What’s a Mommy Mob for?

By now, every Austinite has their celebrity-sighting story, whether it Matthew McConaughey or Sandra Bullock. Mine is spotting Molly Ivins in the Magnolia Café booth next to mine, about a year before she died. To me, that lady oozed cool. Great talent, great humor, and great Texas grit all rolled into one.

She’s been on my mind this crazy week, with all that’s happening at the place she used to call “the Big Top.” The state Capitol remains busy, despite that the Texas legislative session was meant to end Monday. Lawmakers are still at it, shortchanging neighborhood schools to the tune of $4 billion and upending health-care programs for women and children. Molly found the legislature hilarious, but even she would have been hard-pressed to laugh this session.

Today also marks the seven-month anniversary of when I met LiveMom’s Catherine and Katie. That day, Catherine talked about her vision for Mommy Mob as “a tight-knit community of local mamas who were there for each other and for our community. . . willing to fight for changes in the community to raise healthier, happier children,” and bring about a better village for everyone, as a result. She at times sounded a little like Molly, who used to say we need to get ourselves out in the streets, banging pots and pans for a cause—only in Catherine’s telling, people are banging the pavement with strollers (minus the babies, of course). That meeting led to me and my colleagues at Texans Care for Children getting an awesome responsibility: a chance to help Catherine shepherd that Mommy Mob vision along.

The half-a-year that followed turned out to be a pretty exciting time for parent activism in Austin. Energized and determined folks from across the state were led by Austin-area parents, who marched by the thousands for their children.

10,000 at Save Our Schools Rally

We, the LiveMom bloggers and many of you, joined those parents in speaking out about keeping schools open, keeping them funded. We fought for healthier foods and fitness programs, for environments that support our kids’ mental health, for environments that support us as moms. We took on the special interests that hurt kids and families. We joined forces and started something that’s surely far from finished.Advertisement
And what comes next for the Mommy Mob? Well, we want to hear your vision. What would it take for you to join other moms on a mission? What would make you feel like an activista extraordinaire? What would you do with a posse of fellow mamas who’ve got your back?

To get things rolling, we’re trying two new things. Every Saturday this month, we’ll bring you the Mommy Mob chronicles. There will be stories about moms who made a difference, highlights of what has changed or is changing for kids thanks to the legislature, and maybe a couple of fun surprises along the way.

We’re also introducing a new weekly feature over on the Mommy Mob page:  our “motivationals.” These will be once-a-week short tips or warm-fuzzies, meant to get you fired up for action. Some weeks we’ll have a concrete activism idea for you (say, how to write a letter to the editor). Other weeks we’ll have a simple, quick thing you can do, in your home or community, to make a difference. This week, we kick it off with a little inspiration from Ms. Ivins herself.

Written by: Christine Sinatra

About Christine Sinatra 53 Articles
Christine Sinatra is the communications director for Texans Care for Children and mom to a kindergartener. Her past experience includes working as a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman and the Oakland Tribune company, being a Peace Corps volunteer for high school girls in Africa, and studying at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.

3 Comments on What’s a Mommy Mob for?

  1. You might want to talk to Kelley Masters who has been spearheading the Texas Bakers’ Bill for years. We’re desperately trying to get Perry to not veto the bill that was just passed (SB 81). Updates, info, etc. at http://www.facebook.com/TexasBakersBill and http://www.texascottagefoodlaw.com/

    In a nutshell: at the moment it is totally and completely illegal to sell baked goods from a home kitchen. This includes school or church bake sales. ILLEGAL IN TEXAS. Seriously. And there are stories of school bake sales being shut down by police (usually because someone snarky reported it and then the police are required to act).

    When I made a cake for a fundraising event for a local children’s charitable group at Christmas, that was illegal. I put myself at financial and legal risk in doing that. Sad, huh?

    But if SB 81 goes through, I and every other mom (or anyone) can bake from home for donation or sale. There are rules and limitations, of course, but at least it’ll be legal to raise money for schools!

    Kelley is the one who has been behind this for years and years. She definitely deserves some coverage here. She’s a mom too. :)

  2. Kimberly, it’s great that the bill is almost officially law! Any reason to suspect a possible veto?

    I spread the word about it on LiveMom’s social media sites, and will follow up with Kelley per your suggestion. Thanks!

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