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Politics and Government

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Emma Goldman at a May Day Rally, Hyde Park, London, May 1, 1937

May Day: Celebrating through protest

by Judith Rosenbaum

Happy May Day! Originally, May Day was a pagan springtime festival, roots of which survive in the traditions of flower-festooned maypoles and the crowning of the “Queen of the May.” Since the late 19th century, it has also been a workers’ holiday. Though in the US it has been officially replaced (and I would argue, coopted) by Labor Day in September, May Day remains an occasion for social protest of many kinds.

Yes Virginia, Holocaust deniers still exist and run for Congress

by  Kate Bigam

The significance of meeting a Holocaust survivor while on my way to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, is not lost on me – but that’s what happened to me two weeks ago. While leading a trip in Israel, I made a quick stop off to visit a friend who was in a Jerusalem hospital just down the road from Yad Vashem, and when raindrops started to fall, I decided to hop a cab to meet up with the rest of my group.

Susan Rosenberg's "An American Radical"

Susan Rosenberg, An American Radical

by Judith Rosenbaum

I guess it’s inevitable, when you’re at a book talk by a 1970s radical political activist who was wanted by the FBI, went underground, got arrested, and spent 16 and a half years behind bars, that someone will ask  “How do you understand what you did and why?” Susan Rosenberg made an honest attempt to answer a complex question, ending with a shrug and the explanation, “That's a different book.”

Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords resigns from Congress

by  Leah Berkenwald

This morning, Gabrielle Giffords offered her official resignation from Congress to Speaker John Boehner.

State of the Union: The Obama we voted for

by  Gloria Feldt

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been a harsh critic of Obama’s leadership or lack of it since he took office, not because I supported Clinton (which I did but I got over it), but as someone who understands the responsibilities of a chief executive to create meaning, articulate a vision, and put forth an agenda for people to work from. From the time he was elected until now, his vision kept shrinking rather than expanding and his penchant for appeasing even the unappeasable has been nothing short of maddening.

Jan Perry

Will Jan Perry become the first African American Jewish woman mayor of LA?

by  Kate Bigam

If Jan Perry has her way, Los Angeles will elect its first female mayor and its first Jewish mayor come 2013 – her. The 56-year-old Perry, who has represented Los Angeles’ 9th District for three terms, is one of four Democratic candidates seeking their party’s nomination in June’s primary. She is not the only Jewish candidate or the only female candidate in the running – but she is the only candidate who is both. She also happens to be African-American.

Top 10 Moments for Jewish Women in 2011

by Jewesses With Attitude
10. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of Our Bodies, Ourselves

President Obama picks Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to lead Democratic National Committee

April 5, 2011

On April 5, 2011, the Democratic Party announced that President Obama had named Florida Rep.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returns to Congress to cast debt ceiling vote

August 1, 2011

Just seven months after a gunman’s bullet nearly killed her, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the floor of the House of Representatives to cast her vote in favor of a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Interfaith leaders rally to raise awareness of homelessness among LGBTQ youth

by  Chanel Dubofsky

When I moved to New York City, I was told that there are a set of rules one should follow in order to ride the subway safely.

"Personhood" amendments would write Christian perspectives into law

by  Emily Kadar

Tomorrow, Mississippi will vote on Initiative 26 and decide whether to dramatically alter their state constitution with the addition of the words:

The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.

Entitlement and its Discontents

by Judith Rosenbaum

This week, New York Magazine’s cover features an oral history of Ms. Magazine, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

Women Strike for Peace: 50 years later

by  Chanel Dubofsky

Fifty years ago yesterday, the 1961 formation of Women Strike for Peace (WSP) marked a new era for activism, creating a new stage on which women could concentrate their power. In 1984, WSP described in their own words the beginning of their movement: "100,000 women from 60 cities came out of kitchens and jobs to demand: END THE ARMS RACE - NOT THE HUMAN RACE, and WSP was born."

Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein

Jewesses in politics represent!

by  Kate Bigam

This week marks a big one when it comes to major anniversaries of Jewish women in politics.

Rose Schneiderman

Her Hat Was In The Ring: New site shares stories of women in politics before 1920

by  Leah Berkenwald

Kristen Gwinn, Wendy Chmielewski, and Jill Norgren, students of women's history, had a goal: To explore whether women ran for elective office in substantial numbers before ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Thanks to their work, we now know THEY DID. The fruits of their research are now available in a database on a new, free website: www.herhatwasinthering.org.

Jane Harman

Jane Harman to receive NJDC's inaugural Tzedek Award

by  Kate Bigam

The National Jewish Democratic Council is presenting its inaugural Tzedek Award tonight – and the first recipient is former Congresswoman Jane Harman.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Rep. Wasserman Schultz on abortion: 'This is personal'

by  Sarah Seltzer

Anyone who has spent time arguing about politics–particularly hot-button issues like abortion–is familiar with “glazed-eyes, nodding syndrome” which is what happens when listeners (who may even agree with us) grow uncomfortable with the topic and hope to goodness we move on, soon, and yes, yes, women’s rights blah blah blah. It’s just politics, these expressions tell us; why act like it’s so personal? Or maybe it’s just too depressing and abstract to contemplate.

Bella Abzug on the cover of "Life Magazine," June 9, 1972

Three ways not to celebrate Women's Equality Day

by  Gloria Feldt

As second wave feminism gathered peak velocity forty years ago, the late bombastic and behatted Congresswoman (D-NY) Bella Abzug persuaded Congress to designate August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. It recognized the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that in 1920 gave all U.S. women the right to vote.

Gertrude Weil Poster

Jewesses for Suffrage

by  Leah Berkenwald

On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting any citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex was ratified. Today, 91 years later, we take a look back at the Jewish women who dedicated their lives to women's suffrage in America and around the world. This is by no means a comprehensive list; so many Jewish women fought for suffrage, this is merely a sample of the stories we know.

How many more stories have yet to be told?

Elena Kagan

Justice Kagan's first year on the bench

by  Kate Bigam

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is inarguably a Jewess with attitude – not to mention clout and intelligence. Justice Kagan, who was sworn into office on August 7, 2010, has just wrapped up her first year as an Associate Justice on the country’s highest court, and what a year it’s been.

Roseanne Barr, 2010

Roseanne for President 2012?

by  Leah Berkenwald

Last Thursday on "The Tonight Show," Roseanne Barr announced her candidacy for President in 2012. Inspired by Sarah Palin (who she claims is stealing her act), Roseanne plans to run as a member of the "Green Tea Party" on the platform of "no taxes, the forgiveness of student loans and all debts and the use of vegetables instead of money."

Gabrielle Giffords

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returns to vote on debt ceiling

by  Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the bill to raise the debt ceiling. While the bill itself may not have made everyone happy, the appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords sure did!

Gay, Jewish New Yorkers: Mazel tov to the newlyweds!

by  Kate Bigam

Maybe you’ve heard: As of last Sunday, same-sex marriage became legal in the state of New York. The law, which passed in June, went into effect over the weekend.

Let’s recap some of the Jewish highlights this new law brought about, shall we? There are quite a few of them!

Birth Control

Institute of Medicine recommends that birth control be covered by private insurers

by  Debra Nussbaum Cohen

When I was a young adult and ready to start on the birth control pill, I found that its cost was not covered by my health insurance. Paying the retail price was onerous. It didn’t seem right that insurance wouldn’t cover contraception, though it did cover the cost of giving birth and possibly even abortion. It just didn’t make any sense.

Now, finally, the federal government is ready to rectify the situation, and make contraception more economically accessible to women and men by requiring health insurance to cover its cost.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Rep. Allen West tells Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to "act like a Lady"

by  Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Jewess with Attitude) reproached Rep. Allen West on his opposition to raising the debt ceiling and his support of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" vote. 

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