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We have a very special show for you.  We were at the Democratic National Convention and met amazing and inspiring leaders from across the nation.  We recorded some great interviews with spectacular guests for you to listen to at your leisure. Enjoy!

**You can hear the whole show now by clicking here to get the podcast:

Special guests include:

  • Swanee Hunt, Ambassador, Harvard professor and author of many books including the Half Life of a Zealot. Co-Founder of the Hunt Alternatives Fund; sparked the Political Parity for Women Project.
  • Lisa Maatz,  AAUW, American Association for University Women
  • Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education
  • Ellie Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation, an American feminist activist, political analyst, lobbyist, and grassroots organizer.
  • Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Representative for Illinois's 9th congressional district, serving since 1999.
  • Sam Bennett, President/CEO for the Women’s Campaign Fund

***LISTEN to the entire "MomsRising with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner" radio show here:


On Location at the Democratic National Convention MomsRising Radio with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner Highlights:

  • Swanee Hunt, Ambassador, Harvard professor, author of many books including the Half Life of a Zealot, co-Founder of the Hunt Alternatives Fund, and co-leader of the Political Parity for Women Project (@swaneehunt)

On the Political Parity Project (At 1:04 on iTunes

“We are a non-partisan initiative, positive, and determined to double the number of women in the U.S. Congress and the governorships.  So we’re not working on the city council level.  We’re really going for women who are willing to move to Washington to be in the U.S. Congress and are willing to head the entire state. I work in 60 countries and what I do in these 60 countries is work with women leaders and so I get to know their parliaments and their ministers.  And what you find is once you get the number of women up to about 30 to 35 percent, the entire parliament, or congress, flips.  It all shifts and it is very, very interesting when you get to that critical mass.”

On the Lilly Ledbetter bill and moving forward (At 16:20 on iTunes

“The Ledbetter bill did what it needed to do, but it just kept the courtroom doors open.  I don’t mean to make light of that.  That’s a huge thing, but that’s what it did.  Now we need to actually expand what we can do in terms of making equal pay for equal work a reality for everybody.  The way to do that is through something called the Paycheck Fairness Act, which AAUW is also happy to be leading the fight on.  We couldn’t do it without MomsRising.  It’s passed a couple of times in the House.  It came one shy in the Senate, which was very disappointing… It’s been almost 50 years since we passed the Equal Pay Act back in 1963.  It’s got enough holes in it, you could drive a Mack truck through it.  We’ve got to tighten it up.  We’ve got to have better protections.  We’ve got to have stronger remedies and we need to have more assistance for women who are trying to fight for their rights.  The time is past due and the fact that they were willing to sacrifice women on the altar of partisan politics was - well - very disappointing.”

On what listeners can do to move to action (At 18:25 on iTunes

“There’s a couple of things that everybody needs to do.  First, they need to make sure they’re registered to vote.  If they are even remotely not sure that they are, they need to double check… The other thing I would say is that women need to be very vocal in the community forums that are going to be happening in the next 60 or so days.  Go to candidate debates.  Go to town halls.  Talk about what you want your government to do for you and how you want to work with your government to make things better.  The reality is women are going to decide this election.  So I think we need to take advantage of that.  I don’t want to just keep having them tell us what they’ve done for us lately.  I want to know what they’re going to do in the future.”

  • Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education (@arneduncan)

On what parents can do to help keep competent and qualified teachers in the classroom: (At 26:25 on iTunes

“Well it’s a great question.  I come at this always first and foremost as a parent.  My two children are in a wonderful local public elementary school and I think it’s so important that we as parents be great partners; that we’re talking to our teachers, our children’s teachers, not just on report card pickup day, but on an ongoing basis, what’s working and what’s not?  Are we turning off those TVs and video games at night?  Are we reading to our children?  Are we helping them with their homework?  We need great teachers.  We’ve talked a lot about that.  It’s a huge deal, but teachers cannot do this by themselves.  They need parents to be full and equal partners and all of us have that responsibility.  Now I know it’s hard.  We have parents working one, two, three jobs trying to make ends meet; looking for work, but nothing is more important than being linked at the hip with your children’s teachers.”

  • Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, American feminist activist, political analyst, lobbyist, and grassroots organizer (@elliesmeal)

   On what is inspiring her right now about the women’s movement: (At 37:21 on iTunes

“Well, I am excited about a group called HerVotes. It’s 54 of the major women’s groups that have come together including MomsRising.  I’ve been around a long time. We’ve never done this before.  To reach out to American women and to say what’s at risk in this election so they ask the right questions and they know it's really a lot of issues.  We just covered Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security pay, equal pay; even Title IX, which is educational opportunity.  We want people to be informed and we want women to vote as if their life depends on it." (For more information, go to

  • Jan Schakowsky, U.S Representative for Illinois’s 9th Congressional District, serving since 1999 (@janschakowsky)

On why she ran for office: (At 47:63 on iTunes

“My first campaign, which actually was a hundred years ago in 1969, was when I was a very young housewife and had two little kids… At that time everything in the grocery store had a code on it, not a date, not a sell-by, use-by, expiration date on it.  You couldn’t tell how old your food was. A group of six women got together.  We said, “You know, we’re the shoppers in our family, the homemakers, at least let us know how old our food is.”  So we started cracking the codes by pushing stock boys against the shelf and they told us how old all the food was. They’d say “Oh well, it’s this set of numbers, you have to add them and the color of the twist on the end of bread.”  And so we launched a campaign to get dates on food.  We called in the press.  We did store inspection - found food days, weeks, months, years beyond the date.  We didn’t question the days that they should be sold.  And eventually we won that fight… We called ourselves National Consumers United.”

On why the United States ranks 91th in the world for women in elected office: (At 53:20 on iTunes

“I also think we have to always remember a very important fact; that the biggest reason we’re ranked 91th in the world in the number of women in elected office, is that American women don’t run.  When they do run, they win at equal rates to men.  When they do run, our research shows they raise more money than men even though they are more concerned about raising money than men are.”

On why moderate Republican women are having a hard time getting out of the primaries:

“Think about the tenor of the party right now.  The value system of moderate Republican women is antithetical to the current tea party kind of flavor of how things roll.  Organizations like ours that specifically work to endorse and help moderate Republican women are essential but I’m not going to kid you, in the whole country, there is one moderate Republican woman running for U.S. Congress right now.  One. Elizabeth Childs in Massachusetts, running against Kennedy.  That’s it.”

On what role the conventions play in candidate recruitment:

“Actually what seems to have the biggest impact on getting women to get off this you know, get up and say “I’m gonna do this” are sort of cultural moments like that, where the glaring lack of women is brought forward for American women and they go, “I just simply have to do this.”

“All parties are saying, “We need more women.”  Research shows if you care about the environment, which I know many of your readers and listeners do. Guess what?  You just elect more women period… In fact, Republican women of any value set out perform Republican men vastly when it comes to votes on the environment and working family issues.  Sure Democratic women are better than Democratic men, but guess what?  Republican women kick Republican men’s you know what when it comes to the environment and working family issues.”

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