Project Wonderful

Sunday, February 18, 2018

NGP That Works Like VAN? Yes please! (Interview about NGP 8 with Lou Levine)



When I learned there was a way to make NGP work like VAN I was all YES PLEASE. Then my finance director came on and made me change it back. Nevertheless, I am stoked about this new development and couldn't wait to share it with you! See below for my interview with NGP's Lou Levine about the new, great NGP 8!

First things first tell us about yourself. What's your position at NGP VAN and what were you doing beforehand?
I’m the Sr Vice President and General Manager for Political Fundraising and Compliance. I’ve been at the company for 18 years now, and started back when it was just NGP. I wear a lot of hats, but my main role here is to be the person generally in charge of the traditional "NGP" side of our business. Before joining the company, I was in college at Claremont McKenna in California. [Editor's note: Dang. 18 years in the same job is a campaign person's eternity.]

Okay now tell us about NGP 8. What is it and why should we be excited?
NGP 8 is the latest iteration of our industry-standard fundraising and compliance toolset, and it's the culmination of years of work. There is a ton to be excited about in NGP 8. We've already added a lot of new functionality around call time, including custom call sheets, enhanced mobile call time, and the ability to run call time from within the application. It works seamlessly with our amazing digital tools - Digital 8, allowing you to have an full view of your supporters both online and offline, and interact with them the way that best works for them.

And of course, NGP 8 still has a tightly integrated compliance functionality, so you can take care of all aspects of the campaign from one place. The thing i'm most excited about is that we've built it on top of the same underlying database as VAN - the Action Platform. So what that means is that as we've been making improvements to NGP 8, we've also been making improvements to VAN. And when someone learns how to use VAN, that means that they can look at NGP 8 and immediately know the basics of how that system works. And over the long term, we expect that to be a big win for the progressive movement as a whole. (Click here to listen to more of why Lou’s excited about NGP 8.)

What has the reception been so far?
We've seen a lot of positive reaction so far to NGP 8, especially from down-ballot campaigns. I'm pretty excited to say that in the few short months that we've had it up, we have over 300 campaigns already using it. We've also acknowledged many people’s fear of new and different things, and that change can sometimes be challenging. That said, we always try to listen and respond to our users' feedback.

As a field person turned manager I love NGP 8, but I know some finance directors and compliance firms still prefer NGP 7. Are there some things 7 can do that 8 can't or are these just growing pains?
A lot of it is growing pains on the part of the user and the fact that changing your workflow is hard. It's not an exaggeration to say that many finance and compliance directors spend the bulk of their day in NGP, so naturally any change is going to be a disruptive one, and take some getting used to.

I'm hard-pressed to think of things that NGP 7 can do that you can't do in 8. In general, when building features in NGP 8, we used the criteria of "the user needs to be able to do what they were able to do in 7". But as you said, there are some users that still prefer 7, and it's just going to be a steady process of listening to their feedback and winning them over. Having been around here as long as I have been, we've successfully navigated that process with users a number of times, and i'm confident we'll be able to do it again.

Is the plan to eventually only have this NGP or is the old NGP here to stay?
Generally, we've taken the approach that we don't force people off a platform they are happy using. We still have people using NGP Classic, and we still have folks on NGP 7. I'd really like to retire NGP Classic in the coming years, and we'd like for the overwhelming majority of people to move to NGP 8 as soon as they’re ready. The long term plan is for there to be only one NGP. In a perfect world, I'd wave a magic wand and everyone would be using the most recent version of our tools.

Can a campaign go back and forth between the two?
Not really. We do offer a way to move online fundraising data from NGP 8 into NGP 7, but that's about it.

This is really exciting! What else exciting is on the horizon for NGP VAN?
We've got a lot going on right now! We're continuing to improve the NGP tools, coming out with further improvements to our fundraising and call time tools, and adding tighter integration with VAN.
We are on-boarding our first state party committees onto NGP 8 as well. We've got an improved, actual integration with ActBlue coming soon. Our EveryAction business has been growing rapidly, and pushing us to do even more innovation, which is really exciting. And we've been working with lots of the new companies that have sprung up out of the tech resistance. And let's not forget, we've got some big elections to win in 2018 and beyond - and we're already planning for that.

