Job Posting for the Women’s March organization — AKA the real West Wing, the real Executive Branch

Job Posting for the Women’s March organization — AKA the real West Wing, the real Executive Branch
Posted July 31, 2017

This is an updated and reformatted version of a July 26, 2017 announcement posted on two food-and-farm listservs serving U.S. and North America.

To: Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (national organization based in Ames, Iowa)
North American Food Systems Network (professional development organization based in Ithaca, NY)
bcc: Women who know what it means to wear birthing paint and warrior paint — at the same time

In the six months since the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington, I have come to think of the Women’s March organization as the alternative White House, the real West Wing, the real executive branch of this country. The Women’s March Twitter page is my go-to site for the latest in implementing the ideals of the U.S.A., as written in human law and nature’s design.

In truth, women are manifesters and implementers, as well as consummate group thinkers. For my money, the Women’s March organization has been manifesting women’s natural authority big time — and inspiring millions of women to do the same. After thousands of years of systematic dissolution — 200+ years in the U.S. — women’s group authority is now being codified and instituted — for the betterment of all (humans and non-humans).

The recent announcement by the Women’s March to hire an Executive Director is just another step in this codification. Here is the announcement as it was posted on the Women’s March Twitter account and website.
Executive Director, Women’s March

Interesting job description — very 21st century professional and very Women’s March (thank goodness). And, for those who might want to apply, the website says very clearly that the job description is just a general overview, not a mandatory comprehensive list of qualifications: Data shows that women more frequently do not apply to a job because they don’t feel that they meet all of the qualifications listed…. If you feel passionate about our efforts and believe that you have the skills to contribute and lead in this role apply! We want to hear from you!

Location is listed as New York with the following parenthetical comment: But we are most interested in finding the best possible candidate.
Salary is commensurate with experience.
Application. There is no application form. Interested candidates are invited to email resumes + cover letters.

I think it likely that the Women’s March will get a lot of good applicants for this position. If the job search committee is looking for some nuanced input in terms of making the final selection, here’s my thoughts:

1. A TANDEM JOB SHARE? I wonder if co-Executive Directors is the best model. The Women’s March leadership has already shown how effective (and fun) team leadership is. Plus we’ve already had thousands of years of toxic top dog personality leadership (male and female). I myself have enjoyed numerous co-leadership relationships and seen many other successful ones.

— more geographical representation to a heavily NYC organization
— more rural voices
— more indigenous voices
— voices from other sectors (e.g., food-and-farm) that have not yet been centered or amplified in the Women’s March activities. It would be great to have a food-and-farm person in this position, because I see food-and-farm folks as some of the most practical people I know — especially when experienced in public process and committed to real democracy. People connected to the land are tuned into earth cycles and earth spirits on a daily basis.

2017 and 2018 Elections: Food-and-farm platforms, food-and-farm candidates

2017 and 2018 Elections: Every candidate a food-and-farm candidate?
Statewide Food-and-farm Platforms

Posted July 28, 2017

On June 26, 2017 I posted a query to two of the largest and most active national and North American food-and-farm listservs — COMFOOD (Tufts Univ.) and FPN (Food Policy Networks – Johns Hopkins Univ.).

Does anyone have a good food-and-farm plank for a STATE election platform? specifically, for a gubernatorial campaign?
Has any recent U.S. gubernatorial candidate run on a food-and-farm platform?

Just one or two sentences would be great. Or an actual plank from an actual U.S. state platform.

GOAL: My primary interest is to create better, more concrete public discussions during Illinois elections and to create real planks and platforms for which winning candidates can be held accountable during a measurable timeframe — e.g., the first year in office.

STRATEGY: The strategy toward that goal is to
— develop an Illinois food-and-farm platform (5-10 planks — individual actionable items that are specific enough for measurement)
— get every candidate to adopt at least one plank, thereby becoming a food-and-farm candidate
— so that food-and-farm is now an Illinois campaign issue, with a real track record
— so that the winner is automatically a food-and-farm candidate


RESPONSES: I received a number of great responses, but most were long (including one book!) — not 1-2 sentences. In a separate blogpost, I will be doing some detailed analysis, but here is the raw information I received (along with two other relevant documents)

I’ve compiled the responses into two versions, a complete version (including all the context that people sent) and a short version (mostly bullet points)
COMPLETE VERSION:  a 23-page PDF, the contents of which are listed below.

