She Votes Families!
We at She Votes Illinois are so incredibly grateful and awe-inspired by everyone who participated in and attended our first pop-up event, She Votes Families! at Aubergine Chicago on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Our panel of elected officials was moderated by She Votes Illinois Advisory Council Member and Co-Founder of Mission Propelle Annie Warshaw, who is also a parent of two children. The morning’s discussion was met with many nods and much applause from the audience as parents of young ones absorbed information on how they can dive into political activism with the limited time they have.
Exemplary of this was the event itself. She Votes Illinois Board Member Stephanie Sims, who is an expectant mother, kicked off the morning by letting the audience know how inspired she was by the many families looking back at her, easing her own concerns of being politically involved while being a new parent. The panelists — many of them moms — cut through the noise of dozens of toddlers and tykes as they played in the back to deliver their take on political activism. Annie even moderated the discussion sitting on stage while taking no pauses to breastfeed her infant.
She Votes Families! panelists included:
- Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx
- Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller
- 43rd Ward Committeewoman Lucy Moog
- IL State Representative Delia Ramirez
Panelists were asked questions like how they define being politically active, how parents can incorporate their families into political activism, and what kinds of activities can parents participate in given their time limitations and other obligations. We’ve compiled some great highlights from our panel below.
“Being politically active means being aware on the ground-level, showing up at meetings, bringing your children to those meetings, asking questions, making phone calls, so that by the time the next election rolls around [candidates] aren’t telling you what they think you need to know about — you’re telling them what they need to know about.” — Kim Foxx
“Sometimes it’s important to turn some of it off. When we go to the ballot in March, there will be the president at the top, but there will be all sorts of people running for judge. Look into those people. Be the one that is starting conversations with your friends on issues that are getting less attention than all of the noise that’s going on up here [on a national level].” — Lucy Moog
“It might seem like overkill to go around and talk about [voting], but it’s not. I went to speak to a group of teenagers, they were all juniors and seniors, and I asked them, ‘is anyone registering people to vote today?’ And they said, ‘Oh yeah, we should do that!’ They ended up registering 30 kids that day. It never hurts to bring that up.” — Donna Miller
“You all are way more credible messengers than elected officials are. You know your neighbors, you know the issues, you have groups online talking about things that matter. If you start to research who cares about the issues that matter to you, using your power to be the credible messenger about the conversation goes a really long way.” — Kim Foxx
“This day and age you can write an email and send it to hundreds of people in your world and you can really make an impact in a small race in an email that would take you about 15 minutes to craft. You can do this for candidates up and down the ballot.” — Lucy Moog.
“Don’t be afraid to take your kids wherever you go. We have the best picture ever from when our kids were 3 and 2 with Barack Obama when he was running for, I think, Senate, and they are in a bar! It’s a family affair and my kids have definitely grown up knowing that.” — Donna Miller
“Put together a plan, and find someone who is willing to stay behind and provide childcare. Not everyone wants to door knock, and not everyone wants to get on the phone. There’s an ample list of ways for people to get involved. Figure out what people like to do and find a way to connect that to the activism work that we need done.” — Delia Ramirez
“Maybe there’s one Saturday a month you can get together, and doing it in chunks that way will not intimidate you. That 15 minutes that it takes to write and send that email on behalf of a candidate or issue, that extra half hour that you’re able to sit with someone’s child so that they can go out and door knock, that makes all the difference. That’s where we get our power from — our ability to multitask, our ability to collaborate, [these are] all of the things that make us great. [Being] moms is what makes us great civic leaders.” — Kim Foxx
To watch the full panel visit this post on our Facebook page.
To learn more about political actions you can take, large and small, visit our website.
Special thanks to all our panelists and Aubergine Chicago for hosting us!