And the question I ask everyone on the blog. What is something you wish you had known earlier in your career?
I wish someone had told me just how long impressions, both good and not-so-good can last. I've been doing this for 18 years, and I've seen how good work that I did early on has continued to pay dividends now, and missteps over the years have been hard to get folks to forget. I've been fortunate in that the good has heavily outweighed the bad, but people at all stage of their careers should keep in mind that people have long memories.

Thank you so much, Lou! If you are not using NGP First of all what?! Second of all, you can learn more here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

When Campaign Staffers Become Candidates: Meet Richard Becker


When I found out Richard Becker was running for office I about flipped over in my office chair, not only because I think he will make an amazing State Representative, but also because he was my intern in Iowa in 2008! Having known and worked with Richard in his younger days I was already all about his candidacy, but after reading this I donated to his campaign again and I think you should too. You can learn more about Richard at BeckerforKentucky.com



1.Who are you? Tell us a little about your life and career path up to now.

I live in Louisville, Kentucky with my girlfriend Jane, my dog Bernie, and a cat named Pancake. I work as a union organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), based here in Louisville. I have been a union organizer for seven years. Prior to that, I worked on Democratic campaigns in Iowa, Kentucky, Arizona, and Ohio doing field organizing work at various levels. I'm a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BA in History. I got involved in politics for the first time in 2004, volunteering first for Howard Dean and later for John Kerry in the general election.

When I got to college in 2005, my interest in politics really took off. I served as president of the UK College Democrats and later as state co-chair of the College Democrats of Kentucky. In 2008, I took a semester off from school to work in Ohio for the Obama campaign. I often tell people that I learned more about politics and life during that semester off school than I learned in all my other semesters combined. After finishing school in 2010, I worked briefly in Arizona for the Democratic Party before returning to Kentucky to work for Attorney General Jack Conway on his campaign for U.S. Senate against Rand Paul.

That campaign left me feeling deflated about electoral politics. I knew I needed to try something new. I’d interacted with labor unions a lot during my years on political campaigns, and it seemed to me like I could take my skills as a campaign organizer and put them to work on behalf of a cause, on behalf of a movement, rather than on behalf of a person on the ballot. So I made the leap into union organizing, working for AFSCME in Louisville and later, joining SEIU where I remain today. I love my work. Getting to help empower workers to make positive change in their workplaces and communities is so rewarding. All of the Democratic Party’s post-2016 talk about “connecting with the working-class” is not an abstraction for me. It’s literally what I do every day at my job. And I believe it’s made me a better candidate now that I’m running for office.



2.Have you always wanted to run for office? What made you want to run? Why now?

I often tell people that if you’d asked me a year ago if I’d ever be running for office, I’d have dismissed the notion outright. And that’s the truth. But I was there a year ago, in January 2017, when the new Republican majority in Frankfort passed their extreme raft of anti-worker, anti-woman, anti-public school legislation. I was there, with my union brothers and sisters, locked out of the committee rooms, when Gov. Bevin testified in support of so-called “right to work” in front of a room packed with lobbyists and donors from Americans for Prosperity. I’ve watched as Bevin has waged a war on workers, a war on women, and a war on my city of Louisville. I’m mad. And so are countless thousands of other Kentuckians. I believe that our current political moment demands that people of good conscience with progressive values must enter the fray. That’s why I’m doing this. As for why now?

In early November 2017, my state representative, Jim Wayne--for whom I have an enormous amount of affection and respect--announced he would not seek re-election in 2018. The day the news broke, I happened to be at a convention of the Kentucky AFL-CIO, surrounded by my labor union family. Word spread that I lived in the district, and one-by-one, leaders from our Kentucky labor movement approached me and urged me to run. After some consideration and some planning, I decided to file.

