Writing a book should bring joy to one’s life: #everydayiselectionday has to mine


Dear Readers:

I first visited New Orleans 32 years ago, falling in love with the place on sight. I was entranced by the (Mississippi) river, the music, the art, the people, and the city’s look and spirit. I’ve eagerly returned thirty-plus times in the years since. I hit these streets — every time — just as fiercely happy as the first time.

However, this time is particularly special.That’s because I have the honor of being part of a great New Orleans tradition, one that combines the city’s music, art, people and history in a singular way.That tradition is “Jazz Fest,” the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Steve and I have attended 26 years of its 45. Our plan is to keep coming back as long as we can. We feel a part of it. But, this year, I will get to be part of it in a different way: tomorrow, I will be signing Every Day Is Election Day in the Jazz Fest Book Tent.

Great authors telling great stories have been in the Book Tent for many years. Every Day Is Election Day and I now get to share in that history because the book features three amazing Louisiana women: U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, now running for re-election; Catherine Kimball, first woman chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court; and Sharon Broome, State Senator and President Pro Tempore of the state senate.

Happy to have written this book? Yes, absolutely thrilled to share in the lives of women who care, stand and deliver; happy to tell their inspirational stories and impart their advice to other women who would lead; happy to be part of a community that respects committed women leaders everywhere.

Thanks to Jazz Fest, Garden Street Book Shop, Gambit, and dear friend Ben Sandmel for making this New Orleans-time so special.


Beyonce Sings Her Heart Out

Dear Readers:

Sunday, Beyonce joined Diana Ross, Madonna and Janet Jackson as a Super Bowl halftime  star. Would she lip-sync, some joked. Not a chance: just as she did at President Obama’s inauguration, once she hit the stage she did her thing live and in living color.

While I listened and watched as Beyonce sang inauguration day, I got to thinking, and then I got to writing:  She sings two anthems, but President Obama only listens to one.

Her personal anthem is: “Who Run the World (Girls).” Yes, I’ve written about this song before: I love the song and its message. Alas, we’re not running the world, at least judging by who sits in President Obama’s most important Cabinet seats (State, Defense and Treasury).

Women’s History Month will be on us in a blink-of-an-eye, and it’s already Black History Month: Let’s make some history and raise a little sand.  

 Ida B. Wells: One of the great “raise a little sand” originals.

Best wishes.


Mississippi Goddam? Not so fast.

Dear Readers:

Mississippi Goddam was first sung by Nina Simone on an album she released in 1964, marking the beginning of her career as a “civil rights singer.”

I can’t remember when I first heard it, but the song jumped-to-mind last week, as Mississippians were voting on the “egg-as-person” initiative.

As I wrote in my piece, Nina Simone Said Mississippi Goddam: I Thought It, thankfully, Mississippians had the good sense to vote-down this foolishness.

My piece was first published by RH Reality Check, as part of its comprehensive coverage of “egg-as-person.”

The coverage includes a particularly good piece by #Political Girl’s pal, Ellen Chesler, on the heroic efforts of #Planned Parenthood. Ellen’s message: Look-out, anti-choice politicians. I love it.

Mississippi Goddam? Not-so-fast.

Best wishes.


P.S.I was so pleased the piece was picked-up by Alternet, Daily Kos and Firedoglake, among others. Thanks to all of you.

With Thanks to Beyonce: Chicago Women “Run This Motha” This Inauguration Day

Dear Readers,
Thanks to Beyonce´, I was inspired to write this piece for Chicagoans thinking about our upcoming and historic Inauguration Day.
Yes, historic for the inauguration of Rahm Emanuel, notable in so many respects, but in particular in my view, for his grounding in community organizing and hardcore political dealmaking. (I think that’s good, in case you’re wondering.)
But, the day is equally notable for the history two women will make:  Stephanie Neely, re-elected City Treasurer, and Susana Mendoza, newly-elected City Clerk.
In the context of Beyonce’s latest hit, “Run The World (Girls),” here’s an excerpt from my piece about the significance of Neely’s and Mendoza’s election:
“…(T)wo of three municipal officers to be sworn in are women. And not just any women, but an African-American and an Hispanic. And neither, by any measure, a stand-in or a yes-woman for anybody.”
There’s more here.  I think you’ll find the piece inspirational, as well as, per usual, provocative.