There are 10 separate “platforms” but only 4 are state-level platforms from actual states, developed by the people who live there (Illinois, Maine, New York, Virginia). However, there is a lot of good messaging, good context, etc., in all.  For the moment, I offer these documents as action-oriented study guides for grassroots groups, etc.

NEXT STEPS for 2017 and 2018 elections
— in Illinois (statewide platform)
— in the other 49 states (statewide platforms)
— adapt statewide platforms for local races (county, municipal, school board, etc.)
— adapt statewide platforms for national initiatives (Farm Bill, etc.)

Not surprisingly (post-2016 presidential election), other food-and-farm organizations are
— getting active around the next elections (mostly 2018, but there are some 2017 elections)
— concentrating on state and local jurisdictions
— really honing their messaging and organizing to be more politically effective

a. Resist + Regenerate (a project of Organic Consumers Assn. + Regeneration International).
I was delighted to learn about the new Resist + Regenerate initiative. We have agreed to work together informally on
— helping residents of each state develop their own food-and-farm platforms, which can also be adapted for local elections (county, city, school district, etc.). This will be accomplished primarily through a growing network of Meet-up groups.
— using Illinois as one of the states to really push the grassroots organizing and platform development
— using our state-by-state learning to craft a better, more unified national platform that can be used by any and all food-and-farm organizations for (a) 2020 national elections, and (b) Farm Bill discussions (which start officially next year I believe).

Resist + Regenerate is currently drafting a press release on the project. Stay tuned for the formal announcement, but the project is already underway. If you want to connect with this initiative directly (or start a group in your state), here’s the link about the campaign (including a map of existing Meet-up groups):

b. Illinois
In addition to working through the Meet-up groups of Resist + Regenerate (there are already a number of them in Illinois), I will continue to work through the other Illinois food-and-farm networks, to cross-pollinate our platform and candidate development efforts.


CONTENTS OF the 23-page PDF, a complete compilation of the responses that I got.

1. Pages 1-2
Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Plan – Goals for 2020
(published and adopted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2009)

2. Pages 2-4
Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Plan — Complete list of Obstacles and Solutions for Building an Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Economy

3. Page 5: From Alexis Baden-Mayer (Political Director, Organic Consumers Assn.)
Virginia: Candidates who will Resist & Regenerate (in 2017)

4. Pages 6-7: From Bob St. Peter (Maine) – email sent to COMFOOD in December 2013
List of Needs of Maine’s Farmers and Farm Workers

5. Pages 8-11: From Elizabeth Henderson (Peacework CSA, New York)
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Justice – Green Party platform of Howie Hawkins
Candidate for governor, New York, 2010

6. Pages 12-13: From Mark Dunlea (New York)
Howie Hawkins platform (2010), Green Party candidate for governor, New York
Colia Clark, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senator from New York

7. Pages 14-15: From Mark Dunlea (New York)
Green Party platform – national
Compiled by Denis Spisak, Green Party of Ohio Nominee for Governor

8. Pages 16-20: From Brad Wilson (Iowa)
Pro-Farmer State Strategy: Reconcile Farm Justice with Sustainability

9. Page 21: From Patti Edwardson Naylor (Iowa)
— Questions for candidates: national-global platform
— Open letter from League of Women in Food & Agriculture to 2017 U.S. Presidential Cabinet

10. Page 22 & 23: From Navina Khanna (HEAL, California)
— Plate of the Union Platform (a national platform?)
— Heal Food Alliance (a national platform?)

Not included in the compilation were two other recommendations that may be worth investigating.
— Two people recommended checking out Francis Thicke’s campaign materials (including his book) from his 2010 run for Secretary of Agriculture of Iowa. I did not receive anything short enough or succinct enough to include.

— One respondent reminded me of Chellie Pingree (U.S. Rep. from Maine) but in 2012 I didn’t find anything usable from Rep. Pingree’s website.