“Running an election takes hard work, dedication, and constant self-appraisal. Sive, a women’s advocate from Chicago, offers a book with common sense and helps women negotiate the tangled nature of elections, starting with the first glimmer that election is possible. She begins by urging women to dream big, to set their goals and to make a plan, take a personality self-test, and realize that every act creates ripples. She talks about considering the all-important bankroll, and creating your brand and making it stand out. Then Sive takes women on the journey, of taking on the big boys, talks about where and how women should make their stand, analyzes how women can never care too much, and shows them how to confront, co-opt, and control the opposition.”
“In her frank and practical first book, public affairs strategist Sive, former member of the Illinois Human Rights Commission, provides a clear and persuasive roadmap to female political success, whether it manifests as a PTA election or political office. Breaking the process into four main stages—Every Day is Election Day, Take on The Big Boys, You Can Never Care Too Much and Confront, Co-opt and Control—the author lays out critical strategies, such as effective and specific goal-setting, creating a winning mental state, and compromising with perceived enemies. Offering the precedent-breaking strategies of Senators Mary Landrieu, Amy Klobuchar, and others, Sive holds out a helping hand to women in the political arena. She also strongly advocates to other women the importance of realizing their worth in every aspect of their lives. Sive’s facts-based treatise, which includes a foreword by FDR’s granddaughter, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, provides a practical guide for any woman looking to break the political glass ceiling.”
“An activist and public affairs strategist’s intelligent, no-nonsense guide for women seeking to hold elected office.
“While feminist movements have helped women make inroads into the halls of power, the world of politics is still dominated by males. In this take-charge guide, Sive offers practical advice to women on organizing successful political campaigns that can help women become anything from PTA presidents to U.S. senators and beyond. Using her own experiences along with stories from political women at the municipal, state and national levels, Sive tackles such issues as branding, image management, networking, fundraising, handling the media and dealing with the challenges of gender. Women must learn to shrug off sexist criticisms (“If being blunt and efficient means being called a bitch, so what?”) but also be ready to “haul out the pink sweater” when necessary. They must also learn to play hardball if they want to win since “softball is only played at campaign photo-ops.” At the same time, women must also know when to put aside differences and negotiate compromises. Failure is an inevitable part of the process as well. And to be successful, women candidates need to be able to transform loss into an opportunity for a future win. Above all, women must adopt a no-limits attitude to achieve power. The higher the position they seek, the more likely it is that they will have to make sacrifices, including those affecting the work-life balance. Commitment to a political life is no easy task, as Sive makes abundantly clear. Yet leadership positions for women are now not only possible, but necessary since the laws that benefit women ultimately benefit their families and everyone whose lives they touch. Essential reading for aspiring female policymakers and political leaders.”
“In her guide for women looking to gain political office, Rebecca Sive argues for the necessity of such a book by opening up with the noteworthy statistics that, “Women occupy fewer than 20 percent of the seats in the U.S. Congress. Only 5 of our 50 states have women governors. And though thousands of women hold local and state offices, those percentages are dismal as well.” This lack of women in political office compelled Sive, who has served in a number of leadership positions in politics and political organizations such as NARAL, to create a guide pushing more women to take on leadership positions. Sive gives mostly common-sense advice about networking with those in positions both above and below you, as well as defeating the sense of self-doubt that holds back so many women.
“However, although Sive declares herself a feminist and seems to believe deeply in furthering such issues as reproductive rights, she is also surprisingly pragmatic in her advice for women looking to get ahead, advising them to be willing to put aside their beliefs when need be. Sive gives the example of Jan Schakowsky, a pro-choice member of the U.S. House of Representatives who endorsed an “anti-choice” candidate to enhance her support and leadership. “Leading and governing will be different from the process of advocating,” Sive notes. While I have yet to set my eye on political office, I still found Sive’s advice helpful in the workplace, as it can apply to any situation in which a woman is looking to become a leader, especially in environments dominated by men.” –Adrienne Urbanski
“Considering the prominence of women in government—Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Jan Schakowsky and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Senators Barbara Mikulski, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, among others—we might be lulled into thinking that women hold government positions at equal or close to equal percentages as men. But the reality is far from that: Women hold fewer than 20 percent of the seats in Congress, and only five of 50 states have women governors.
