Category: 8 Things I Need to Do Before I Die

…Not really. I do, however, imagine myself to care. This is one area, that I have added to my ‘before I die’. I want to become more politically aware and more willing to speak.

Dear 2012 Presidential Candidates,

We are your future constituents and we are parents.

We are American mothers and fathers and grandparents and guardians. Our families might be the most diverse in the world. Blended and combined in endless permutations, we represent every major religion, political ideology and ethnic culture that exists. We are made from equal parts biology and choice. Our children come to us in every way possible—including fertility miracles, adoption, and remarriage.

Our very modern families embody the freedom that defines America. We embody America. We are rich in diversity, but we are united in our family values. We come together today, with one voice, to express our grave disappointment in the national political discourse.

The 2012 countdown has barely begun and we are already being bombarded with the warmed-over, hypocritical rhetoric of 2008. We are living in a time where 15.1% of Americans now live in poverty (CNN Poverty Rate 9/13/2011), the unemployment rate stands at 16% (Breitbart Unemployment Rate 8/26/2011), and we are spending close to $170 billion annually (CostOfWar.Com) between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given the current state of affairs we would expect every candidate to focus on the issues that truly matter: job creation, debt-relief, taxes, education, poverty, and ending the war(s). Instead, it is already clear to us that the conversation has been hijacked, with the goal of further polarizing our nation into a politically motivated and falsely created class-war.

We will not stand for another campaign year in which politicians presume to know what our family values are as they relate to the nation.

To be clear, here are our family values:

  • Affordable health care, including family planning, for all Americans. We will not tolerate any candidate using the shield of “Choice” to blind us from the issues that really matter. When funding is stripped from organizations like Planned Parenthood, access to sliding-scale health care (including yearly pap smears & mammograms), comprehensive sex education, and family planning is blocked from the poorest of the population.
  • Access to education, and the ability to actually use it. We want quality, affordable, federally-funded pre-K programs made available in every State, in order to provide an even starting point for all children enrolled in public schools— regardless of the wealth of the district or town they live in.
  • A reinstatement of regulations for banks issuing mortgages and full prosecution for those who engaged in fraudulent lending practices. We want full accountability —investigation, indictment and prosecution— of those individuals and institutions who engaged in fraudulent lending practices and who helped create the massive foreclosures that left many families homeless or struggling to keep their homes.
  • A return of strict environmental regulations protecting water, air, food, and land that were removed in the last two decades. We want our children to grow up in a world not weighed down by the strains of pollution and global warming. Between BPA in our products, sky-rocketing rates of asthma in kids, questionable hormones in our over-processed food, and more, we need leaders who will put our needs and safety over the desires and profits of large corporations.

Family planning, healthcare, education, economic solvency and environmental safety: these are our national family values.

Candidates who demonstrate the ability to understand the gravity of these issues, and their impact on our families, and who can provide actual, viable solutions to these problems will garner our support and our votes.

We believe in this democratic system of ours, and we will continue to use our voices and our votes to see that it reaches its fullest potential.

Sincerely, Your future constituents,

The mothers & fathers of America

If you would like to forward this letter to your elected officials, you can find their contact info at the following links:

United States Senators

United States House Of Representatives

(I am not the author of this wonderful letter. To find more information about this project please see)

With gratitude in helping us raise our voice, Avital Norman Nathman ( @TheMamaFesto & Lisa Duggan ( @motherhoodmag


Last year I helped with a campaign and fund raising in SecondLife (my former alternate universe that I will soon tell you about)

Still, I did not schedule

This time, this month, I am going to ask you all to hold me accountable for scheduling a mammogram.  I’m giving myself until January, for insurance purposes. However I’m looking around for other screening options in the meantime.  I haven’t been to the Dr., any Dr. for a very long time. (how’s that for a bold confession?) So, I hereby give you permission and ask that you follow through with helping me follow through?

I’m also going to ask you to partner along with me in that decision. If you haven’t been checked, GO.

I’ll hold your virtual hand, and you hold mine?

I am so appreciative of the comments I’ve received and the feedback that’s already coming. It’s inspired me to write more, and I have some pieces in the works for you.

Thank you, graciously, thank you.

1)     Have a child, you’ll definitely make a difference to them, good or bad

2)     Contribute to a domestic abuse center

3)     Better yet, volunteer at one

4)     Smile to complete strangers

5)     Hold the door for people, this simple act of kindness is often neglected.

6)     If someone gives you the wrong  change, be honest with them

7)     Tip the pizza delivery guy more than he’s expecting

8)     Volunteer at your kid’s school.

9)     Join Big Brother and Big Sisters

10)  Forgive someone

11)  Forgive someone who really doesn’t deserve it

12)  Give nice clothing to a children’s shelter. Better yet, NEW clothing. Socks and underwear are always in short supply.

13)  Anonymously mail a struggling family a night out. Movie tickets, gift card for a meal

14)  Sponsor a child, it’s very cost-effective

15)  Play cheerful music at home, it will help your mood and improve those around you.

16)  Volunteer at a literacy program

17)  Volunteer at your library

18)  Adopt an unwanted pet

19)  Foster and train a puppy that will be used as an assistance animal

20)  Teach children to embrace peace

21)  Join and or financially support organizations who work for peace

22)  Send a note of appreciation for something someone has done for you

23)  Support organizations who oppose violence in children’s television

24)  Turn OFF the TV

25)  Do an unexpected chore, best yet do someone else’s chore anonymously

26)  Tickle your significant other

27)  Plant a tree

28)  Attend a benefit concert

29)  Mentor a child

30)  Freely praise other people

31)  Be active in a parent teacher group (if of course you ARE a parent)

32)  Volunteer with Girl Scouts

33)  Volunteer with Boy Scouts

34)  Give a book to a child

35)  Know how AIDS is transmitted, and speak up when someone is wrong about this

36)  Drink Responsibly, stay off the road, and you’re sure to improve COUNTLESS lives around you

37)  Forgive your own wrongdoings, you’ll be better able to extend that to others

38)  Volunteer with Meals On Wheels

39)  Set up a recycling center at your house, and use it

40)  Learn First Aid and CPR from your local Red Cross, you never know

41)  Sign your organ donor card

42)  Bake cookies and take them to the local fire station

43)  Make a care package for a shut in, better yet, take it to them and stay awhile

44)  Have a teddy bear drive for the police in your area, call them first to ask what they need

45)  Put your trash where it belongs, be mindful of others and our planet

46)  Shop at local business

47)  Start a book club

48)  Donate clothing and other items to charity, this helps you as well, PURGE

49)  Volunteer for Special Olympics

50)  Remember that the voice telling you that you CAN’T do something, is lying