By Diana Rodriguez, Board Member, Sacramento City Unified School District
November 12, 2016
Dear Friends, Although there are many ways one can analyze the situation, I am choosing a theme that would hopefully resonate with most. This is my reflection on the 2016 Presidential Election.
To Everything There is a Season
1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3
I am woman who is rooted in faith and respect those in our country who have a vision from a worldly perspective. They have proven this by living and working with the least of us not only in our local community, but abroad as well. There are few places in the world that were founded upon the premise of a diverse set of people living together in freedom. As Americans, we are very proud of this ideology. I’m not surprised by the outcome of the election, it trends about every 8 years Democrat, Republican, Democrat… however, I wish to constructively express my disappointment. To begin, our young ladies in this nation are watching and waiting to stand on our shoulders to shatter that perpetual glass ceiling! My voice struggled to come out of my throat when I told my two young daughters they would not see a woman president this election cycle. To see the tears well up in their eyes followed by their words of inner defeat brought me to tears. The overarching message of the rationale for the voters became clear to me on election day… that they prefer an unqualified male, leaving a very qualified woman shut out of a leadership role… as it historically has been in Any Town USA, in many corporate board rooms, and for many politically aspiring females across our nation.
The 2016 presidential campaign and outcome shed a brighter light on how women are held to a different standard as compared to their male counterparts. We are expected to work longer, have more experience, and “know better”; and for a male, it’s acceptable to “learn on the job” and have explained away disrespectful sexual assaulting words against women. I heard too many times in this election cycle, from women especially, “I don’t trust her,” and “A woman could never be competent enough to run this country.” If being the Secretary of State for the United States of America isn’t evidence enough that a woman can be the President of the United States, I feel we are taking steps backward. If the advantage of a presidential candidate is to have no political history at all then I fear for the future of our great nation.
It is seldom spoken about how women possess awesome leadership skills while showing grace, dignity, and respect towards others in the process. Moreover, it is all to uncomfortably acceptable to consider a woman as a sexualized, soft, gentle, quiet, shy woman BEHIND a man, rather than a woman who can be the front and center hero of the movie, television show, and imagine her to be a powerful President of the United States. I’ve heard from those at decision-making tables to be patient, things take time to make change. To go back to the opening of my reflection prayer, “To everything there is a season” and I feel the season is now for women to be seen, heard, and respected as value added individuals in any type of leadership role. There is an urgency to focus on lifting others, more importantly other women. For without a diverse set of ideas growth will not occur. Without a diversity of the rich cultures, religions, and genders at the table we miss the opportunity to stay connected to the thread of what holds us together as a nation. I appreciate your support in helping to realize this is something that requires analysis and deeper reflection of how we can band together to find common interests rather than always seeking negative differences. After all, it IS about ALL our children’s future. We want them to live in a world where they are accepted, respected, and valued. Please feel free in joining me to acknowledge supporting organizations and individuals who help women in political and other leadership roles. Your generosity of helping to spread the word of the few I’m listing below along with some of your own, I’m sure, will be greatly appreciated.
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO): http://www.naleo.org/
California National Organization of Women: http://canow.org/
League of Women Voters: http://www.lwvsacramento.org/
FemDems of Sacramento: http://femdems.org/#femdemsofsacramento
Dr. Yasmin Davidds o Women’s Institute of Negotiation: http://www.womensinstituteofnegotiation.com/
o Latina Global Executive Leadership Program: http://www.latinaleadershipacademy.org/
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia: http://asmdc.org/members/a58/
In gratitude, spirit, and leadership,
Diana Rodriguez, Board Member Board of Education Sacramento City Unified School District