Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“…To go far, go together.”

Recently I stood listening to Al Gore speak to Harvard students about global warming and climate control. He began his speech by saying that overpopulation had contributed to the problems we are now experiencing. The solution, he said, started with educating girls, empowering women, giving them the chance to control their own fertility and giving them opportunity. When women have opportunity, they limit the number of children they have. On a day focused on “green” issues, it was good to hear the vice president reference the empowerment of women.

Later he said something else I think speaks to the coalition we are building in Iowa as we reduce the number of unintended pregnancies among 18-30 year olds and create a model for states and the federal government.

The vice president quoted an African proverb which says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

For me personally, the Iowa Initiative has been gratifying work. My most productive professional work has happened as a result of grassroots coalition building.

With a new president-elect, we are at a turning point in our country’s future. A change in leadership at the national level will influence our ability to create a positive climate in Iowa.

I’m excited to see how, here in Iowa, just how far we can go, together!