Virginia Women For Obama is a new series brought to you by volunteers and staff. We'll bring you stories of women in communities across Virginia who organize to make a difference in November.Meet Eucharia—or 'Ukay' as friends and colleagues fondly call her. By day, she works hard in the City of Richmond as a medical consultant and mom extraordinaire of two teenage daughters. By night, she puts on her Women for Obama hat to make sure all women get involved in the political process. One might call her a Wonder Woman of sorts.
Ukay's story started back in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention, when many people first got their exposure to then-Senator Barack Obama. His keynote speech about his family background and the promise of the American dream for all that worked hard for it resonated with Ukay, electrifying her for what came next. Four years later, in 2008, she was knocking on doors for then-Senator Obama.
"It was probably close to 100 degrees the Saturday I was canvassing, but I didn't care," she said. "Heat wave or not, we knocked on doors and rang those doorbells to make sure people had registered to vote."
It didn't take many door knockings for Ukay to fully recognize the importance of what she was doing: "I met a women who, at the age of 38, had never voted in her life because nothing motivated her to do so. I simply said to her, 'Well, let me help you get motivated.'"
Today, moments like this continue to drive Ukay's passion to get more women to exercise their democratic rights, and to support a candidate that has their best interests at heart. For Ukay, the choice is clear: Barack Obama. "There are so many issues and inequalities that deeply affect women today," Ukay said. She pointed to President Obama's first legislative achievement—the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—and the appointments of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan as proof of his commitment to ensuring women have a fair shot at success.
As a former sales representative at a large company, Ukay understands first-hand the difficulties women face in the workplace. "I was a top-performing sales rep," Ukay recalled, "and yet I was passed for promotions over and over because of my gender." For Ukay, legislation like Lilly Ledbetter is an important milestone and a reminder that involvement in the electoral process is paramount to the future of full equality.
Mothers like Ukay who make organizing for President Obama a top priority not only do it for themselves but also for something more important: their kids.
"My daughters mean the world to me, and I want to make sure they grow up in a world where they will have an even playing field, a world where they can have a fair chance at achieving their dreams."
But to get to that world, Ukay stresses that women and all disadvantaged people must take action. Here's advice from Wonder Woman:
You have to get involved in the political process. If you feel that anything should be done differently, you have to let your voice be heard. It takes a little bit of work: make calls, knock on doors, and register voters. Our voices, as women, need to be louder—a lot louder. Just get involved.To get started, sign up now. We'll give you all the tools you need to help you get going.