“Make no little plans”: they sure don’t in Seattle

Dear Reader:

In Every Day Is Election Day, I quote federal judge Ilana Rovner recommending always wearing purple (“the color of royalty”), so they never forget you. Well, I sure feel like royalty right-about-now, and it’s not because I’m wearing purple socks!

It is because I’m off to Seattle later this week for (five!) speeches about the advice and inspirational stories of #everydayiselectionday.

None would have happened without the leadership of Washington’s women leaders: wearing purple or not, royalty all, in-my-book.They were led by my sister-in-law, Cheryl Ellsworth (ably assisted by my niece, Haley Sive), and dear friend Anne Levinson, distinguished former judge and Seattle deputy mayor.

Thanks, everyone, from the bottom of my heart.

For you, reader, and in honor of these royal women, I share “Purple Paradise,” a photo of my garden. (Click here to get my Seattle schedule to share with Washington friends and colleagues.)

Best wishes.


Purple Paradise

Betty Friedan changed the world: we can, too

Dear Readers, Colleagues and Sister Scholars and Activists:

Friday, November 8th, scholars and activists will gather to examine The Feminine Mystique: what its publication meant then, and — most important — what it means now.

Activist-discussants include yours’-truly, along with friends of long-standing Chris Riddiough, Anne Ladky, Joan Hall and moderator, Mary Ann Johnson. Studying women’s history so we repeat the good work is what I’m all about; I know you are, too. So, do join me.

Details on the symposium may be found below.



Feminine MystiqueSymposiumSlide

It’s (near) Jersey-Shore Time for #everydayiselectionday

Dear Readers:

Growing-up in New York-just-over-the-border-from-New-Jersey, people talked longingly about “going to the shore.” That would be the Jersey Shore.

Along that way, one passes New Brunswick, the state’s capitol, and most important to #girlpolitics, the home of the Center for American Women and Politics, part of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Founded by the gifted Ruth Mandel, director of Eagleton, now led by Debbie Walsh, the center is the center of the women and politics universe. Beautifully, it researches, educates, trains and mobilizes women for public leadership, including recommending Every Day Is Election Day for the nightstand and book shelf of every woman and girl who seeks political power and influence.

Says Debbie: Every Day Is Election Day is a fabulous resource for any woman considering a run for office or anyone committed to advancing women’s leadership and political participation.” 

Debbie and I won’t have time to go to the shore Monday, but we will join Caroline Casagrande, who represents New Jersey near-the-shore and is featured in Every Day Is Election Day, at the Barnes & Noble in North Brunswick, to talk women’s leadership and political participation.

Thanks to Dennis Wurst of national Barnes & Noble for wonderful book-tour support, and a shout-out to Miriam Libove, indefatigable B&N North Brunswick community relations manager.

A story Miriam placed: “Activist, author urges women to lean in to politics,” offers-up a preview of the discussion we’ll have.

Best wishes.

RebeccaIt's Jersey Shore Time for #everydayiselectionday

Twin Cities, Twin Events

Dear Readers:

I’m off to another M state. This time, it’s Minnesota.

Likely, the temps will be a lot cooler than Mississippi’s, but the people just as warm. In fact, I know this is the case, since I will be visiting with Carleton College friends-of-decades and their great women-leader pals.

Thanks to Beverly Jones Heydinger, chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (and great friend since freshman year Carleton College!), for providing the impetus for this evening’s gathering at womenwinning.org, to include the terrific Erin Murphy, Majority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives. If you’re around and free, do join us. Here are the detes:


To register for the Women Winning event and to learn more about their  work, click here.


Saturday, I’m off to speak at the TEDx conference organized and hosted by alma mater, Carleton College. Hats’-off to Emily Balczewski, who produced it. To watch my TEDx talk live on Saturday morning, click here.

Best wishes for a wonderful day (sure is perfect today in Chicago for YWCA LeaderLuncheon, just as it should be for such a great organization.)


Six Easy Rules You Never Want to Forget

speakingDear Readers:

During my book signing in New York last week, a great group gathered and thoughtfully discussed many aspects of women’s political experience in New York over the years.

Among recent chapters discussed was Christine Quinn’s difficult loss the week before in New York’s Democratic mayoral primary. I shared my piece about her difficulties, “Six Easy Rules Christine Quinn Forgot,” featured in Huffington Post New York.

Over the weekend, I thought some more about those “six easy rules” I lay-out in chapter one of Every Day Is Election Day, especially about rule number five: “success in politics is not a one-off.” With my mother and sister, celebrating my father’s, David Sive’s, 91st birthday, I remembered his defeat when, at age 36, he ran for Congress. Then, I remembered what happened next:  he became “the father of environmental law.” Not bad, I’d say.

Remember this, please, as you fight to win today but, maybe, lose.