It is the significance of belonging, of becoming part of somewhere, of caring enough about where you live, work, and raise your children that you want to do something to make it a better place. I cannot imagine a life on the sidelines, merely going home each night, perhaps clucking about our school system or the sorry state of health care, without being involved somehow in the work that addresses these issues.Oh yeah, and she's also been hella active in women's issues. As whorunsgov.org nutshells it:
When she moved to Springfield after college, Tchen began working with NOW to pressure Illinois lawmakers to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. She stayed active in the feminist group, becoming vice president of the Illinois chapter while at Northwestern University. While working with NOW, Tchen helped write the bill that changed the Illinois rape statute to include sexual assault and other abuse.Ms. Tchen goes to Washington with Obama, her associate of more than ten years, to be the White House Director for Public Liaison. This is a reward for her kickass fundraising skills: she was one of his top fundraisers, pulling between $200,000 - $500,000 on her own through her crazy Chicago connections. And while she's doing that, she's also going to be Executive Director for Obama's brand, spanking, new White House Council for Women and Girls, whose mission is
to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy ... [and] provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families.Where did this come from? Well, apparently, Clinton set up such an office in 1995, but it got shockingly short shrift during the eight years of rampant gender equity gains (not) we affectionately call the Bushlag Archipelago. Then:
In December, 50 women's groups lobbied the president to create a bureau that was itself Cabinet-level, which this is not, but that doesn't mean anyone's complaining. Planned Parenthood "applauds" the move in a statement released earlier today. As Susan Scanlan of the National Council of Women’s Organizations told Politico's Josh Gerstein: "It's certainly more than we have had in the last eight years. We're pretty happy with this administration."Please note the occasional, mild warnings that this gig doesn't replace, but is added on top of Tchen's (and the council chair Valerie Jarrett's) other, primary duties, and may not be as ... er ... primary.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!