Introducing The F Bomb Breakfast Club

All the best words start with “F”. Fabulous. Ferocious. Female. Best day of the week? Friday.

If you’re launching or considering a new venture, there may be some other “F” words frequenting your vocabulary. Like… finally! Funded. For real? Or my personal favorite: Fuckety fuck fuck fuck.

Me? I just founded a little law firm, and on the side, a fledgling little idea for an app. I’m dropping “F” bombs left and right.

During Seattle Startup Week, I’ve been taking comfort in surrounding myself with fellow and future female founders. And I hope to make it a habit. So I’ve set my intention for my first 2017 resolution and you’re invited.

Introducing the F Bomb Breakfast Club:

7am on the First Friday of every month
Level Offices 600 First Avenue, Pioneer Square
FREE – RSVP to megan@doyenne-legal.com

BEGINNING FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2017

A monthly gathering of female founders and friends in various stages of start-up to bitch, brag, cavort, and collaborate. Peer support and sounding board. Knowledge or expertise to share? Bring it. Questions or problems you need help solving? Let’s do that, too.

I’ll provide the space, coffee, and donuts. You just have to get up early.

PS – Kids, babies, dogs, totally ok.

***UPDATE: Find us on Facebook now at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/GetUpAndSwear

The Hustle

It’s Startup Week in Seattle. And since I recently started up a little law firm that, among other things, serves start ups, I’m in the hustle.

My hustle is currently meeting as many founders, funders, and dreamers as I can. Learning where they are. Gleaning their insights. Sussing out their needs. Clarifying (if only in my head) what I do and don’t have to offer in this space, with old experience and a new role.

A few early impressions:

There are a lot of great ideas bubbling in Seattle right now, for-profit and not-for-profit. It’s inspiring to witness the convergence of passion, drive, and foolishness. In need of hope for the future? Check out your local startup scene.

Entrepreneurial passion is interchangeable between the nonprofit and business sectors, and so is bad advice. There are zealots in both, certain they can lead you to success. Be wary of anyone making sweeping proclamations and speaking in absolutes.

Startups are smarter with women in the room. (<- Srsly, read this.) But men are still speaking over women, mansplaining and manspreading their expertise like cheap mayonnaise. It’s too much. Step back, brothers. Take a beat. Good things just might arise in that space when you stop filling it. And please, for the love of all things holy, as much as I love hearing women talk about the experiences of being women, let’s invite them to talk about their substantive areas of expertise, too.

I have more to offer than I thought. Technically, the legal aspects of starting a nonprofit usually aren’t too complicated. Starting a viable nonprofit that might actually accomplish what it aspires to? Strongly helped by working with someone who has been there in the trenches. Negotiating a contract? Any lawyer worth their salt can walk you through key elements of a reasonable agreement. But the ability to draw on real life examples of triumphantly successful and epically disastrous ones to help you understand the practical implications? I just may be your gal. Time to stop doubting myself.

Now, back to it. Can’t get out of the office to join me? Catch Twitter highlights at #SSW2016.

 

 

 

 

The Morning After

So that did not go as planned.

Like the majority of Americans who voted in yesterday’s historic election, this was not the outcome I wanted. I am horrified, and muddling my way through a shame-spiral typically reserved for the morning after a bender. Except, of course, there was no bender.

I have no patience today for political analysis.

Don’t come near me with your patronizing “Bernie would have won” bullshit.

Zero tolerance for sunny optimism.

Seriously, did you just try to tell me it’s time to unite?

We have just handed the trifecta of House, Senate, and White House over to racism and misogyny, to a self-interested minority who preyed on the fears of a dying white Christian patriarchy. We are about to face the violent peeling away of forty years of slow, hard-won progress on healthcare, reproductive rights, and environmental protection. We are about to march belligerently backward on education, criminal justice, civil rights, immigration, and financial industry reform.

I have no more time for feelings today. The task before us is too huge, and there is no time to waste. I have the next four years to plan.

