I don’t touch on tonight
I want to answer questions afterwards so I’ll be pretty brief in my remarks and
just open it up for questions lesson one have a positive attitude I
hope I’m not channeling my mom here but this is really important have a positive
attitude I think I’ve always been the eternal optimist some of my earliest
memories were for my childhood ones that I think in
hindsight seemed like they were from a 1950s TV show my mom told me that when I
was young I would hop out of bed in the morning stretch my arms smile and say
today is the first day of the rest of my life and I think about it and I realized
I still do that in some form today on bad days I pump myself up with my
today’s gonna be a good day anybody do that when you really don’t want to get
bad you said today’s gonna be a really good day it’s gonna be the best day I
say it out loud and I say it was such conviction that next thing you know I’m
out of bed when the kids wake up I sing them a little song that drives them
absolutely crazy and I won’t sing it for you because I’m tone-deaf but it
basically says it’s gonna be a great day it’s gonna be a great day and I poke him
in the belly until they finally admit that it’s going to be a great day but
the the motto is even if you weren’t confident that you could succeed you had
to pretend like you were and give it your all and I’ve always felt that if
you do your very best you will very rarely regret you might regret the
outcome you might not be happy with where you ended up but you won’t regret
your level of effort and for me having the right attitude has always seemed
like half the battle and that’s how hopes become realities second lesson
girls and women need to stick together high school the place where no matter
how hopeful you are and how hard you work some days the harsh realities can
invade your world to this day some of my saddest memories are from high school
now there were some highs the purple 80’s parachute pants the first real kiss
the hot pink taffeta prom dress with matching heels but also some real lows
the gossip the girl fights the ever-changing fast-paced nature of who’s
in and who’s out is there any wonder they made a movie called Mean Girls and
set it in a high school high school girls can be harsh Petty and cruel not
only to each other but to themselves as well then and now I ask myself why is it
that we are so hard on ourselves high school should be our safe haven it
should be the place that we build each other up not tear each other down and
fortunately girls in high schools tend to develop insecurities and views of
themselves that stick with them for the rest of their lives I distinctly
remember how much I wanted high school to be different if someone other than my
mom because of course who listens to their mom when you’re in high school
would have said you know don’t take anything personally
nothing others do is because of you when you are immune to the opinions and
actions of others you won’t be the victim of needless suffering my high
school years might have been a bit brighter but I didn’t have that lesson
at that point but it’s also critical that we remember that programs here in
Iowa State here in Ames here and all across the country that programs need to
continue to build up adolescent girls and we need to support programs that
build up adolescent girls teaching them how to build each other up not to tear
each other down later in life I realized just how important it was to have gal
pals to have a support system especially in the tough world of politics
I always remember picture me wife teacher home owner mother of three just
doing what I’m doing and real life just snuck up on me
and all of a sudden you realize and many of you in this room know motherhood is
hard work it’s hard we’re responsible for so much it’s physically exhausting
it’s emotionally draining and it’s even harder when we put pressure on ourselves
to be supermom we stress over the employment choices we make do we stay
home with the kids do we work you know it was Michelle Obama that really
described the mommy debate quite well she would often say that as women we are
our own worst enemy the choices that we make around the work family balance
whatever you do is likely best for you at that moment in time so why are we so
hard on ourselves another woman who make different choices as women we need to
work harder at supporting each other and the choices we make Madeleine Albright
once said I think there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t
support and help each other lesson 3 the importance of speaking up my first job
was a receptionist on Capitol Hill for congresswoman Louise slaughter I had
interned for her in New York when I was in college and was lucky that there was
a job opening in her Washington office so I ventured
from my home state of New York to the capital city I was making seventeen
thousand five hundred dollars a year big money for the hill believe it or not
lived in a group house and ate lots of ramen noodles
I also learned this from congresswoman slaughter a woman’s voice in government
is crucial when I was working for her in the early 1990s she attended a Budget
Committee hearing on health issues she looked at the federal budget and noticed