“But more and more women are stepping up to run for office, and Rebecca Sive hopes to facilitate this process. A public affairs strategist, writer and consultant who worked for Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Mikulski, Sive has written Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House (Chicago Review Press, $17.95). Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, granddaughter of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, provides the foreword to this inspiring and practical book.
“Sive compiles stories from women—both high profile as well as lesser known—who have run and won. She draws on their experiences and her own to offer concrete tips, wisdom and frank suggestions about how women who aspire to public office can conquer fears, learn to fundraise, build their personal brand, line up big-name supporters, negotiate from a position of strength, use the media to their advantage and win the support of men.
“One of the women Sive interviewed is Ilana D. Rovner, who in 1992 became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Sive writes that Rovner won the support of male colleagues by dint of hard work, kindness and making herself indispensible. “The only girl child in her extended family to survive the Holocaust … she says that she always felt she had to do something important with her life,” Sive relates. Rovner thus devotes herself to ‘kind leadership in manner and in deed.’ A few years after completing her law degree, she joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago and worked her “heart out,” even on unpopular cases. When a federal district court judgeship opened up, her boss and others supported her campaign for it, and a few years later “the boys in charge lobbied for her again when she asked for the U.S. Court of Appeals appointment.” Sive’s real-world examples, good sense and passion for her topic make Every Day Is Election Day extremely readable and valuable, whether you are an aspiring politician or interested in advocating for women’s advancement and equal rights. She includes a rich resource section. Learn more about Sive and her book at http://www.rebeccasive.com.” – Sue Tomchin
“Rarely do we do a book review, but we thought it was necessary for a book as beneficial, practical, and empowering at Every Day is Election Day by Rebecca Sive.
“I met Rebecca Sive over the summer last year at the Illinois Democratic Women’s Convention. We sat by each other –being two women from completely different generations and backgrounds—and agreed that more women should be having a voice in politics. When she read an excerpt from her book to all of us, I was in awe. I had to read this book.
“Sive is a founding member of the Illinois Human Rights Commission and started to work her way “up the ladder” in politics, becoming an influential woman in politics. Sive decided to write Every Day Is Election Day to help all women running for office. No matter if you’re running for a PTA position or Congress, this book breaks down the steps for running into four parts: the basics of knowing yourself, goals, and how to start a campaign; why support is necessary from yourself and those around you; why caring is not a weak trait, but rather a strong one to possess; and the importance of communications and learning from your mistakes.
“As a young woman and aspiring legislator, I enjoy reading books that will be helpful down the road for when I start planning to run a successful campaign. Sive’s book does just that. From reading how to embrace my true personality and strengths, “leaning in”, and why sisterhood among your fellow colleagues is vital, the book kept me constantly thinking about who am I as a person and my future. I have no doubt that this made other women think about who they are and their future plans, as well.
A few of my favorite chapters had titles that only ambitious women would find intriguing, relatable, and quite familiar. The titles included, “Dream big; then set your goals and make a plan”, “The only limitations on you are the ones you impose”, and “The power of sisterhood”. As a woman in politics, Sive realizes that society tries to impose limitations and setbacks for women. Sive’s answer to those imposed setbacks? Do not let anyone try to bring you down. After all, who made the official declaration stating that women are weak?
“No matter if you want to run for a local office or for President of the United States, Every Day Is Election Day truly breaks down the steps for any woman who wants to run for office. If you want to have an impact, change the status quo, and be a game changer, read this book. I guarantee you will not regret it one bit.”
–Emily Spangler, Co-director of ProgressWomen and 15 year-old high school sophomore
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