My Resolutions:

  1. I will advocate for reform. Those next steps I wrote about yesterday? Voting reform, civic education reform, political party system reform, and reparations? I vow to become better informed and more involved, and to advocate zealously for those.
  2. I will give my time and money. I will double down on pro bono service and volunteering. I will say yes more. To taking cases. To serving on committees and boards (reliably and consistently). I will pay special attention to being of service, when invited, to organizations led by and serving women and people of color. However I can,
  3. I will support my friends and colleagues providing pro bono legal aid in the area of immigration. And I will finally bring my scattershot approach to philanthropy into laser sharp focus on justice and equality, economic opportunity, and the environment.
  4. I will do my part to end racism. I will continue, alone and together with my circle of friends, to do the hard work of looking inward to understand racism and privilege – especially when it is really, really uncomfortable – and continue to learn and use tools for building a new society that does not thrive on white supremacy.
  5. I will stop apologizing for being a feminist and start acting like one.

Oh, and one last thing. This one is all for me. For my self-care. I will train like Mishonne for the zombie apocalypse because right now, I so badly need to feel like a bona fide badass.

 

My Pantsuit Party Plea

It’s here. Finally. Election Day, 2016.

This morning I rocked my favorite pantsuit and carried my damn-straight-it’s-hot-pink handbag to turn in my ballot. All badass and empowered, I handed it over, and burst into tears.

This is not another blog post about whether Hillary Rodham Clinton is qualified. She is. Or whether she deserves our vote. She does.

This little rant is about my hopes for what comes next after we shatter one more glass ceiling tonight.

A sobering 81% of Americans either don’t, or barely, trust the government to do what is right. Nine out of ten lack confidence in our political system. Here are four ways we might begin to turn that around.

Voting Reform

We need to make it easier to register, to vote, and to cast informed votes. Automatic registration. Strengthen the Voting Rights Act. Prosecute felonious voter intimidation. Restore voting rights in a timely manner, and inform people when suspended rights are restored. Widen the window and vote by mail, as we have done here in Washington. We have three leisurely weeks to deliberate and complete our ballots, and we have secure drop boxes in our neighborhoods to deliver them sans postage. That means we have time to research, to discuss, to make our choices thoughtfully. And we have means to turn in our ballots without being harassed. No one has to miss work. No one has to rush through their ballot. No one has to survive the gauntlet of sign-waving zealots at the polls.

Unfortunately, voter turnout remains barely above 60%. Tick this one off as #necessarybutnotsufficient.

Education Reform

We actually need to teach people about civics. None of us should be waiting until we get our ballots to learn our state’s laws about referenda and initiatives, to find out what our state and federal constitutions actually say, to find out what a bond or a levy is and how they differ from a tax. If you’re Googling “What is the electoral college?” today, you are part of the problem. But it’s not your fault. Our public schools should bear the responsibility of educating future voters about our unique form of democracy, its strengths and weaknesses, its promises and unintended consequences.

Perhaps a more informed electorate might be inspired to improve upon those flaws in our system. And perhaps that might lead to more choice. Real choice.

System Reform

Our two party system has resulted in deep polarization and an environment in which nuance and new ideas can’t possibly survive. But here’s the hard truth: Sitting on the sidelines for four years then casting a third party vote in a presidential election is no way to transition to a multi-party system. Want choice? We have to build it. From the ground up. Articulate a platform. Make room for new perspectives. Organize with others. Find and cultivate candidates. Put them in office at every level of government. Support them and hold them accountable. Form a network that is bigger than a single politician. Think long term.

And even within a vibrant multi-party system, if we want full participation, we have tremendous work to do to address racial disparity and injustice in our country.

Reparations

There, I said it. The world did not collapse because I dared speak these words. If you have not already done so, I implore you to read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations.

Those of us who loves this country must come to terms with its violent birth. With the genocide of people who already lived here when our ancestors “discovered” it. With the atrocity of slavery and fallacy we white people built this great nation. We stand today on the shoulders of millions of people who did not offer their shoulders to us: we whipped and beat them and brought them to their knees, then climbed up on those bloodied shoulders and pretended to stand on our own.

We will not be great until we hold ourselves accountable for this history and to the extent that we can, attempt to make it right. Yes, it is possible to do that. There is nothing absurd or fantastical about honoring our promises to indigenous and African Americans. In fact, it is imperative to our integrity and credibility as a nation. One out of three Americans is not white, and they need and expect us to come clean about who we really are as a country, and then to do better.

Will these four things fix the economy, jobs, the environment, climate, reproductive freedom, health care, education, national security? No, no, of course not. But they just might inspire more confidence, which might inspire more contribution of new ideas and innovative thinking. And that would be a very good thing.