that there was a research funding line item for men’s health but and I know
this won’t surprise some of you not one for women’s health if you know
congresswoman slaughter you know this didn’t please her so she decided to
teach all these men on the budget committee a little something about
women’s health by slowly reciting some women’s health stories and their
corresponding body parts sorry in advance Joey cervix pap smear mammogram
breast cancer STD cervical cancer and she went on and on and on she said all
of the men in the room turned a bright red because they were so embarrassed
listening to her diatribe about women’s body parts but an incredibly powerful
moment and proof that if she had not been sitting in that room elevating
women’s health stories our federal budget might look a little bit different
women’s health research funding has continued to increase over time and now
it’s more common that you hear them talking about women’s health breast
cancer or mammograms things like that because of the work that she’s done by
pushing that health funding line item I’m really proud to say that
congresswoman Louise slaughter is still a role model to me and I’m so proud to
see her as chair of the House Rules Committee which is a really powerful
slot in Congress especially for her and and all the work that she’s done so
women continue to make strides in holding elected office but we have a lot
of work to do especially here in the great state of Iowa for a reference
point if we continue to have women elected at the rate they are to Congress
and governor’s seat we will have parity in take a guess and
anyone take a guess how many years 500 parody in 500 years somehow I don’t
think we want to wait that long so let’s go women okay
lesson 4 the importance of asking you never know unless you ask I learned this
from former lieutenant governor Sally Peterson she was and is an excellent
example of not taking no for an answer she was always able to attract people to
the campaign and later to government because she sold a vision she was
aggressive she would ask people to engage in the campaign in several
different ways at several different times this was a really crucial learning
experience for me because it taught me to be aggressive but tactful and then if
you want people to be advocates you need to allow people to engage in different
ways and at different entry points there’s no cookie cutter approach and
this was a lesson that I took to heart and later replicated at the Obama
campaign lesson 5 just go for it when you least expect it the next adventure
hunts you down I had been teaching government to high school students at
Johnston high school when a friend started talking to me about a
presidential campaign and some guy named Barack Obama
I listened was intrigued and then said I cannot do this in my life right now I
just don’t see a place for politics in a big role on a presidential campaign it’s
funny but I just celebrated my three-year
3-month anniversary working with the Obamas it seems like I just started this
yesterday but I was wrong and I decided that I had to do this after a few
sleepless nights talked to my husband I realized that if I was going to be a
role model for my own kids and for the kids that I taught and be an agent of
change that I wanted them to be then I had to be the activist that I wanted my
children to be so like a crazy person I signed on to the campaign a senior
adviser to the presidential endeavor and quite honestly it was Michelle Obama’s
words that often got me through a grueling presidential campaign one of
the pieces of advice she gave was to set boundaries and
stick to them as I was trying to think through how I could work on a campaign
and be a good mom her thoughts were to be relentless and unyielding when it
comes to protecting your time with your family and I’m proud to say I did I was
not perfect I set the boundaries I tried my best and I delegated which is funny
because it’s hard to delegate I’m not the best delegator I think a lot of
people have a hard time trusting others to do the job but it’s an important task
that I learned to do I also made the conscious choice to invest our children
in the work that I was doing so they understood that work wasn’t about the
money it was about the impact the kids loved
coming to the campaign headquarters marched in parades and later they came
to the White House and visited and had ice cream or met me in a nearby park for
lunch but they were always connected to what I was doing
and why I made the choice that I did lesson six the importance of fulfillment
I just want to tell you that if you think you know what you want to do for
the rest of your life when you grow up mmm think again because I always I
always just struggle with that because I think that every day I wake up and say
well maybe I want to do this maybe I want to do this maybe I want to do this
I’m at every stage in my life I found myself inventory where I am and where I
want to go and someone once said if you don’t get lost in the woods every once
in a while then you must be on somebody else’s trail I encourage you to always
think about this professional fulfillment is critical to your
happiness so take the time to reflect and think about this often this is an
