Get ready, y’all. This week’s Parents Who Inspire series is about to get political. I’m honored to introduce you to Anna Beck, mother, researcher and passionate political advocate. I’ve known Anna since we were children, and she has always been a force to be reckoned with. For the better part of a decade, she’s supported and advanced Democratic, female political candidates through her work as Executive Director and now board member of Georgia’s WIN List, an Atlanta-based political action committee dedicated to changing the face of power in Georgia by training and electing pro-choice Democratic women to serve in the state house and senate..
Truth be told, politics stress me out. So much so that sometimes I find myself wanting to disengage or preferably, hide myself under a rock, when people start debating political subjects. Not Anna. She is incredibly well-informed and willing to fight the good fight on behalf of her political beliefs and the candidates she supports. Her passion for politics inspires me to continue to do my homework and educate myself on local politics in particular. But she also inspires me to be unafraid to share my opinions more often, even if others may disagree.
Without further ado, more from Anna herself.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Anna Beck and I am the Project Coordinator on a federally funded Health and Human Services grant. My research centers on child maltreatment prevention among adult felony drug offenders. Specifically, we look at the need for additional trauma resources among families in dependency court as a prevention method against child maltreatment. My husband, Arthur York, is a Plaintiff’s lawyer in Decatur and we live in Oakhurst with our 3.5 year-old-twins.
As a parent, what’s your favorite part about living in your city?
I love the green spaces in Atlanta. While Atlanta is overpopulated and poorly designed in terms transportation, it has a ton of trees and natural spaces for kids to play and have adventures. In my neighborhood alone there are at least 5 parks within walking distance.
What are your passion projects or in what ways do you engage with your local or national community?
I serve on the board of Georgia’s WIN List, which is a political action committee devoted to the recruitment, training, election and protection of democratic female candidates who are committed to reproductive justice. I am active in the political world in Georgia because I spent a decade working in politics and policy work.
What’s your favorite part of your civic engagement activities?
I like to work directly with female candidates who often question their ability to get elected. Women second guess themselves regularly, wondering if they have done enough to deserve election. Men often wake up (with a DUI or a marital infidelity here or there) and feel confident they can run and be elected. Women need to be reminded and encouraged, and I love watching women transform into bold, confident legislators.
What inspires you to engage in these activities?
I began working in politics because I saw the discrepancy between what was happening on the street and what was decided under the gold dome. Whether it be racial injustice, lack of access to healthcare or the need for reproductive freedoms, who you elect in your state plays an integral role in dictating what kind of state you will live in.
Any words of wisdom for parents wanting to create space for civic engagement in their own busy lives?
I guess I would just say to try and make the time for it. Being civically engaged doesn’t have to mean working full-time for a candidate or marching the streets every second of your free time. Bite off what you can chew and then be great at it-even if it’s very small at first.
I would also encourage parents to include their children when possible. My parents regularly brought me my sister to rallies and campaign headquarters. We were expected to be civically engaged. Because those values were instilled in me young, and because I was able to see my parents be civically engaged, it inspired a lot of the work I do today.
Doesn’t Anna make you want to get off your butt and get involved? I am so appreciative of folks who are willing and able to navigate our oftentimes convoluted and problematic political system. I am especially appreciative Anna and Georgia’s WIN List are working hard to support Democratic, female candidates who will fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices here in the State of Georgia. It’s more than inspirational work, it’s crucial work.
As a woman and a mother, I thank you for your efforts, Anna! Keep striving, y’all.