Play the “Fantasy Cabinet 2020” draft where women are the top picks and everyone wins

Denise M. Watson, The Virginian-Pilot
·3 min read

Michelle Howard is getting huge looks as an excellent first-round draft pick for defense. Her leadership stats are incredible.

In 1999, she became the first Black woman to command a warship. In 2009, she was the first Black woman to led the Virginia Beach-based Expeditionary Strike Group 2 at sea. Within a week of taking the post, she was in charge of the counter-piracy task force that rescued Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates. Howard later became the first woman to become a four-star admiral in the Navy.

Another first-rounder could be Mich 1/4 u00e8le Flournoy. Not only has she held key jobs in the Pentagon, but Flournoy has also literally written books on national security and defense.

When it comes to this “Fantasy Cabinet” draft, the talent pool is deep.

Jackie Glass and Hannah Sobol, “ya neighbors” in the local “Your Neighbor’s Hood” podcast, have created "Fantasy Cabinet Contest 2020.” They want to get more women to vote and to get more people, in general, to consider female leaders when it comes to filling the next president’s cabinet.

People are heading to the polls to pick a president but forget that the president selects a circle of 15 advisers, from the secretary of defense to the secretary of energy. These people can be just as instrumental in impacting the lives of everyday folks, Glass and Sobol said.

Glass has dabbled in local politics and, for fun, started concocting a dream team of women a few months back as attention was turning toward the November presidential election. She remembered attending a conference a few years ago and a woman mentioning that Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, selected an equal number of women as men for his cabinet when he took the office in 2015.

Glass' husband is big into fantasy football, and her format had a similar structure.

“I feel strongly about women being in places where decisions are being made,” Glass said. “What if it was normal to have all women as cabinet members?”

She and Sobol discussed her game and thought it could be developed into something bigger.

“It sounded like fantasy football but with a purpose,” Sobol said.

Sobol started researching and developing her own roster and was amazed at the lists of candidates she had under each cabinet position.

“It was a hopeful exercise for me.”

They’ve created an online Google form that can be found on their podcast website or Facebook page. Anyone who completes the short form by Nov. 3, Election Day, will receive some “Your Neighbor’s Hood” swag.

The draft doesn’t end until Jan. 22. Whoever gets the most female picks that match those selected by the president will receive a $50 gift card to one of their “Hood’s Goods,” a collection of local, Black-owned businesses.

The game can be solo fun but also a cool discussion and research project for a book club, game night or high school civics class, the two said.

Men can be drafted for the cabinet, and, technically, the winning comes from people reading up and discovering how many capable women leaders there are out there, Glass and Sobol said.

“It doesn’t take a politician to fill a seat,” Glass said. “I’ve learned about a lot of different women who are thought-leaders, policy leaders and change agents. They may be in other roles at universities or really prominent in their fields and could possibly lead.”

Denise M. Watson, 757-446-2504, denise.watson@pilotonline.com

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