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Teachers: Bring the world into your classroom with Scholastic Magazines

 
Dean Answers Quota Question
By Alexandra Conway, 10
Scholastic Student Reporter


Howard Dean is joined by his wife, Dr. Judy Steinberg, and friend and supporter Martin Sheen. The three were at a pre-election town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, in January. (Photo by Ellen Wienberg)


Tuesday, January 27—In the chaotic last day of campaigning before tomorrow's election, Howard Dean held a midday town-hall meeting at the Historic Palace Theater in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.

Applause erupted as West Wing star Martin Sheen, who plays President Bartlett in the TV drama, stepped onto center stage. Sheen hit the campaign trail for Dean throughout New Hampshire.

The former Governor of Vermont, Dean talked a great deal about health care and how under his administration in his home state, all children under 18 years old have health insurance. He also said that he expanded the Medicare program in his state. He spoke extensively about the war in Iraq, and told the audience that he was never convinced that al Qaeda was connected to Saddam Hussein.

When Dean began to take questions from the audience, a Scholastic News Online Student Reporter asked about his view on affirmative action. "When you were Governor of Vermont, 50 percent of the people working with you were women," the reporter said. "If elected President, will 50 percent of your cabinet be women?"

Dean gave an extensive response. "I don't have a quota system for exactly how many people are going to be women, but I can tell you that my cabinet, all my senior management, is going to look like the rest of America, so that we can govern all of America, and they can understand that we can understand their problems," Dean said.


From left: Molly Wienberg, Alexandra Conway, and Ellie Bosies. (Photo: Suzanne Freeman)


Dean talked about how even though this country has laws against discrimination, people still discriminate. "The phenomena of institutional racism and institutional sexism is not because the people in the front office are racist and sexist, but because they are unaware of their own unconscious biases when they hire," he said. "That's where affirmative action comes in."

Governor Dean also spoke about how women are paid 76 cents for every dollar a man makes, even when working the same jobs. Looking directly at the young Scholastic reporters, he added that he hoped that will change by the time they are old enough to enter the workforce.

In conclusion, Governor Dean asked everyone in the audience to become "draggers" on Election Day by dragging a friend, then mom, grandmother, or neighbor to the polls to vote.