Since I am writing one to you today, I feel that an explanation is in order before I begin the ‘beg-a-thon.’ So here goes:
Many of you know that Cooch Watch is rooted in outrage and determination to hold Ken Cuccinelli accountable for his blatant anti-choice agenda and misuse of power. My co-founder Stephanie and I saw Mr. Cuccinelli as a caricature of the anti-woman movement. And once we found out his nickname at UVa was “The Cooch,” we thought, “How can we NOT highlight all his extreme abuses of power… and have a little fun while doing it?” People across Virginia and across the entire country have been very receptive to us and our rants and parodies. We found that people are hungry for outrage and real on-the-ground action.
I have worked with many of the leading non-profit organizations that defend women’s rights in this country. I was in a coalition created to fight back against TRAP legislation recently passed in Virginia, which included all the big ‘powerhouse’ names that come to mind when you think of defending women’s rights and going after anti-woman bills and legislators. But when I joined that coalition, I joined because I wanted to fight for my rights. What I found in that group of very rich and very powerful organizations was a lot of people who were good at having meetings, forming committees, and talking with public relations experts. They were also very good at raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, and quickly spending this money with absolutely no tangible results.
That’s not how Cooch Watch fights. Because we are much more than just a fund raising machine, our methods can be more direct, much more engaging and effective than bigger organizations.
We are an all-volunteer organization, and therefore not asking for a lot. Our most urgent needs are a computer so we can create our videos more quickly and a good camera so that we don’t have to borrow one from a friend at a moment’s notice. We currently get copies of pamphlets from friends who work in offices, but it would be nice to be able to run to Kinko’s quickly if something pops up. For now, we share gas money when we have to travel to “watch” the Cooch in out of town locations. A gift from you–no matter how small–would help us reach these goals and enable us to prevent The Cooch from becoming Governor (and stir up some good old fashioned outrage along the way).
We know that this is the time of year that people normally write donation checks to their women’s rights group of choice. Before you do so this year, please take a minute to assess whether that group is making real change. Not by creating petitions, or schmoozing with politicians or going to women’s rights conferences. But really making the people in power listen. This can only be done on the ground, in real time and life, and by a group who is beholden to no one.
So, if you’re as outraged as we are, please donate to Cooch Watch here. We promise hilarity and a damn good fight.