December 2, 2009
There have been some amazing women in my life under whom I’ve had the privilege to learn… starting of course with my Grandma Naomi Good (the essence of faithfulness and humility) to the model my mom is to me today — demonstrating the priority of taking care of family, while simultaneously pursuing excellence in career. Even my sister-in-law’s creative spirit sparks my own energy day after day as I read her blog and talk to her when I drop the kids off at school.
There are many others, but one of my mentors who comes to mind is State Rep. Katie True. In short, she rocks. From her I have learned the following:
– what fantastic customer service looks like (in part, thanks to her right hand, Barbara Kauffman)
– how to tell someone no with humor and kindness
– when to be blunt
– how to articulate what the gal next door is feeling
– how to keep your promises (Katie term limited herself and always stuck to that commitment)
– how to choose a few issues and really own them — she’s done this consistently on womens issues, childrens’ issues and in the fight against drugs
– the importance of sticking to conservative principles but in a way that still allows you to be a bridge builder and catalyst for change
The Lancaster New Era just had a great editorial on her impact. All the usual suspect Lancaster County white boys are lining up to take her spot, but they won’t be able to fill her shoes… Two of my favorite quotes from the Editorial:
“Over the years, True’s tireless advocacy for children and families sometimes put her at odds with House leadership. She is a conservative, but one who has put principle above blind obedience to party.”
“Because of True’s work, children are safer in their schools and women are safer in their homes. All Pennsylvanians owe this remarkable legislator a note of thanks for making Pennsylvania a better place to live.”
February 20, 2009
Nice to wake up and see a story that starts by characterizing your industry and livelihood as “sleazy. disingenous. scumbags.” But that’s what I was led to believe about Public Relations by reading USAToday’s book review of “PR: A Persuasive Industry? Spin, Public Relations and the Shaping of the Modern Media,” a new book out by Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy. Pretty fascinating that they engage in so much hand-wringing around ethics of the profession. Sure there are unscrupulous characters out there in PR, just as there are in advertising, lobbying, sales, politics, you name it! At the end of a day, don’t sell, hawk, pitch, or market a product, company, or person if you don’t believe in what they’re about at their core. But to single out PR is crazy and misses the critical role the industry plays in our information exchange society.
And with the industry growing at 30% a year, I bet there are probably a lot of out of work, once purist journalists who are giving it a second look. It will continue to be wild ride in this information ecosystem we call the modern news cycle. I’m happy to be part of that…
February 11, 2009
Living in Washington has me a bit jaded, I suppose. Even though my husband goes to work every day to a place of great prestige and power, which some have only seen on television, we often do the requisite complaining about his commute and hours. For shame!!!
Why this mea culpa? I was called to account and to a renewed respect for this place called the White House this week, not through any Christmas party visit, after-hours WW tour or presidential press conference, but through C-Span, which has created the most comprehensive and beautiful documentary of “the People’s House.” From the descriptors of Washington’s (who never inhabited the House) plans to pictures of Eleanor Roosevelt’s (first only female reporters allowed) press conference, to the first ever video of the 3rd Floor Coolidge Solarium and a peak into Laura Bush’s yellow oval room, it is a fascinating and top-notch exploration.
It seems every president, including our current one, wants to be like Abe. The references to President Abraham Lincoln were ummatched in this documentary, punctuated by the recent refurbishing of the Lincoln Bedroom to match the style of the room when he inhabited the White House. How amazing and fitting now, as tomorrow we mark the 200th anniversary of his birth.
The C-Span documentary crew had few restrictions placed on their exploration; only a few Mansion spots were off limits apparently — the swimming pool and the Presidential Master bath (come on!) but other than that, most of the House was fair game, even the Chocolate “factory”.
For the C-Span show, you can see the trailer here, but we bought the DVD for $10 and I plan to buy many more to give as gifts. Now, if you want a close up tour from 2008 Christmastime, “A Red, White and Blue Christmas”, go over to Big Red Kitchen and see Rob and Robin touring the public rooms of the House.
You can always book the public tours, but when the wicked-cool West Wing tours open up again with the new Administration, we just might know some insiders….
January 20, 2009
Of course, that was the song today, the one they danced to over and over at the balls. But the real two words we’ve really been waiting to hear are those that reveal the name of the designer of Michelle Obama’s dress. I was wrong about when it would be revealed. We had to wait til today, tonight even, to hear: Jason Wu.
Not al all what I expected, but i thought she looked beautiful. This dress, by a young, relative newcoming to the fashion world, Wu, may be nothing like the sketches that have been circulating in Womens Wear Daily for the last month. However, it really managed to convey a sweetness, softness that contrasted her otherwise potentially powerful and strong features (her height, shiny/straight dark hair, toned arms). Already her spokesperson has said it is headed to the Smithsonian — hooray!!!!
I was equally struck and in probably more in awe of the gorgeous ensemble she wore all day today. The golden dress and matching coat just sparkled. In some ways, as Laura Bush did 4 years ago, choosing a color so neutral (not the traditional black/blue/red) helped her stand above the fray, stand out and look fantastic.
I love the way Robyn Givhan of the Post put it: “The easy shift between price points has captivated observers who are so accustomed to recent first ladies who have dressed in either pricey designer fashions by Seventh Avenue heavyweight Oscar de la Renta or nondescript blahness. Obama dresses the way contemporary women do, mixing J. Crew with the splurges in their closet. They combine pragmatism with polish. And for this inauguration, despite the dire shape of the economy, they also brought glamour.”
January 3, 2009
I am not an expert on the Middle East. But I have been there. In Jerusalem; in the West Bank. That alone doesn’t really give me any credibility. What it does give me is sympathy. For both sides, actually, in this current conflict around the Gaza strip. Because as much as we’d like to make it a cut and dry Hamas vs. Israeli conflict, it is and it isn’t.
For the most part, i agree with the Krauthammer AND Gerson editorials in today’s Washington Post — if there was ever directional moral clarity, it is clearly shining through this week. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Period. They put their own people, the Palestinian people, at risk of death, to further their own organizational ends. Contrast this disregard for Palestinian human life with the humane warnings of the impending strike, which the Israelis have given citizens of Gaza prior to the strikes this week. Apparently, and rightly so, Israel is fed up with having many of its citizens live in constant fear of missile attacks.
It is inconcevable to me that Hamas is in a position of power. Save Iran, most of the Arab states don’t know what to do with the situation from a positioning point of view. The cannot publicly support Hamas, yet they still seek many of the key goals to which the Palestinians have held strong for decades — land, access, sovereignty. Its incredibly unfortunate that some of the long term goals of the Palestinians — goals around access to Jerusalem, free flowing travel capacities, cannot even be on the table in this current discussion. How can they be when Hamas refuses to even recognize the right of Israel to exist?
When I visited Deheshu refugee camps in the West Bank and saw their suffering, when I stayed with Palestinian Christian’s in Bethlehem who couldn’t travel to work in the city – I saw first hand the true second-class citizen status they could not shake and under which they had to live, work and breath, day-in and day-out. However, until Hamas is no longer in power, how can we hope that things will improve? That Israelis living in the settlements within missile striking range of Gaza will be able to sleep at night? Any true cease fire must at least start here…
May God have mercy and spare more innocent lives of a people so desparate to live…..in peace…Right now, children on both sides of this conflict are growing up knowing only fear.