experience I very recently went through I had the best job in Washington DC the
honor of being part of the transition team and then the team that guided the
President and First Lady in the first six months in the White House it was
extraordinary there were days where I would pinch myself and say I cannot
believe I’m here I will never forget one time sitting in my office in the East
Wing when we heard this incredibly loud noise one that frightened me at first
because it sounded like an air attack which they’ve trained us to handle you
put these orange things on your face and you basically gives you air and you hope
that somebody comes and helps you a little scary but anyways but upon
realizing what it was it was marine one the president the president’s helicopter
landing on the White House lawn I remember looking around at my staff we
all congregated in the first lady’s office we were standing on the couches
screaming and saying the president’s home the president’s home so I of course
thought it was my job to email the first lady to make sure she knew that her
husband was home and she kindly emailed me back and said you think it’s loud
there it’s really loud where I’m standing and she was on the Truman
balcony we looked out the windows and there she was on the Truman balcony
welcoming her husband home it doesn’t happen anymore but it was the first time
so she felt like she should go out there welcome him home there are more high
points than I have time to tell planting the first ever White House kitchen
garden with inner-city school kids many who had never been to see the White
House a private performance by Josh Groban in the White House foyer sneaking
out in motorcades to get burgers and fries
first lady lunch is a girls night where we watched he’s just not that into you
in the White House movie theater and officially meeting my first queen one
moment in particular stands out attending the first bill signing the
lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 a law that will make it easier for people
to get the pay they deserve regardless of their gender race or age I looked
around to see other female staff experiencing the same emotion I had I am
witnessing a moment where the president has made this country a better place for
women and girls I really I will always remember that night I heard that I think
lilly Ledbetter is gonna be coming back which I encourage you to come and listen
to her she’s got such a compelling story dream job right and yeah I have to admit
I struggled a lot before my family got there my weeks sometimes included
breakfast lunch and dinner at the White House the food in the White House mess
is delicious and no the taxpayers don’t pay for it I do but I felt really
disengaged I was just engaged for my family I wasn’t connected with their
daily needs and activities but I was really torn because this was my dream
job right I mean I was chief of staff to the first lady of the United States and
she was a rock star and a friend I loved working for
her and implementing her plans and her projects but something was missing for
me it’s hard to put my finger on what it was but it was just as hard to admit
that I wasn’t happy because I’ve already said this is dream job what I eventually
realized was this I was not only losing my connection to my family but to the
outside world as well this is really hard to explain but in Washington I’d
walk past protesters and tourists and visitors but I’d never really engaged
with them in conversation the White House was just very
disconnected from the events that were happening right in front of you being on
that the hours were tremendously long the stress was intense even when I tried
to set my boundaries spending time with my family didn’t mean I could stop being
chief of staff the decisions and stress never went away my job was to be the
day-to-day decision-maker for a very important person and I really felt like
I wasn’t doing anything right not at home not at work not even in my own mind
I began to wonder if this was the right job for me
and that was a hard question to admit even in my own head let allow to say let
alone just say it out loud to somebody else even my husband John because asking
that question also means you’re admitting that maybe you’re a failure or
maybe you’re failing and this is where sage advice of other women really helped
the end of the day they reminded me that this was about happiness this was about
success and not being happy and a job doesn’t mean that you’re not successful
or that you’re a failure just means you’re not happy simple as that and that
to me is a really important lesson about both dream jobs and relationships now
someday maybe 20 years from now and my children are grown I might be better
able to put in the long hours and do all the social obligations necessary to hold
a high profile job for that for them but at this point that’s not where I am the
first lady allowed me to admit that and even helped me be okay with that in the
end I was lucky I went from a dream job to my dreams
at the Corporation for National and Community Service now that I’ve shared
these lessons I want to talk a little bit about the power of you having had
the opportunity to teach high school both at Ames high school and Perry high