3.Tell us a little about your race

I’m running in a Democratic primary with two Democratic opponents, in a district that is about 60% Democratic by registration. I was the first candidate to file, and we hit the ground running from day one. Our message is simple: “our district deserves a fighting voice for working people in Frankfort, someone who will take the fight to Matt Bevin and not back down when the going gets tough.”

I respect both of my Democratic opponents and fully intend to support the nominee if I don’t win the primary. But primaries in districts like mine, where registration numbers suggest that a Democrat is favored for the general election, offer us the opportunity to decide who we want representing us. There are any number of good people who run for office who we can count on to vote the right way for the most part, or even to say the right thing from time to time. But with one-party rule in Frankfort that’s hellbent on destroying workers’ rights, dismantling our public schools, and implementing all kinds of backwards policies on women’s rights and immigrant’s rights, I believe our current political moment demands more. I believe we need bold, outspoken, fresh leadership in Frankfort. We need a new kind of politics that’s not afraid to speak up and speak out, and bring the people to Frankfort with them to fight for progressive values. In short, I think we need more organizers running for office!

4.What's the biggest difference between being campaign staff and a candidate?

Great question! I think the biggest difference is that when you’re the candidate, the buck stops with you. There’s no higher authority to turn to when a decision needs to be made. There’s no one to fall on their sword if something goes wrong. There’s only you. That can be intimidating at times, but it’s also a great opportunity to sharpen my instincts in a way that will hopefully help me once I’m elected.

I have marveled at how much of my experience and training as a campaign staffer translates to being a candidate. From recruiting volunteers, to developing a winning message, to targeting persuadable voters, all of the skills I’ve gleaned over the years have helped me tremendously in this new chapter of my political life.

Now if I could just get my campaign manager to use FreeConferenceCall.com...

5.Is there anything you've realized as a candidate that would have helped you when you were a staffer?

To be honest--there have been times on campaigns where I have had criticisms of my candidate that in retrospect were a bit unfair. I’m not running for president or U.S. Senate by any means, but running for state representative is still a demanding job, and realizing that, I can only imagine how stressful it must be to run at those higher levels. I think that it would’ve helped me as a staffer to have the full context of what being a candidate really means, because it might’ve made me more forgiving of the missteps and shortcomings of some of the candidates I’ve worked for over the years.

6.What's been the biggest surprise so far?

The biggest surprise so far has been seeing how many people are coming out to knock doors for our campaign, or give donations of five, ten, or twenty bucks, who I don’t even know. You expect your friends and family to pull out all the stops for you. You expect your former colleagues to chip in. But when people start investing themselves in your campaign simply because they’ve heard your message and believe you’re the right person for the job...that’s an incredible thing.

7.What are you most proud of when it comes to your candidacy?


I said to my team on day one that I wanted to run a campaign that we could all be proud of, a campaign that lives our values. That’s why we are paying our campaign intern. That’s why we’re using union vendors for all of our printing and merchandise. And that’s why when I talk to voters at the door, I tell them the unvarnished truth about my positions; I don’t equivocate or sidestep. It turns out that living your values is not only the morally right thing to do, though. It’s also good politics. People appreciate candor and honesty, and integrity. Even voters who disagree with me on a particular issue generally leave the conversation feeling good about our campaign. And that makes me proud of what we’ve built, and confident that we are going to win on May 22nd.

8. The thing I ask everyone...what do you wish you'd known earlier in your career?

I wish I’d known just how disappointing and cynical politics can be when the wrong people are in power. I started my career in politics at a young age, working first for a gubernatorial candidate in Kentucky, and later on two presidential campaigns in Iowa and later Ohio. I was “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” as they say. I thought that electoral politics was the Alpha and the Omega of how political change happens in this country.

Then I left electoral politics to become a union organizer.

