Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What if Mizuno Running / Filibuster Shoes Raised Money for Rape Kits in Recognition of Wendy Davis?

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wendy davis mizuno running shoes
photo via www.timesunion.com
I pity the fool in Central or Eastern time zone who got offline and went to bed early Tuesday night because they missed one of the wildest domestic political events of the century. It rivaled the 2000 presidential election and like that event, we don't quite know what the outcome is. The Honorable State Senator Wendy Davis attempted to filibuster the senate, but was blocked by quirky Texas parliamentary rules. Did the Texas legislature pass the nation's most restrictive abortion bill? Oh, wait, maybe they did, but most of us watching don't think the vote took place by the midnight deadline for the special session. Ultimately it will be up to the courts.
Update: it did not pass.

At any rate, Davis was prepared for a long day on the floor because those quirky Texas rules do not allow for sitting or even leaning during an attempted filibuster. So Davis complemented her smart business attire with a pair of colorful Mizuno running shoes (thanks for the brand tip Kristen).

As I sat glued to my monitor, hopping back and forth between live coverage of the senate chamber on YouTube and chatting about the goings-on with friends on Facebook, some of us commented on what an opportunity this was for Mizuno and wondered whether they'd capitalize on the events at the capitol.

Ideally, the brand would step up and donate $5 -$10 for each pair (they're not inexpensive) of what I call the #StandWithWendy shoes to Planned Parenthood. Awesome, right?

But I realize that some consider Planned Parenthood controversial. Yes, I know. It's ridiculous that an organization that provides necessary, legal and affordable medical services to women should be considered controversial, but it is what it is.

So I have another idea, only it's not totally mine, it's a riff on a Facebook comment by a woman named Elizabeth with whom I share a friend, Julie Smolyansky.

Julie is a powerhouse CEO of a publicly held company, philanthropist, runner, and mom (and she's younger than me). Before she was a businesswoman, she worked as a rape crisis counselor.

Horrified that thousands of rape kits that were used back when she was a counselor have never been fully analyzed and aware that the backlog for analyzing such kits is a nationwide problem, she decided to do something about it.

Her response was Test400K, named for the estimated 400,000 untested rape kits gathering dust in police evidence rooms across the US. Test400K* seeks to raise awareness about the tremendous backlog and work to reduce it. The group's goals include changing legislation, as well.  Which brings us back to Wendy Davis.

Davis is also concerned about the backlog of untested rape kits. Texas has an estimated 20,000 such unprocessed kits and she stepped up to change the situation. So maybe Test400K would be a better match for Mizuno to make the most of the exposure while helping a relevant and worthwhile cause. I mean, rape kits aren't controversial, are they? And really, when has a pair of athletic shoes gotten this much publicity outside of an arena? Come on Mizuno, make the most of your moment.


*Their website is currently under construction.

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