school and Johnston high school for years for five years I loved the job and
I hated the job really for me teaching one of the most powerful things was the
ability to help somebody find their voice
I found myself constantly stressing to my students that they couldn’t afford to
be ignorant they couldn’t afford to be naive that they couldn’t afford to be
muzzled and one of the things I loved so much about teaching was helping young
adults identify their attitudes and opinions and work to actualize their
emotions it’s a really amazing process you see Rebecca here we went through
that together in government at Johnston high school this isn’t just about
getting people involved in the political process it’s about getting them to care
to think to engage and engagement takes all different forms for some it’s
getting involved in their religious institution there’s its local government
for some it’s engaging with their schools leadership or their favorite
nonprofit the bottom line is that engaging means becoming a doer you
intentionally go from being a passive voice to an active voice and getting
involved serving doing volunteering that’s how problems get solved let’s
look at some snapshots around people getting involved in 2009 roughly 27% of
the adult population volunteered that’s up slightly from 2008 in Iowa 37 percent
of residents volunteered go Iowa ranking us fifth among the 50 states in DC in
Iowa 1.8 billion dollars worth of service was contributed I highlight the
financial numbers because in tough Financial Times cities counties and
states are looking to volunteers to help pick up the slack where there’s budget
cuts many cities are creating chief service officers and tasking them to
develop a service plan to help better connect government and social sector
resources organize volunteers for the health of
the community and research shows that there’s also something in it for you too
if you volunteer it improves your health seriously
so let’s look about what we know of women who serve in our country when I
said that what’s the image that came to your mind women who serve this country
military right and are the women in the military is such a strong component but
there’s so much more that women do in our country in our world the national
volunteer rate for women is about 29 percent in Iowa take a guess what
percent of women volunteer 41 percent okay 41 percent roughly four hundred
eighty-six thousand women in Iowa volunteer and they continue to get more
involved in their communities over the years they cite fundraising collection
and distribution of food tutoring teaching general labor as moat as the
most likely outlets to volunteer now there’s a few local snippets that I want
to share with you as well people who volunteer not sure if she’s here tonight
but it’s Laura Logsdon here hi there she is
okay so um right here in Nome backyard we have Laura Logsdon who is an
outstanding Vista worker Laura works with a team of people in establishing
United aims a program that is committed to creating a community dialogue around
issues of race inclusion and ensuring that Ames continues to be welcoming a
welcoming community for all of its residents she did this fresh out of
college why’d she do it as she said to gain hands-on experience work in her
local community and engage with local nonprofits around a course around a
cause she is passionate about and then there’s Doris Duke Amburg is Doris here
tonight hi Doris Doris is here in the house tonight
Doris Newcomb burg has been a local volunteer for the past twelve years
following 52 years in the work force versus a teacher in the Des Moines
school system and later as a fraternity house mother in Tennessee Doris has
become a regular volunteer and a fixture in her Ames Iowa community over the past
12 years Doris has served in a local emergency room elementary school
classroom with the Iowa Special Olympics the
Heartland Adult Day Center and at Reiman Gardens Doris’s motto is one’s age
should not dictate what can or cannot be done just do it for Doris age is truly
just a number her years of service though are incredibly inspirational and
her valuable work is changing lives everyday
Doris with her limitless optimism and enthusiasm is a wonderful example of the
phenomenal service that Americans are providing all over the country to better
the lives of neighbors in her community I’m really excited tonight to give her
something special I don’t know she knows about it but Doris you want to come on
up here so these are one of the fun things I get to do with my job so there
is a world award called the president’s volunteer service award and it goes to
people that have volunteered limitless hours for their community this is a
letter from the president and I’ll read the first paragraph it says
congratulations on receiving the president’s volunteer service award and
thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your community in
our country and then goes on to whole other blabbity blah stuff but anyways
I’ll give that to you and I’m also going to present you with this wonderful pin
that’s a thank you right so I have to say I’ve loved Dora since
the minute I met her because she kind of barge down the door I think the day that
