Power-up Your Policymaking

How to turn your passion into action from boosting your local engagement or running for office

“This woman’s place is in the House-the House of Representatives”-Bella Abzug

It’s no new news that although we comprise a little over half the human population, women are severely underrepresented in both politics and business. Although great strides have been made and new fissures and cracks appear every day in that storied glass ceiling, for the busy everyday woman, moving from awareness to engagement can seem daunting. Continue reading

White House Nominates Kathy Kraninger for CFPB Director

The White House has recently announced that it will nominate Kathy Kraninger, currently an official from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). If her appointment is approved by the Senate, Kraninger will take over for Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, whose term as consumer watchdog ends on June 22nd.

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One Tough Mother: How Single Mothers are Defining the Homebuying Process

June is National Homeownership Month. This article is part of an ongoing series focusing on aspects of women’s homeownership.

“Despite the stereotypes that insist women care more about marriage than men do, it may actually be the single life that women embrace more than men,” says Professor Bella DePaulo, social scientist, author, and expert on elective single life, going on to say that unmarried women may be likelier than men to create a lifestyle around singledom.
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Rising Lumber Prices, Falling Homebuilder Sentiment in June

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s newly released NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for June 2018 shows a 2-point drop to 68 in homebuilder sentiment due to rising lumber prices—one of the factors affecting affordability of single-family housing construction.

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Happy Father’s Day 2018!

NAWRB wishes you and your family a wonderful Father’s Day this Sunday, June 17th, 2018. The holiday was established in 1966 with President Lyndon Johnson’s proclamation designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. The idea was influenced by a woman named Sonora Dodd in 1909, who wanted to honor her father, a widowed Civil War veteran. In honor of this special day, the Pew Research Center has released interesting facts about the way fatherhood is being redefined in America.

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Beyond Abuse: Finding Our Voice on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

It started with a phone call from Capital One Financial Corporation on January 14th, 2016. “Ms. Patno, are you the sole owner of Desiree Patno Enterprises, Inc.?”

That simple call was how I found out that my husband’s accountant had been dispersing my unsigned business checks illegally, with some going into her personal accounts and several others paying her bills directly.

I was (and still am) angry that not only my trust was betrayed, but after years of hard work and developing a reputation as a successful businesswoman in the housing and real estate sector, I was, to put it quite simply, duped.

How could this happen to me? And if this could happen to me, in my mid-fifties, plugged into and engaged fully in my businesses, what happens to women older than me, with fewer resources at their fingertips and perhaps cognitive issues?

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Former IBM Fellow Dr. Chitra Dorai Joins NDILC

Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) proudly announces the addition of Dr. Chitra Dorai, Former IBM Fellow, Master Inventor, VP, CTO Cognitive Services, IBM Services, Member of IBM Industry Academy & Academy of Technology to its Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). The Council, founded in 2015, helps raise the number of C-suite women, increase women’s employment at all levels and advance women’s economic growth across the housing and real estate ecosystem.

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Remembering Celebrity Chef, Author and Traveler Anthony Bourdain

It is with saddened hearts that we announce the passing of Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, author, TV personality, artful storyteller, and father, beloved by many who shared in his love for travel and food. While the world mourns the abrupt loss of an influential figure, NAWRB remembers his life and the lasting impact he had in challenging our biases and encouraging us to embrace the unknown.

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CFPB Board Members Fired: NAWRB Advocacy Even More Crucial

Yesterday, CFPB’s three advisory boards: the Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and the Credit Union Advisory Council were disbanded. All boards directly reported to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau established in the wake of the last decade’s financial meltdown. The fired members were advised they could not reapply for seats when an apparent new board forms.

The board, comprised of twenty-five members who according to The Washington Post, are made up of top consumer advocates, academics, and industry executives, have been critical of acting director Mick Mulvaney’s leadership, arguing that he is focused more on the industry than on protecting the American consumer. His critics also fear under his command the Bureau has focused more on weakening the consumer protection aspects of its work.

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Goodbye Sweet Spade: Remembering the Influential Style of Kate Spade

Today we are saddened to find out that the influential designer Kate Spade was found dead. For someone known for an elegance associated with brightness and a certain smart yet playful style- it’s painful to think of such a voice being extinguished.

Kansas City, Missouri native Spade, who recently legally changed her name to Kate Valentine was an answer to an unspoken sartorial prayer: smart, put-together clothing with a quirky flair. Distinguished while not shying away from femininity, Kate helped women in the 1990s and early 2000s realize that to be taken seriously in the workplace doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have massive shoulder pads, dress like a man, or wear uncomfortable heels.

It really started with a handbag. The quest for an attractive yet practical tote, often a woman’s rolling office, medicine cabinet, and make-up bag, was the driving force behind the start of her eponymous brand.

She grew Kate Spade into what we would call today a fully fledged lifestyle brand: including a home and jewellery line.  In the process she became much more than a designer: she became a woman to admire for her unique blend of tastemaking and business acumen. Not unlike a Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch or Donna Karan.

As recently as 2015 she was named amongst Creative People in Business by Fast Company and inducted into the University of Missouri-Kansas City Hall of Entrepreneur Hall of Fame this past year.

She was someone to look up to and will be dearly missed. Our condolences go out to her family and everyone whose lives she touched.