PASCO COUNTY NOW (National Organization for Women)
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Brandi Geoit & Kelly Smith

Members & Candidates for Pasco County Commission - Brandi Geoit & Kelly Smith

Chapter Number FL0365

Pasco County NOW takes action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

From the President - Elaine TognerI

Elaine Togneri

At one of their first meetings, the Pasco Commission on the Status of Women developed a list of critical issues affecting Pasco women. They have been working to narrow these down and prioritize the results. I missed their October Meeting, but my understanding is that County Commissioner Katheryn Starkey intervened to ask them to hold a fundraising luncheon and create a “Woman of the Year Award,” saying this is what other Commissions in Florida do. In my opinion, this would stop the progress the Pasco Commission is making and seemed an attempt to co-opt their work.

So I let it all hang out at the November meeting in my public comment. I said the purpose of the Commission should be to promote gender equality and empower women. It should focus on removing barriers and improving the well-being of women. Things that would help are reporting on and making recommendations on the economic, political, and social status of Pasco women, eliminating domestic violence and sexual assault, advocating for paid family leave, documenting wage disparities, and pushing for more women in positions of power.

I let them know recognition is not a problem in Pasco. The Chambers and other organizations honor noteworthy Pasco women on a regular basis. A Women’s Hall of Fame is a nice to have. We shouldn’t waste time, energy, and resources on this when we have so many problems that need to be addressed first. Over 3600 domestic violence crimes in 2016. Most Pasco women working for low wages. Limited childcare options. Health issues.

Kathryn said she didn’t agree with me, Brandi, and Kelly who also spoke against diverting attention from the important issues. She was just honored at group’s luncheon and found it to inspiring.

I’m happy to report that the Commission voted to table the fundraiser and Woman of the Year Award. They want to focus on their goals and pick a priority. They agreed that only when they are known in the community and know what they’d like to fund, would it make sense to hold a fundraiser.

Frankly we belong on this commission. We could be a strong voice for Pasco women. Our goals line up so closely with theirs, but in spite of my requests, we were not appointed. The next best thing is paying attention, showing up and speaking out. We can make a difference.

My thanks to VP Brandi Geoit and member Kelly Smith, Candidates for County Commission who attended and supported my points.

 In Sisterhood,

Elaine Togneri 

Quote of the Month for November 2017

" What is the point of encouraging little girls to dream big if any career puts them in the path of boob honkers? There’s not a workplace on land or sea or even at the bottom of a big deep hole in the ground where we’re actually keeping women safe. … Wouldn’t it be so nice if they could go to work without carrying bear spray? Except for the park ranger, she definitely needs the bear spray ."

Samantha Bee


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