Smart Women vote

It is no surprise that the sheer speed of Bill Bipartisan Bailout and his running mate, Mr. Economy, have usurped the attention of media, presidential debates and the whole of the American people during this election year. But Congress hasnâÄôt always moved so hastily. On Jan. 12, 1915, a new Amendment was proposed to the House of Representatives, and lost by 174-204 votes. Three years later, on Jan. 10, 1918 the bill finally passed in the House with one more vote than the necessary two-thirds approval. But, dashing the hopes of the people it would affect, the Senate voted down the bill on Sept. 30, 1918. It wasnâÄôt until President Woodrow Wilson called a special session of Congress that both the House and Senate passed the bill on May 21, 1919, and June 4, 1919 respectively. So, after five years, the bill was ratified on Aug. 20, 1920, only a few months before the election of President Warren G. Harding. So whatâÄôs with the history lesson? I wanted to remind you to vote. Why? Because smart people do âÄî especially smart women. The ReaderâÄôs Digest edition of the 19th Amendment above is all about womenâÄôs suffrage and our right to vote. While the bill trickled through legislation for only five years, women had been vocal about the right since the mid-19th century, so by the time it was passed by Congress, the practice was radical, but the idea was old hat. It seems itâÄôs now become the practice, too, thatâÄôs old hat. And while that may be the case, my message today holds both context and class. We study at a university but our intelligence stretches far beyond the academic sphere. St. Paul entrepreneur Julie Hellwich is familiar with this concept. A three-time University graduate and founder of Smart Women Company (www.smartwomencompany.com), HellwichâÄôs company promotes all that is useful and reusable for smart women. The idea came from a simple rubber stamp she often used to make gifts. With a witty silhouette, the stamp said, âÄúSmart Women.âÄù Hellwich moved from bath salts for birthdays to an entire line of Smart Women products in 1999. Erasers say, âÄúSmart Women Make Changes,âÄù glasses claim, âÄúSmart Women Thirst for knowledge.âÄù Or, most applicable for our suffrage is, âÄúSmart Women Elect to Make a Difference.âÄù âÄúI knew that women were using the message of Smart Women brand as tools of communication,âÄù said Hellwich of her election related products that emerged in the 2004 election. âÄúAnd in 2003 I became politically active for the first time. I was so upset about our country going to war âÄî and I have two daughters âÄî so I thought it was important for me to have the courage of my convictions, which is something my mother used to say.âÄù Acting on her disturbance of the war, Hellwich began to participate in marches and take an active stance. She commented in light of this: âÄúI thought I can use the message of voting in my company. I wanted women to realize it was important for them to not only act on the issues that were meaningful to them, but that they could act locally as well.âÄù HellwichâÄôs company did just that. Smart Women products are sourced domestically in the United States, and many of them come from sources in Minnesota, and the ethos of her company states that her products must be practical or reusable. In contrast to the pop-standards of the green movement in our nation, HellwichâÄôs standards were in place after an ecology service learning project as a senior in high school in 1973. Hellwich and her friends created a networking system for recyclables in which community members could drop off cans and bottles to the local grocery store for pickup and reuse. The project was exemplary for her belief in beginning small to advocate change, and her company has upheld this ideal. As her products are created on local basis, so too is her message. Political issues are huge and can be overwhelming, which is why her small products generate conversation between women. Bipartisan buttons noting âÄúSmart women vote 2008,âÄù have been used in California as a tool to generate conversation among homeless women voters; pencils have promoted Girl Scouts to âÄúTake Note and Vote.âÄù We may not implement our daily decisions into law like members of Congress, but Nov. 4 is one day of the year our vote is more important than those in Washington D.C. In our interview, Hellwich put it nicely, âÄúReally, itâÄôs voting. Vote, vote, vote. ItâÄôs the one act of public, civic involvement thatâÄôs the basis of responsible citizenship.âÄù For women, itâÄôs looking beyond the gender of the candidate to the issues themselves. In an interview with CNN, Hillary Clinton noted that she often tells voters that the question is not who are you for, but rather, who is for you? Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in the state of Minnesota. All you have to do is fill out a registration card and turn it in. ThatâÄôs it. The cards are at any county court house, city hall and a multitude of public buildings. TheyâÄôve been filtering through campus for weeks. All you need is a Minnesota state driverâÄôs license or the last four digits of your Social Security number. For anyone in the dorms or campus housing, bring your student ID with you because youâÄôve already been registered at your polling place. As you see, your excuses for not registering or voting are running thin. It takes a few minutes, and IâÄôm sure youâÄôve all heard this is the most important election of your lives. The only other option to register is on Election Day, but donâÄôt wait. Stop by the tables outside Coffman Union, or find a form at the secretary of stateâÄôs website. Kelsey Kudak welcomes comments at [email protected]