I had twins and she’s like let me Adam let me at him what can I do
let me help let me help and she’s just always been just a wonderful cheerleader
for everybody so I’ve given you all of the thoughts that I have
I’ve told you where I am at this particular point in my life but to be
honest I don’t really know where I’ll be next and I wonder if other people are
that same way too it’s where’s my how is my script working is it working does it
fit am I happy does this make sense you know where I am right now and where
should I go next I don’t have all the answers to that but I can tell you the
few things that come to my mind whenever I think about what I want to do next
number one I want to get out of my comfort zone the power of social media
is all around us and I do not get it Twitter Facebook Flickr what else is
there that I just don’t get you know all that stuff I don’t understand it you can
create a revolution from your couch you can and I don’t know how to do it and I
want to know how to do it so I want to become an educated consumer of all
things social media I want to learn how it can I can use it to fulfill my
visions but also how to teach other people I also want to live a life that’s
meaningful one that I will look back and say wow look what I did
it does not have to be big it doesn’t have to be splashy but it has to have
impact I want to say that I did my part and that’s my charge to you as well
analyze your script is it working are you doing what you want to do to create
the life you want for yourself this is the power we have and this is the moment
to do it I want to close by thanking my alma mater and for providing a really
great opportunity for me to share some ideas challenge us to think about our
visions our goals legacies and and for you to recognize the power within each
of you and how much you have the power to change just by doing becoming an
active doer I’m also happy to stay and answer some questions and chat
afterwards if you want and that’s it okay thanks for having me okay thanks Jackie Jackie said we do
have time for questions and then after the question answer period there are
gonna be some treats in the back of the room that we also invite you to join us
for some snacks at the end of this so Nora Tobin is going to be passing around
a microphone and I’m going to pass this on to Jackie but just raise your hand if
you want to ask a question and Nora will find you so questions don’t be shy you
have to ask at least two questions there also be no treats hi Jackie hello I’d
like to know what you think about the fact that so many women are volunteering
in Iowa but we’ve never had a woman governor nor a woman elected to Congress
and it seems to me a lot of that volunteering would be excellent
groundwork for a campaign right no I think you’re right it’s interesting we
talked about this just a little bit because one of the things we talked
about at dinner is why is it that women are more involved why are they
volunteering more what is that number how does that come to bear and one of
the things that we talked about was typically the outlets so as a mother of
three I’m volunteering because I’m I’m finding the volunteer opportunities
through my kids and through their schools and through all the things that
go to support their education and their kind of their infrastructure what I
think is interesting is that women typically see themselves behind the
scenes and maybe not the person who’s managing the scene and I wonder if
that’s really the next step that we have to start pushing women because we have
we have the power right we have the ability to to do the work and so why is
it that we aren’t taking that next step Diane I don’t know if you want to cite
any research I’m gonna put her on the spot cuz you know she was my thesis
committee advisor so is there anything you want to add to to what research
shows about well yeah it was we talked a little bit dinner tonight you know women
kind of came out of a volunteerism role before while they were
we’re not working outside the home and so there actually was a decrease in
volunteer rates among women when women went more into the workforce but
organizations I’d like to also cite the League of Women Voters we have several
representative there today you know worked with organizations to get women
back into volunteers and as you said the research does show that oftentimes it
comes through volunteering for issues that affect their lives like children
and family issues so the volunteerism rates of women have always been higher
than men and as pointed out I think at dinner tonight by one of our students is
that men often times see while their volunteerism is service in the military
and so this question really relates more to volunteering itself I’m volunteering
for the campaign of a local state politician he’s not really local but
he’s based in Des Moines and I’m pretty much it’s a one-man operation right now
so I’m just kind of looking for tidbits of how I can generate more of a kind of
a grassroots you know whatever you know upward movin mobility kind of campaign
you know just any kind of information you can get like how can I expand my
volunteer base as much as I can so number one thing is first of all don’t
