by Jonathan Gramling
about 30 minutes in United Way’s lobby to take the photo. That was an accomplishment in itself.
But then they also had to complete the questionnaire that I had developed and that was a challenge. These are some high-powered women with immense
professional responsibilities, not to speak of their family and community responsibilities. I basically had to “case manage” several of the respondents to pull their
priorities in my direction has they dealt with a multitude of tasks. It was challenging, but we got the job done.
Now originally, this was supposed to be a one and done middle spread project. But as I started to place the CEO’s responses in the paper, I quickly realized that it
would take two issues to cover them all. And while I always copyedit pieces that are sent to me, I didn’t want to edit their responses to fit into the space allowed.
The fullness of their responses reveals the unique circumstances that they find themselves in and the missions that they passionately pursue. It also reveals
similarities in their professional roles and how they deal with them. And so I decided to run their profiles in our two March editions.
Our Women’s History Month issue also features a column by Jasmine Winston who spent a semester in Johannesburg, South Africa, a kind of high school year
abroad. Jasmine writes about the things that she experienced and her observations about South Africa. I found it to be a wonderful read.
On another note, one thing that I have been thinking about is the Me Too! movement and all of the disclosures of sexual abuse and harassment of men in high and
low places across many industries. In some ways, I am a public figure because I attend and report on so many public events and meetings. And I have to admit that
I am a hugger. I hug men and women because it connotes a sense of solidarity and support in my mind.
But it has had me thinking, ‘Have I been making women — and men — uncomfortable or even feeling threatened when I hug them?’ It’s one of those things that you
just don’t know.
Now I am usually an automatic hugger. But since the Me Too movement started, I have been looking to the women to communicate what type of greeting they would
prefer. And so if the hand comes out, I shake the hand and leave it at that. Now the vast majority of the time, I still get hugs and I am all for that. But it has caused
me to assume nothing and look to the other person to get a sense of how they want to exchange greetings and I am all for that too. It’s just a matter of respect.
Celebrate Women’s History Month. There is a lot more history to be created.
As I have sat working on this edition of the paper this Monday afternoon, March 5th, I have been watching my email almost like a news ticker tape. And there have
been a lot of comments today about the fact that March 5, 2018 was the scheduled end of the Deferred Arrival for Childhood Arrivals Program. Six months ago,
President Trump announced that he was rescinding the program that had been set up by President Barack Obama after Congress failed to work on immigration
DACA basically protected undocumented children who had come to the United States with their parent(s) and had no say in the matter. It allowed them to get Social
Security cards and remain in the United States to attend college or work while a long-term solution to their status was worked out by the federal government.
Well six months came and went and fortunately two federal judges have given the roughly 878,000 DACA recipients a stay from being deported. And while some feel
that this has preserved the DACA program, it has only deferred action on DACA as its status winds its way through the federal courts or Congress passes some kind
of immigration reform or codifies the DACA Program and it becomes law and not an executive order, which is easily passed and easily taken away.
For the sake of the children, we need comprehensive immigration reform lest we become a country known for its refusal to take immigrants and eliminates one of
the economic factors that have powered our national economy for generations. It isn’t just and it isn’t right. While we need DACA codified, we also need
comprehensive immigration reform so that the law more closely resembles reality and stops twisting and corrupting the lives of millions. Congress make it so!
Women's History and DACA
I must admit that it was a little difficult getting this issue of The Capital City Hues out although in my very biased opinion,
it is a great one. This marks the close of 12 full years of publishing The Capital City Hues. That’s 312 issues, one issue
every two weeks without fail. That’s also over 6,000 pages, enough content to publish a few copies of Dostoyevsky’s
War and Peace. Hidden in those pages are a lot of pearls of wisdom spoken by our many interviewees and columnists. I
might have even snuck in a few myself.
It’s sometimes hard putting this edition out each March because it closes another chapter on the life of the paper. And
we lost two of our columnists during our 12th year, Paul Kusuda and Lang Kenneth Haynes. I am so grateful for their
contributions to The Hues and to the Madison community. Both of them were wellsprings of ideas and humanity, very,
very deep wells. And I and many others miss them and always will.
This issue was also a challenge because there were so many “moving parts” to this issue. Usually I interview 1-4
people at the same time or cover an event for the source of the articles that I write. My dear friend Sharyl Kato suggested
to me some time ago that I should do a story on the women of color CEOs of non-profits in Dane County. A couple of
months ago, I decided to do it for our Women’s History Month issue because these women definitely are making history.
Well it involved checking around with several people to figure out if I was aware of all of them. And we came up with 12
women CEOs. And if I have missed someone, please forgive me and I take full responsibility. After hearing back from my
“informal consultants,” I sent out an email to all of the women who had been identified asking them to participate and I
received a unanimous response of yes. It took several rounds of emails to set up a date and time and we gathered for