Archive for the ‘Lilly Ledbetter’ Category

>An American Hero

March 27, 2009

>Here’s something new. I’ve created a new blog, Bessemer Science and Nature.

Bessemer Science is where I will be posting articles, information and pictures related to science and nature. This could be anything from reports on embryonic stem cell research or my thoughts about the solar system to my own pictures of Nature. Science encompasses a lot. You might be surprised what you see there.

Today, there are just some pictures I took yesterday and comments. A lizard, a bee and a flower.
Sometimes science will still make it onto Bessemer Opinions.

Yesterday Over the Mountain Democrats hosted American Hero Lilly Ledbetter and Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb at Samford University. While there, I couldn’t help but notice the impressive pipes from which music flows in Reid Chapel.

Bobby commented that it could possibly have been the most democrats on campus in history, and I did notice that the program had a disclaimer on the back, “This event is not sponsored by Samford University.”

Chief Justice Cobb spoke mainly about indigent representation and how Alabama is lacking in certain important aspects of that, and what she and others are doing to correct it

The highlight of the evening was, of course, meeting and hearing Lilly Ledbetter, who was the main player in the fight that led to the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. She got nothing out of this 10 year battle, but the country got a great deal. Fairness and equality of pay is just right. Plain and simple. That the executives at Goodyear could not see that makes me never want to purchase a Goodyear Tire again. That the Supreme Court could not see that makes me wonder about the quality of our judiciary (actually I have wondered about that since Al Gore got shafted).

She has become quite a hero and she said that at the signing of the bill that she had three people approach her and say they would write her a check that day if she would run against Mike Rogers (her republican representative who voted against the bill). She didn’t say anything more about it, so who knows. Somebody certainly needs to run against him and beat him.

In addition there was a reception prior to the event where I got to talk to Terri Sewell who is running to replace Artur Davis in our district (Congressional District 7). Visit Terri Sewell for Congress and read her biography. You will be hearing a lot about her in the next few months.

Here is Terri talking with Lilly.

She received the Afro-American Studies Thesis Prize for her senior thesis entitled, “Black Women in Politics: Our Time Has Come.” Terri, I think you are right.

Upon graduation from college, Terri was featured on NBC’s Today Show as one of the “Top Collegian Women” and was chosen as one of the “Top Ten College Women in America,” by Glamour Magazine.

She has extensive background in public service including work in the under served areas of the Black Belt. She was born in Selma, but lives in Birmingham now.

>Western Tribune Column January 14 2009

January 14, 2009

>This sort of fits right in with yesterday’s post, huh?


On Friday the House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, named after the Alabama employee of Goodyear Tire and Rubber who discovered her male colleagues were being compensated better than her.

She discovered this near the end of her 20 year career, but federal law’s statute of limitations would not allow her to challenge that discrepancy. The current law gives a six month period from the time the employer decides to pay a female less. The new law would allow the six month period to begin when the employee finds out.

Anyone with a clear mind can see that the current law does not make sense. There is no way an employee can be expected to know when an employer decides to offer male co-workers better pay. Most people don’t know what their co-workers make. And it’s not the employees fault if she doesn’t discover the difference in pay within six months of the change.

In Alabama Democrats are happy to have elected Bobby Bright of Montgomery and Parker Griffith of Huntsville to join Artur Davis, who represents most of us in Bessemer, in congress. Democrats have a history of advocacy for equality for women.

But Griffith and Bright both voted against the measure, along with a strong majority of Republicans.

They must be “Red Dog” rather than “Blue Dog” Democrats.

What message does this send to women in their districts, and in the rest of the state?

It’s hard to believe in this day and time that men who could not be elected without support of women would vote against equal pay.

Lilly Ledbetter, in the meantime, is preparing for a train ride. She will be among those riding with Barack Obama on his east coast whistle stop tour that delivers him to his inauguration.

“Not bad for an ol’ Alabama girl,” she said.

Both Barack and Michelle Obama called Ledbetter to invite her to the inauguration.

She said she’s “excited because this new president is not going to forget what it’s like to work your way up and he’s keeping people from all walks of life involved.”

A lot of people are excited about the president elect. In Birmingham, the excitement will be manifest with a $50,000 party to which the world media is invited.

I wonder what the world will think of the Birmingham of 2009.