give up I think that’s one of the one of the best things about campaigns and
about getting involved is that it’s amazing what you can do with the power
of one person the most important thing you could do is ask for help right
figure out who has something in common with your candidate and from there go to
that group and see how they can help because it’s the power of asking right
people don’t know what you want you have to tell them what you want when you want
it and how you want it and I think that’s really important sometimes we say
to people Oh could you help me because sure I’d love to help well actually no
could you help me on Tuesday at 5 o’clock with a mailing that has to go
out by tomorrow and so think about the way you’re engaging people and what
you’re asking also think about doing it on their terms
that’s one of the things I think that really came in handy that we learned
from the Obama camp is that in campaigns there’s the way of
doing things this is the way we do it and you know what this may be the way
you’ve you’ve done it in the past but maybe other people bring new ideas to
the table so think about the voices of people that
want to help your candidate maybe they have non-traditional ideas maybe there’s
ideas that haven’t necessarily worked in the past maybe they have but give them
the benefit of allowing them that opportunity to have input and feel like
they’re a valued member of the team so maybe we can talk more about other way
to other ways to gin up resources but those are just a few things that come to
my mind and good luck you want to make a plug for your candidate that’s the other
thing don’t be shy open mic I’m supporting Bob Krause is Senate run so
you know if you must a little bit about this the district in the seat well it’s
for its chuck Grassley’s seat so you know he’s up for re-election come
November and you know I’m just trying to generate support here in Ames he doesn’t
get much fanfare right now here names I mean most people when I tell him about
them they look at me with a blank stare they have no idea what I’m saying so so
that’s really where I where I come in you know I’m I’ve been in communication
with him about twice directly and you know his daughter is here and everything
I’m talking to her but you know she’s not too into politics and but so you’ve
got your point man so if anybody wants to talk about the Krause campaign make
sure you see this gentleman right here Thanks I’m going to tell you a story about
growing up with my mother okay and when I get done telling the story I’m gonna
ask you a question I was in high school back in the late 50s and my mother owned
a restaurant in a small southern Iowa town and one day there weren’t any
people of any different skin color in the community and one day an
african-american couple came into her restaurant and everybody in her
restaurant looked around and said want you to see what my mother was going to
do and my mother said were serving them and I will never forget that lesson that
my mother gave me wasn’t said in words but she saw people as human beings and I
was wondering do you have some memory from your mother that she taught you
something so profound that it still affects your life today thanks for
sharing that you know I feel I feel it does everybody know who Jack Handey is
clearly my family got that but anyways I’m going to struggle with this answer
because you know I don’t know if you’ve ever seen on debates where you know
journalists have said to presidents what’s the one mistake you’ve made or
what’s the thing that you do differently so I’m struggling to figure out that
really profound thing I think the thing that sticks with me the most about my
parents is hard work and sacrifice and I saw it by actions not necessarily I mean
they talked about it but they also did it so you know the working two or three
jobs the I had the wonderful pleasure of being able to go cross-country with my
family twice in a gold station wagon it was hot during the during the the 70s
and I ate a lot of baloney but but my mom would always say you are eating a
lot of baloney so you could see all of the national parks so it stopped
complaining and you know so but I mean I say it so lovingly right because it was
about hard work and sacrifice to really share and and bring the world and bring
the country alive for their children so thanks for asking that
question come on one more one more come on yeah hi how are you good younger woman who were just starting out
and just wanted to know if you have any advice for women who want to start out
in politic or politics what advice would you give them at this point I think give
a couple of pieces of advice be tough but don’t lose the thing that that keeps
you so connected to the cause I think to me one of the things and I do really
careful because this is gonna come out wrong and and that’s okay you most of
you know me well enough that it might come out wrong and you know don’t judge
me but I think women that there’s a there’s a there’s a connection there
it’s an emotional connection to the work that we do and our value system and how
we bring that to public policy into government and I would say that politics
is a really tough world and you have to be tough to compete in it but you don’t
