I’m exhausted by this election and I’m sure that you are as well. I rarely wish for time to fly but I know that I, and thousands of others, can’t wait for November 6 to come and go.
At the same time, I still cling to the fact that I live in a country where my voice counts and I take my right to vote very seriously. As I told my son (while hounding him to mail in his absentee ballot application) who is eligible to vote in his first presidential election – do not throw away your right to vote!
So, in my West Wing fantasy world, I took time this week to reflect on what I would do if I were elected the next President of the United States. My election elevator speech goes like this:
“If elected President of the United States I will focus my priorities and measure decisions based on what is fair and what is just. I will focus on all Americans, not just those who yell the loudest. I will bring my listening skills and use them. I will charge a couple of key members of my family to “keep me real” and most importantly I will surround myself with really smart people, recognizing that my knowledge and expertise is limited. These people will be experts in their fields with real hands-on experience. They will be a diverse group, reflecting the true make up of our country which also means more than 50% will be female.”
Speaking of surrounding myself with really smart people- that is what I get to do each day at HAVEN. I have the pleasure of working with an incredibly gifted group of women and men, all who could bring amazing talent to the leadership of our country. So I posed the same question to them and here is that they had to say.
If I were elected President I would fund public schools in a way that would eliminate a property based system and replace it with a process that would create parity and equality to inner city, rural, and suburban schools alike.
If I were elected President I would ask myself these questions before making any decision: “Does this decision I’m about to make promote equality, fairness and respect? Does it come from a place of integrity with a true desire to advance the rights, safety and well-being of all people in our society?”
If I were elected President I would: 1) Try my best to end partisanship, 2) Not be beholden to special interests so I could better serve the American people, 3) Put a $1,000 cap on the amount of money anyone (individual or corporation) could give to a candidate and also only allow one contribution per address, 4) Ensure that all ads, debates and speeches have to be fact checked before being circulated and 5) Limit all campaigning to within 2 months of the primary.
If I were elected President, wow, what a different world we would be living in! I would create a culture where the definition of “family” was less about blood and last names, and more about love and reliance. I would mandate single payer healthcare, including coverage for contraception and abortion no questions asked. I would investigate the tax exempt status of churches who meddle in partisan politics. I would make sure that the social safety net had perpetual funding. I would significantly reduce defense spending, and significantly increase education spending. I would guarantee that no one went to bed hungry; that the minimum wage was a living wage; and that houses would not sit empty as long as there were people who needed them.
If I were elected president, the words “safety” and “justice” would mean something real.
If I were elected President I would make the health, safety and education of all of the nation’s children my number one priority. Without their growth and success our nation cannot thrive.
If I were elected President I would look at what the statistics are telling us needs to be addressed : Unemployment- 7%; Homelessness- 1/ 200 individuals accessed a homeless shelter; Violence- 1/4 women experience intimate partner violence— it’s time to stop acting like intimate partner violence and its root causes doesn’t affect all American women.
If I were elected President I would focus on remedying the following issues close to home:
Reinstate VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)
Institute checks & balances for employer compliance re: women’s employment
Enforce Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Work on standardizing voting registration & ballots- especially the way the proposals are written.
Limit money allowed to be spent on political campaigns
Enact recycling initiatives
Ramp up clean air & energy initiatives
Focus on U.S. economic recovery
Reduce defense spending
Increase training and education opportunities to spur job growth
Join HAVEN in working toward our vision of a world of safe, equal and accountable communities where sexual assault and domestic violence do not exist. Imagine what that would look like! Let’s get out there and vote and work even harder to make it happen!
Please share your West Wing Fantasies- What would you do if you were President?