Join the NO NO Sisterhood!Posted: October 5, 2008
I voted in the Democratic run-off yesterday in Louisiana. I did something that I haven’t done for a long time. I went down the list of candidates for judgeships and the various other races and voted for all the women. Something tells me I wasn’t alone in this when I heard second congressional district candidate Helena Moreno’s speech after she placed second after $Bill Jefferson and ahead of five well known black male politicians vying for the position. She had a lot of cross-over vote here in a city where the politics of race is pervasive. She’s a latina and has been frequently labelled as “that little white girl” in the race. Her cross-over vote came from black women. This year may yet be known as the REAL year of the woman when a female awakening turns the tide against misogyny and sexism. Our mantra could be something to the effect of “We’re bitter, we vote, get out of office!”
Helena Moreno has been in New Orleans about 8 years. She quit her job as a news anchor in March to run for office. As a journalist, she was frequently out on the beat looking for corruption and places where things don’t quite work for people. Since this is New Orleans, Moreno never ran out of material. Moreno also lived through Hurricane Katrina and learned its lessons well.
While she does have great name recognition and quite a presence, she is considered the underdog in this race because of the politics of racial identity. That is unless the politics of being a woman in what has arguably been a brutal year for women creates a NO NO sisterhood. That is what I want to see: a movement where all women stand up together and say “NO, he didn’t!” I hope this year we just don’t wag our fingers and speak our indignation then vote for folks who promise to be marginally less worse on the issues we care about. In the No NO Sisterhood, we vote our interests and write checks to support women’s campaigns to ensure our voices our heard and acted on. I’m thinking we should adopt that old women’s fist raised in the symbol of woman with a slight change. The middle finger should be raised to the media and politicians who practice the politics of beating up on women.
During the primary, Moreno had a number of typical dirty tricks pulled on her–including the usual things like hiring Robo phone calls that say you’re from her campaign at all hours and times of day to harass folks and turn them off. She also became the victim of a whisper campaign that went more public. During a televised debate an exchange between Moreno and State Rep. Cedric Richmond turned into a shouting match. Richmond is currently fighting against a suspension of his law license for using a nonprimary residence to run for a city council seat. This exchange happened shortly after Moreno called him out on the pending case. Here’s the script as reported by the Times Picayune.
She quickly delivered the results — a clean reading — to The Times-Picayune.
There’s been a lot of interesting coverage of this race, and as Ms. Moreno takes on $Bill Jefferson, it is bound to get a whole lot more interesting. That is why I am asking you to not only follow what happens, but to help Helena. She’s running in New Orleans and in Louisiana. Politics down here are not only interesting, but can be very brutal.
Here’s her website: Moreno for Congress
Please join me at the NO NO Sisterhood at Act Blue to support Helena Moreno and other fine women candidates.
(Cross-posted at the Confluence)