want to lose your value system and what motivates you and what keeps you
connected so wasn’t as articulate as I would have liked to say it but you got
to wear the pants but keep the heart something like that so hey Jim hi Jackie
Jackie we’re all very happy here in Iowa that we have the caucuses and you have
more experiences than caucuses in Iowa politics and most people do we deserve
it is there something special about Iowa or have we become special here’s what
I’d say is I had the pleasure of coming to Iowa after having lived in New York
in New York my experience with presidential politics was a TV
commercial every once in a while and brochure if I was lucky if somebody in
my home happened to have been a targeted voter and so I think Iowa deserves it
because I do think they take it seriously I think there are some people
who play with the system a little bit for
their own advantage they see themselves in Iowa as political rain makers and
trying to Beus their power but I think for the most part everyday Iowans they
get it they’re showing up they’re participating they’re asking the tough
questions of the candidates and and they haven’t let us down I mean they really
they take it seriously my only hope is that we continue to grow
more and more Iowans continue to get involved in the caucuses but I do think
I think a majority of Iowans have taken this responsibility very seriously and
if gone just just out of curiosity for people that did caucus this year how
many of you saw more than two candidates okay I mean that’s you know I mean you
just don’t kind of follow the blind you actually show up you ask the questions
and you participate what do you think I think we’re the luckiest place in the
country I just love it and I just of course it Ames is just all I really
see I don’t see the state but people are so enthusiastic and we could do go see
to all these candidates and ask him questions why does Joe Biden stand one
niche away from your nose when he talks to you you know I will say one of the
there’s some funny observations that you get from traveling with people on a
presidential campaign and one of the funniest was you know Barack Obama is a
very sweet man and very few things really tick him off but there was this
one person who was literally trying to go to all of his events and get
autographs then he could you know go sell him on eBay and just do all this
crazy stuff and but it turns out that his MO was actually at the end there was
this wonderful montage he had taken pictures with every candidate both
Democrats and Republicans he had all of their autographs he’d profited very well
from the financial financial adventure but it was interesting because finally
towards the end you know Obama wrote his name and then he wrote a price tag 99
dollars so finally the gig was up but it was an
interesting experience I was just wondering what drew you to the Obama
campaign that’s a great question I think for me and I’m gonna point to it Rebecca
because she was at Johnston and I think this is trying to remember if this is
the semester when it happened so I had been teaching and most years were great
but I would say that there was a part of me that this is what they say about the
teacher retention rate I was hitting my fifth year it was kind of feeling a
little burnt out a little bit frustrated and I was I was a little disillusioned I
was feeling like young people weren’t just they weren’t in it they weren’t
fired up they didn’t want to engage and I was just struggling a little bit and
there was this moment when I was talking about politics presidential politics
with the students that I taught and they were so excited about Barack Obama now
let me be clear they didn’t know anything about him right they but they
wanted to learn this is the first moment where young people just wanted to learn
more so you know historically we just didn’t have a lot of interest in the
presidential campaign and so you know whether it was malaise of George Bush or
whatever it was people weren’t interested and so for me it was a
glimmer of hope when people said Oh Barack Obama I’m at least willing to
listen they didn’t say they were gonna go vote for him they were interested and
it was that combined with the fact that I politics was not out of my system and
I and and there was something in reading his words that ignited me personally at
a time in my life where I really I was I was not done I was I was not ready to
sit down and just accept where we were and so I think those two things combined
seeing how young people responded to him and in my interest combined and got me
engaged you just told us that politics wasn’t
out of your system and it occurs to me that you’ve been involved in politics
for a large portion of your life and have you intentionally chosen to be
involved in that kind of work rather than run for a position yourself it’s a
fair question you know I I struggle with that a lot because you know I’ve said a
lot of the jobs that I’ve loved have been ones that I really feel impact
that’s why I love teaching so much is because I always felt like at the end of
a semester I really felt like I knew what I had done I think that’s why I’ve
struggled in some of the jobs that I’ve had campaigns are easy right so what’s
