(It's on PJTV, you will need to register, but it's free.)
If you prefer to read it, I have posted the entire text of the speech below:
Women in Politicsby Michelle Moore
Good morning and thanks for being here. I’m Michelle Moore-I am the Director of Technology & Midwest Regional Coordinator for Smart Girl Politics--one of the fastest growing conservative women’s groups in the nation. Smart Girl Politics began as Stacy Mott’s blog in June of 2008.
Stacy had had enough of what was going on in politics-as many of us had by then-so she started blogging. By November she got tired of screaming in a vacuum and stuck out a help wanted sign on her blog. She asked other women to join her and start a group. That’s when I first became involved with Stacy. We had talked quite a bit on Twitter and when she started asking conservative women if they wanted to join blogs- I jumped at the chance. I remember those early days….a bunch of blogs, stuck together, trying to figure out how we were going to make a difference. My. my, my-how things have changed….from that little blip on the radar, to a NING group in December of 2008-to now-a powerful women’s organization with over 25,000 members ….we have become a force to be reckoned with –
So, what has contributed to our exponential growth in such a short time? Why have we become so popular?
Well, I think there are several reasons for that.
First, we have a fabulous leadership team. We are all very dynamic in our own way. Everyone brings something unique to the table. From the 6 more or less original members Stacy Mott, Teri Christoph, Tabitha Hale, Rebecca Wales, Katie Favazza, and myself-we have now grown to a whole host of leaders in our organization to help guide and direct these women in their quest for conservatism.
Smart Girl Politics has given conservative women a voice. While organizations like NOW and Code Pink have existed for the other side for years, conservative women have had only had a few single voices speaking out for them for quite a while. Women like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter have been attempting to speak out for conservative women for years, but they are only individual women. As the past Presidential election cycle came and went and the politics heated up, conservative women began turning out in droves-dying for someone to help them, some to talk to, people to engage with. Smart Girl Politics appeals to women because it isn’t just one conservative woman speaking out, but giving an outlet and a voice for all conservative women to speak out. It has given us a place to educate ourselves about issues, a place to organize, a place to feel empowered-which works out really well since our motto is Engage. Educate. Empower.
Secondly, when a grassroots movement starts as a blog, it is obvious technology, the Internet and new ways of communication will play an important role in your growth. We have used new media, social networking and as much of the latest technology as I can figure out how to work, at a the fastest pace I can manage to work it J Because I am the Director of Technology they often come to me and say “Hey we want to insert a “new, fancy or unusual” request. Can you make it happen?” To which I usually reply “Uh……” but somehow, most of the time, I manage to get it done. Of course, we have a Facebook group, the NING site http://www.smartgirlpolitics.ning.com/ –the main membership site and a couple of Twitter accounts, but we have gone beyond just those things. We have used live video technology to host candidate question and answer sessions and to broadcast parts of our Smart Girl Summit last fall. We have a fantastic on-line magazine “Smart Girl Nation” and a radio show by the same name on RFC Radio.com. Thru these avenues we disseminate facts, figures, and opinion to anyone who wants it. On the news site “Smart Girl Nation” we use a variety of multimedia technologies including video and coming soon-podcasting. We are experimenting and adding new features all the time.
Combine all that with some of the best bloggers around keeping our content relevant and fresh and you have an excellent, refreshing source of information for conservative women.
Another way we have reached out to conservative women is through education. Last fall we launched SGP101. Thru SGP101, we have been able to provide a depth and breadth of training to our members unlike anything else you will find. So far we have trained over 500 women on topics ranging from “Using Social Media to Share Your Message” to “How Political Parties are Structured” We’ve even used online training to teach voter registration, “Get Out The Vote” and candidate training. It is our hope to double the number of women we train this year over last year. Smart Girl Politics believes, arming our members with accurate information and educating them in ways to accomplish their goals, may be the single most important thing we can do to preserve and protect our future.
Thru education and knowledge we are empowered to speak out against that which is wrong, debate confidently the issues of the day and even support or discard candidates. Many of our members are outspoken-a few have even made headlines taking on Legislatures and main stream media. Katie Abrams-took on Arlen Specter saying “You have awoken a sleeping giant” and then asked him “What are you going to do to restore this country back to the constitution.” Then there was 17-year old Jackie Seal who took on MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell at a Sarah Palin book signing. Jackie was wearing a T-shirt that said: "The US government handed out $700 billion in Wall Street bailouts and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." And Nora decided that was good enough cause to argue with a teenager there to see someone she looks up to and Jackie took her task and didn’t back down on her position. Even me, for those of you who know me-you know I have a reputation for being a little…..tough….for those of you who don’t….well I commonly describe myself by saying “I’m just a woman with a big mouth and a bad attitude.” Smart Girl Politics attracts smart confident women who aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Then we give them tools to speak intelligently to any issue they wish.
