We the People

Yesterday the 44th President of the United States gave his inaugural speech while I was driving down I-5 with our 10 and 2 year old.  At the sound of President Obama’s voice my 2 year old started clapping and said “Obama is my favorite guy” (for one second Batman took a step back) and my 10 year old took off her headphones and set down her Nook to listen to his words (a miracle).  I got my tissue at the ready, just in case I broke into inspired hysterics while driving such precious cargo down the freeway at 80 miles an hour.

Obama was never “my” President.  I am a Hillary girl through and through and I am forever indebted to her for inspiring me to believe that I could one day REALLY be the President of the United States.  So, listening to President Obama speak yesterday was really something I did because it was my civic duty and I want our 10 year old to know about our elected officials and we live in a democracy so it is important to listen to what our Commander in Chief has to offer (prepared pessimism is what I was feeling).

Let’s just say that the tears, they started flowing, when President Obama said this, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…”

The tears came because I have never heard a sitting President refer to Seneca Falls (where the Declaration of Sentiments was ratified) and I sure as hell have never heard a sitting President refer to Stonewall (where the LGBT civil rights movement began).  And then the sobbing began when President Obama said, “For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”

Had I gone on with my day the way it had been “planned”:

I wouldn’t have loaded my kiddos in the car.

I wouldn’t have listened to history being made.

I wouldn’t have been re-inspired to share my message of equality and justice for all.

AND, I would have missed being INSPIRED AND LIT ON FIRE!

We still have work to do:

Are you or someone you know raising money for a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire young leaders of tomorrow?  I have been saying for years that we will not see full LGBT equality until we see full equality for women.  I can help you get your message out.

Are you putting together a panel of experts to discuss strategic positioning of women in politics and transitioning great ideas into great laws?  I wrote my first law on my dining room table.  I can help you get women excited about making a difference right from their own homes.

Are you a high school teacher struggling to help young people harness their teenage angst to perform acts of good?  I have spoken in high school and college classrooms and have purposefully inspired the next generation to do better.

WE are the people.  Yesterday the President gave us a call to action, “You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.  You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

Bird Girl Industries is one of the voices that will help you shape the debate. Email me today at melissabird1001@gmail.com so we can start talking about our future tomorrows.

we the people

From President Obama’s Inaugural Address-WE ARE THE PEOPLE!

 

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About Melissa Bird

Melissa Bird is a passionate feminist who has turned her education in social work into a career advocating for children, women and their families. She is a fierce believer in preparing women for leadership roles in politics and has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. In 2006, Melissa became the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Utah where she quickly took a struggling political organization from mediocre to powerhouse in just a few years. Melissa has written and passed into law six pieces of legislation that aim to help disadvantaged homeless youth find shelter and women and their families obtain unfettered access to reproductive health care. A spirited public speaker, Melissa derives great joy from speaking to groups of all sizes about social justice advocacy, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and fundraising. Melissa has presented workshops at many conferences throughout the country such as: Planned Parenthood Federation of America-State Public Affairs Network: New Public Affairs Staff Orientation—Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Innovations & Generations Conference—Seattle, Washington Troubled Youth Conference—Snowbird, Utah Child Welfare League of America National Conference—Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center of Mental Health Services Conference-Collaborative Approaches to Successful Transition for Children, Youth, and Families within System of Care—Dallas, Texas Melissa has played many roles throughout her life including preschool teacher, professional lobbyist, university professor, non-profit executive, wife and mother. Throughout her life and her career, Melissa has always held a deep conviction that she is here to empower others in order to improve the lives of women and children throughout the world.
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