the impact we want or we lost it’s pretty and so I struggle I struggle with
that because I I think when I look today at people that are in Congress people
that are in federal office it’s really hard to feel the impact and feel that
what you’re doing really makes a difference and I think the sacrifices
are so high that I’m not sure that that’s for me now you know do I think
often about local you know is there is there a problem locally that I might be
interested in getting involved in working tourism and I might but I also
not that I didn’t love my kids when they were born but I fallen in love with my
kids all over again and I just I want to make sure that that I I continue to be a
role model but I’m also there for them and so I think the question is can you
do both can you be there for your kids and can you be elected of office and
sometimes it’s possible right depending upon the situation and sometimes it’s
not so but I definitely think at some point as they grow and as I grow and I
actually felt like I might be prepared for it I might do that but it’s a hard I
you know I ran into the woman who’s running for the student body presidents
here at Iowa State and I said good for you for putting your name on the line
cuz that’s not easy you know we should always remember it’s just how hard it is
to put your name on the ballot it’s a big step so hopefully that was a
honest enough answer I don’t know either one of you can answer this I you know
somebody said that IO has never sent a woman to Washington for the Senate or
the Congress or or governor like what are we one of two states that has never
had a woman governor oh we’ve had some outstanding candidates for those
positions what can we do to get women to vote for women I mean the women
outnumber the men in this state I believe you know the women are not
voting for for their women and have there been studies as to what’s going on yeah there’s been countless studies on
women basically not always voting for women facts there’s a book by Kathleen
Dolan who by the way won the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for research on women
in politics we have a previous year that’s written a whole book on women
voting for women and really what she found is that really partisanship
determines for choice more than gender does and so that means for example that
you tend to vote for your political party the interesting thing about it is
that the independents have become a lot bigger group you know no party as it’s
called in Iowa so what you find is that women tend to vote for Democratic
candidates that’s just something that’s been over time and so and men tend to
vote for Republican candidates although certainly there are Republican women and
also you know Democratic men in that mixture so really partisanship is a much
stronger voting queue than gender is and so that’s kind of the easy answer to
that but on the other hand and the thing about Iowa we’re one of four states have
never sent a woman to Congress two of those states have not sent elected a
woman governor and that’s us in Mississippi so there’s a good number of
that have an elected a woman governor we’re kind of the we haven’t done one or
the other and one of the things that we’re trying to do really at the Kat
Center because one of the things that Iowa basically has an average population
when you study political culture we have an average pot an average culture to
elect women because women are more elected and cultures that are more
liberal growing cult a growing population rather than a stagnant one of
the younger population in a more urban population so we don’t have those things
in Iowa we really can’t fix some of those things so one of the things that
research shows is that if you have campaign training schools for women that
that can encourage women women need to be asked to run and be given the tools
so the cat’ Center has paired partnered with the Center for American women in
politics off or ready to run and we do it every other year and it’s a campaign
school we’ll be doing it next and probably may 2011 that’s on our website
so that’s what we’re trying to do and so Jacqui your experiences you know it’s
interesting because do you remember what I said about Madeleine Albright there’s
a special place in hell for women who don’t support and help women candidates
I worked for Barack Obama right I mean so this was I think one of the things
that was really interesting with the presidential campaign is to look at how
that that that shook out right so you had a lot of women who navigate hurts
Hillary Clinton because she was the best candidate right you had yeah and and you
made people who went to Hillary Clinton because she was a woman but then you had
other women who just were kind of looking at the issues and looking at it
less about gender more about issues but I will say just for me personally that
was a struggle because it it it should have for me well shouldn’t it have been
automatic but I think what we’re finding with with Women Voters is that there
tends to be there’s still that there’s there’s not that lock-step support for
women that’s your if that helps a little bit but alright well I think it’s time
to eat some cookies thank Jackie once more

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