As an organization for all women, Smart Girl Politics is always focused on the most important issues of the day. When our members expressed concerns with the seeming tax/spend policies of the administration, we provided facts and figure for our members to take to their families and neighbors. On the health care debate we provided educational materials, forms for faxing to Senators and Representatives, and a place to air out opinions-all the time encouraging our members to take action. Smart Girl Politics has spoken out on issues that face conservative women, but not just conservative women. Last year, we had a rare moment to partner with NOW in addressing Whoopi Goldberg's "It wasn't rape-rape" comment. We defended conservative women who were attacked by the left and degraded as sex objects in a crude and hateful Playboy's Top 10 list. Most recently we came out in support of Tim Tebow and his mom's super bowl ad.
So where are all of these “Smart Women” coming from? We’ve talked a little about what Smart Girl Politics offers to women, but let’s talk about what kind of woman is searching for us. As an organization with different personalities, we attract women of all kinds-from all walks of like. Many of our women are strong, outspoken leaders-many ladies join Smart Girl Politics to become better leaders or to train to be the leaders they never knew they could be-until the time came. Some of our members just come for information. They want a reliable and easy way to get access to resources and information. We don’t just appeal to the women either. We have Smart Guys Group and groups for Teens. But it’s the women we aim to support. For years we have loved the great quotes from Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter-even Elizabeth Hasselback, who often has to defend her stance from the other ladies on The View.
When conservatives started realizing acquiescing to the other side and the smooth-over politics of Washington were taking hold and that those policies had an excellent chance of jeopardizing our future-the women started to look at our children, we looked at our families, our husbands, our partners and we said “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON OUT THERE!” And we started paying attention. We saw new faces like Michele Bachmann and Robyn Smith-from right here in Tennessee- they were speaking out-and we said “Hey! I agree with her!” We began to listen to these women and to the words they were saying. As we took an interest, we wanted to get involved, we wanted to engage. Then Sarah Palin entered the national stage when John McCain nominated her as his vice Presidential pick. No matter your specific opinion on Governor Palin, NO ONE can deny she has excited conservative women as never before. She has regenerated women’s interest in politics and issues that hasn’t been seen for decades. Maybe ever. Heck she even got liberal women’s attention. To my way of thinking, that was more or less when it all broke loose. After that, conservative women spoke up across the nation, seeking out groups like Smart Girl Politics and their local Tea Party organizations.
We became involved in Tea Parties in February. We became unwitting leaders in March and we ran nearly the entire national stage in April. Low taxes, less spending, less government, investing in the future for our children-these things are our motivation. Groups like Tea Party and Smart Girl Politics our battle machines. They provide the ammunition and backup support that any powerful group needs to accomplish their goal-gearing up for battle when we need it and providing a soft place to fall when we are hurt. There is no force like an army of passionate women.
Over these last couple of years, we have learned to take a hit. We have learned that for us, politics will get very personal. We have learned that some men don’t care for a woman with an opinion but we have also learned that men who do like a woman with an opinion, are eager to fight right by our side. We have found a passion and we are taking the lead.
I know for me it is personal. I have two teenage daughters-a junior and a senior in High School. They are young women; soon to raise families of their own. How could I possibly see a future where they were not afforded the same opportunities as me? How could I not fight for them? I have lived the American Dream. I was married and then divorced young. That left me single mother with two small kids. I wondered everyday how I would provide for my babies-and back then they were babies-but I worked hard-I struggled-worked hard some more and I made it. In my late twenties I started my own technology consulting company for small business and today I make a good living doing what I love every day. What will I do if those same sweet babies who looked up at me all those years ago don’t have the same opportunities I did-to stand or fall of their own volition? How about when my grandchildren look at me? I would never want them to think I had failed them.
For many of us this is the first time we have gotten engaged in the political process. Many of are still learning, taking our knocks, as we push forward and accomplish our goals both large and small. I’ve met so many powerful and wonderfully passionate women along the way. They are leading local groups, they are marching in protests, they are radio hosts and passionate speakers. They are the women who are going to take back this country.
Smart Girl Politics will lead the charge in 2010. Our online training gears up again next week; the Radio show will soon be available as a pod cast on Smart Girl Nation and we will begin holding voter registration drives across the country. Smart Girl Politics will continue to encourage our members to take action and achieve for all of us.
This fall will see the return of Smart Girl Summit. Last year we held it right here in Nashville, this year we converge on Washington DC. Conservative women from around the nation will gather to learn, laugh and train for the coming battles leading up to the next Presidential Election.
As a woman who was looking for a “home” I found one in Smart Girl Politics and the Tea Party movement. I found the voice I didn’t know I had and a certain courage I never knew I would need. I found other women who have become some of my closest friends. Women who two years ago I knew nothing about but we shared a common goal and a kindred spirit. Now I can’t imagine a life without them. Across miles and distance-we are so different, yet the same. You women inspire me-you motivate me-you lift me to heights I could never achieve alone.
Thank you “Women in Politics”-you guys are the best.