Letter: Michigan's pink wave

The Detroit News
Bedi writes: "This year, when women’s rights seem on the chopping block more than ever before, women have come out in mass."

There’s a pink wave in Michigan this election season, with a record-breaking two hundred Michigan women running for the State House and Senate. I am proud to be one of them, running for the Michigan House of Representatives.

Since 1980, women have out-voted men by a significant margin. Nearly 40 years later, we still see our most basic rights under attack: the right to fair and equal pay; the right to a safe and accessible abortion, contraception, or pregnancy; and the ability to advance in the workplace with paid family leave. 

This year, when women’s rights seem on the chopping block more than ever before, women have come out in mass, realizing that it’s not just the vote that matters, but representation.

In 2015, my colleague was shot and killed in the hospital where we worked together, and touched by that tragedy, I joined the gun violence prevention movement, becoming the state legislative lead for Michigan Moms Demand Action. I’ve been fighting back against the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda for our state, and have seen how the money and the special interests corrode our representative government’s function at its core.

I’ve spent years introducing myself to neighbors, so that when I get to Lansing I have a real understanding the values of my community. Recently while I was at Birmingham’s Concert in the Park, a neighbor told me a story that I didn’t remember--one about me coming to her door.

She had answered the door that day, and behind it was the chaos of dinnertime with kids, so I said what I always say when that happens: “I wanted to introduce myself, but I’m not going to interrupt your dinner. Here’s a flyer about me with my phone number, and I’d love for you to give me a call.”

Something so ordinary for me left a lasting impression on this voter, and I realized why. Mom to mom, I saw her. I heard her. I understood her, all because I’ve been there. And most importantly, I wanted to listen to her.

This election cycle will be a game changer, because as the largest voting block, women have an opportunity to elect women, to finally represent the interests of women, and to finally take women off the menu. 

Nicole Bedi, Birmingham 

Candidate, Michigan House of Representatives, 40th district