Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010

Stephanie Schriock

Schriock has an eye for talent. She saw so much potential in Al Franken that she left her job as Senator Jon Tester's chief of staff to run the former funnyman's hard-fought Minnesota U.S. Senate campaign, which culminated in an eight-month legal battle to seat him. These days the Montana native, 37, is putting her management moxie to work at EMILY's List, an organization dedicated to recruiting Democratic women to run for elected office.

Who is your political hero/inspiration?
Mike Mansfield is my political hero — a Montanan of few words, but as the longest serving Senate majority leader, he shepherded some of the most significant legislation in America's history. Alice Paul, and women like her, are my inspiration — because they made our country see that women's political participation wasn't radical — it was necessary for a true democracy.

What's your go-to political blog?
I am really glad Jessica Valenti started feministing; I enjoy not just their coverage of politics, but all the women's voices and perspectives on that site. And I always look for Rebecca Traister's coverage of politics on Salon.

If you weren't working in politics, what would you be doing?
Something in international development. I'm reading Half The Sky right now and am more aware then ever of what supporting women around the world means to our society.

What's the most overlooked issue facing America these days?
I'm really troubled by an economic divide that continues to grow, not shrink, and worried that our education system is failing so many of our kids -and by extension their families, communities, and our economy. For women, because of these issues and more, the road ahead is an uphill one. We need to acknowledge that the playing field is not level for women, and work every day in every way to get it equal — in jobs, in health care, in critical areas like child care.

Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
At EMILY's List! Working with a community that's five times larger than it is now. Engaging women (and men) of all ages in fulfilling our goal of a representative democracy to address issues like health care, childcare, economic stability — with a congress full of determined pro-choice democratic women.