Sunday, September 13, 2009

A seat at the table

Cross posted at by BackwardsinHeels, Sept. 12, 2009

Senator Kerry and Congressman Delahunt testifying at the Massachusetts State Legislature Joint Committee on Election Laws, September 9, 2009

This Wednesday I attended a hearing of the Joint Committee on Election Laws. The Committee was hearing testimony to change a 2004 law giving Governor Patrick the power to appoint an interim Senator to fill the late Senator Kennedy’s seat ahead of the special election for the remaining term (go Martha!).

As I settled into my seat for the long afternoon, I was immediately struck by the almost entirely male committee. Out of the 17 members on the committee, only 2 were women (Sen. Joan Mernard and Rep. Willie Mae Allen). If that wasn’t enough, it took 2 hours before a woman even spoke during the hearing (the fabulous Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry).

With cameras flashing in a packed room and the critical 60th vote in the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance, the decision makers, as is all too common in Massachusetts politics, are overwhelmingly male.

I couldn’t think of a more potent reminder of why Martha’s victory is so critical.

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