March 10, 2009 / Uncategorized

Jarrett to lead White House Women’s Council

Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama during his run to be President, will be named tomorrow to oversee a newly created White House Women’s Council.

Now I know the reactions here will be mixed. Those of us who voted for President Obama will think this is a fabulous choice. Those of us who were fans of SOS Clinton when she ran will view a certain irony that Jarrett is given a top spot in the area of promoting women’s issues. Those of us who voted for Sen McCain will likely fall into the latter category.

But I personally view this as a positive development. I say, let’s give Valerie Jarrett a chance to do some good. This is, after all, what we have been asking for in a sense — even if Jarrett is not everybody’s first choice (and who would be).

The New Agenda has been speaking out since Election Day and demanding better representation in Obama’s administration. TNA was the only national women’s rights group to continually speak out against Larry Summers. TNA was the only national women’s organization to consistently speak out about the lack of women in Obama’s cabinet (see our Cabinet Watch tab). TNA was the only national women’s organization to continually demand better representation for women and better treatment in the Stimulus Package (see our Media section).  So maybe, just maybe, our voices have been heard. We said in our CNN interview that “Obama does not take this constituency (e.g. women) very seriously.” Maybe, just maybe, he realized that he does need us after all!

Our friends at WomenCount have been asking for something like this all along. They note:

In 1961, as the nation grappled with the issue of women in the workplace, President John Kennedy convened the first Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair. Kennedy recognized the moment was right.

That was 48 years ago, and it’s time to do it again.

Well, is Valerie Jarrett the next Eleanor Roosevelt? I’m not so sure. But I am hoping that Jarrett will come in and do some good for the women of this country. And if she does not, you bet your organization will be speaking out once again loudly and clearly.

What do you think?

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