In honor of Election Day, we are featuring a special interview with Penny Young Nance, the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA). Her interest in politics began in college, and if her passion for the subject isn’t evident in this interview, you’ll see it even more at the CWA website.
4word: When and how did you first become involved in politics?
Penny: I grew up seeing my Dad at the pulpit, sharing his personal and Biblical convictions with the congregation, but I really got plugged in on a local level as a CWA member at Liberty University. There, I got to talk with like-minded girls my age who knew what they stood for.
That’s why I’m so proud of our Young Women for America (YWA) chapters that are springing up on some of the country’s most liberal college campuses. The mission of YWA is to train the next generation to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens. Our young people are in the middle of a fight for their hearts and minds, and I’m not surprised to this generation’s “Esthers” rise up for such a time as this.
4word: Why is it important for us, as Christians, to be a part of the political process?
Penny: The short answer: because it is your right and your duty as an American citizen. Christians throughout the ages have been expressing their faith by making a difference in the culture in which God placed them.
Our country offers us many benefits and blessings, but of the country’s 60 million Christian conservative women, only 30 million will register to vote, and only 15 million will go to the polls on Election Day.
That’s why we started She Votes 2012. It isn’t that conservative women have ignored the course of public policy. They’ve stayed busy tending to their families, churches, and community activities. But now we find that government is politicizing moral issues. In considering this, I hope American women will educate themselves not just on what the candidates say but also what they have done. The future of our great nation, as well as our families, is at stake.
If you’d like to learn more about She Votes 2012, you can find them @SheVotes2012 and facebook.com/ConcernedWomenforAmerica. When you do make it out to the polls on Election Day, we encourage you to tag She Votes 2012 on Facebook with a picture of you at the voting booth or purchase a SheVotes2012 shirt and make sure we see it!
4word: So what’s the mission behind She Votes 2012?
Penny: She Votes 2012 works to raise the awareness and activism of women, resulting in stronger conservative leadership on the state and federal level. The She Votes 2012 program mobilizes members in key states through grassroots education and voter registration, identification and turnout to change the trajectory of our nation.
Women have carried every presidential election since 1964. They are late-in-the-game deciders who avoid single-issue politics in favor of complex considerations. But if women have had the political willpower to determine the trajectory of the nation, then how did we find ourselves in this troubled political climate? The answer is that a missing link has existed over the past 30 years – conservative women. Our voices and our votes have been left out of the conversation. If you don’t show up, you can’t complain later.
The current poor economy is hurting women. And when women are hurting, our country is hurting. Women make 80% of a family’s economic decisions and are usually the ones deciding on healthcare for their children and their own parents. Before you vote, I challenge you to find out how each candidate plans to fix the economy. Take the time to read each party’s national platform to find out if you mostly agree or mostly disagree with it.
4word: Besides voting, how else can our readers get involved in the political process? What can we do on every other day that isn’t Election Day?
Penny: Women are America’s largest voting bloc. Winning requires winning our hearts. That’s not a threat. It’s reality. This is how women can solve the nation’s problems. If conservative Christian women vote, they will elect like-minded representatives working together for a common goal.
Our website is loaded with articles and reports about state and national issues that influence your lives. Educate yourself about them and vote. You may find that, after getting solid facts and figures under your belt, you will begin to engage those around you in political discussions. CWA knows that when conservatives vote their values, they elect men and women committed to the application of America’s founding principles and getting those values enacted into law.
It’s wishful thinking to believe a candidate on a white horse will ride in and fix all that’s broken in our nation. However, our political leaders make decisions that directly impact our lives. They have control over everything from how much of our paychecks we keep, to terrorism, to the national debt. That’s why women have to keep fighting.
And now a question for you ladies. Penny mentioned one resource for political information, but where else do you go to get good info? Share your sources with us in the comments!