Magazine article State Legislatures

A Woman in Both Houses: My Career in New Mexico Politics

Magazine article State Legislatures

A Woman in Both Houses: My Career in New Mexico Politics

Article excerpt

A Woman in Both Houses: My Career in New Mexico Politics

By Pauline Eisenstadt

University of New Mexico Press

208 pages; $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8263-5024-4

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Pauline Eisenstadt didn't realize she was a trailblazer, the first woman to serve in both chambers of the New Mexico Legislature, until someone pointed it out. "It didn't seem like much at the time," she writes, "but I guess everyone likes to be a game changer because it opens up new possibilities for others. It provides an example for others to also follow if they wish."

Eisenstadt's memoir of how a citizen legislator found her way to politics is a worthwhile read for someone considering a run for office and for those with a particular interest in New Mexico.

Eisenstadt acknowledges that although technology and the Internet have changed the landscape of campaigning and governing since she ran for office in the 1990s, much of her experience still holds true today. Political neophytes would do well to note just how many volunteers Eisenstadt relied upon for her campaigns, and how much time she devoted to making personal contact with voters.

She suggests "walking and talking to the voters" to be the most effective way to deliver your message and to learn about the issues. But the all-consuming nature of campaigning and legislating can be particularly challenging for women who also are family caregivers. In a nice, personal touch, Eisenstadt recognizes and thanks the women who assisted her with child care and other tasks while she was in office. …

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