The State of the State | Heidi Ganahl on Why Moms Matter in Colorado
This past October 2015, I proudly launched Moms Fight Back — a Colorado non-profit, which is focused intently on those most difficult issues confronting our children, our families, and our neighborhoods today. For me, the impetus to create Moms Fight Back was extremely personal – it was a family situation that we endured, survived, but is none-the-less excruciating to think about to this very day. And, it was during this time, that I began to value the importance of resources while also noting the lack of support that is readily available to struggling families. It is true that feeling like a helpless mom directly impacted my to decision create a community of powerful and passionate Colorado moms, who could ban together, online and in their neighborhoods, to help our kids combat the difficult and inevitable situations ahead.
Further, let’s be frank, it’s no secret that Colorado has been hit – and been hit very hard — in recent years. From Aurora in 1993, to the Columbine massacre in 1999, to the YWAM/New Life shooting of 2007, and back to Aurora in 2012 – our youth have been tragically victimized. We, Coloradans, cannot forget that others will look to us the next time a Columbine or Sandy Hook happens. Through tragedy, this state has been given a platform to lead. We, mothers, can learn from each other, and Moms Fight Back can be at the forefront of those efforts.
But let me step back because it is not just out of tragedy that we should react. Rather, it is about the common good we can accomplish as women and as moms. And women and moms matter in the United States and in Colorado:
- Women outnumber men in the U.S. as a total population, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau.
- Despite the fact that gender roles are changing when it comes to parenting, Pew research shows that moms still tend to spend a greater amount of time on home and child care than fathers.
- Further, of all single-parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the majority. According to U.S. Census Bureau, out of approximately 12 million single parent families in 2014, more than 80% were headed by single mothers.
So, as you see, women matter and moms matter, and Moms Fight Back is positioned to bring us together. As the Founder of MFB, I am committed to building a community of 100,000 moms strong by 2018. And, yes, we will get there – we have 40,000 Colorado moms on board to date! To help foster the Moms Fight Back network, I recently launched The Colorado Moms Tour.
The Colorado Moms Tour is a statewide interactive listening tour – similar to a town hall – that will travel across the front range, bringing together industry experts and moms. I believe that it’s paramount to give moms the opportunity, and forum, to discuss how our legislators, community leaders, and local non-profits can come together to best support Colorado moms as they care for their families in this intense world.
During the next six months, I will be writing to you about the feedback moms are offering via the tour discussions and online surveys. (You can take the survey here.) And, at the end of the tour, I will be releasing a “State of the State” report to the Governor’s office detailing priority issues and suggested solutions. Already, I can tell you that I’ve been surprised by what I’ve learned from the moms in attendance at our initial two stops. I look forward to updating you on the specifics of that in next post – talk to you in two weeks.