I watched as politicians in both parties left working-class people behind in order to further the agenda of their millionaire backers. I watched as a movement dedicated to improving the lives of working-class people was beaten down by politicians bent on consolidating power for the 1%. And yet, through all of this, in spite of how demoralizing it can all be, I watched everyday, ordinary working people keep getting up and going to work in the morning. I watched them get involved in the process and fight for a better world in spite of politicians with a different agenda. And that has inspired me.

So the answer to your question is: I wish I’d known just how disappointing politics can be, but also wish I’d known just how inspiring it can be when you break out of the day-to-day of cable news and campaign chatter, and actually connect one-on-one with people on the ground. For candidates and campaign staff, politics is often talked about like it’s a game; but for working people, it can quite literally be life or death. And that’s a powerful lesson to learn, and one I know carry with me as I wage this campaign.


To donate or learn more about Richard's campaign visit BeckerforKentucky.com

Sunday, February 4, 2018

You're Doing It Wrong: Are You Underutilizing Your Consultants?



Consultants are more than just product producers. They are there to do what their name implies, consult. Both because they are campaign professionals and because it's good for business your consultants want you to win. As one pointed out to me recently they are making the most money on the campaign while spending the least amount of time on the ground so you may as well make them work for it. Here are five things to ask your consultants to make the most of your relationship and run your best campaign:

1) Ask them to help you find staff. The campaign world is replete with informational interviews, many of them with political consultants. Consultants are often adjunct professors in various PoliSci programs (which means students) and work on several campaigns at once all ending on different schedules. All of this means access to resumes. Helping place staff on campaigns is not only the right thing to do and good for the client, it also helps build a brand. If a consultant has helped place you on a race you are more likely to reach out to them when you are looking to hire a consulting team on that or future races. Plus consultants tend to be friends with other consultants and former colleagues who also have resumes and an interest in placing people as well. It's a win-win-win-win. Networking is the helping economy that makes our world go round and you should not be shy about playing your part in it.

2) Ask them o back you up. It's a good thing my candidate doesn't read my blog because I use this one all the time. Sometimes when I can't convince my candidate of something I know I am correct about, (call time is necessary, yard signs are stupid, you can't go on vacation during a candidate forum) I call my consulting team and talk to about it, make sure we are on the same page, and then bring it up on our consultant call. Consultants want you to win so they are usually more than happy to be your advocate and it often helps a candidate to hear it from more that one source-especially one they don't see every day. NB: Definitely make sure you check in with your consultants first so that you can explain your point of view/present a united front when the subject is broached.

3) Ask them teach you new skills. One of the best parts about managing a campaign is that you get work directly with and learn from experts. Consultants want informed clients and future colleagues so don't be shy about asking why they give you a specific piece of advice or how part of their process works. If you're looking to get experience in a particular consultant's area ask if you can take on a task like crafting a press release or an email. As long something is not particularly intensive or time-sensitive they are usually more than happy to have it off their plate.

4) Ask them to weigh in outside their own purview. Just because someone happens to be a pollster or fundraising consultant doesn't mean that this is their only area of expertise. Most consultants are long-time campaign people and its very difficult to get this far without having a variety of experience and working on a lot of different campaigns. Don't be afraid to lean on your consultants for advice even when it has to do with a project they aren't necessarily involved in.

5) Ask them to help YOU find a job. See number one. Consultants perpetually have their hands in a bunch of different campaigns and they love to embed staffers who they know will be loyal to them. Once your campaign is over, assuming you've done a good job, don't be afraid to reach out about next steps.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Organizer Store: 2017 Favorites



Happy 2018! I've missed you! Between moving and getting married and managing a race 2017 was a lackluster year in terms of quantity of content. However, new year, new me amiright? I don't want to make promises I can't keep but I am hoping to make this year a year of content meaning 100 posts. So please send questions/ideas/etc to campaignsick@gmail.com. Let's kick it off right! Below are some things I've been dying to share with you guys and I finally got the time to sit down and do it! Check out my 2017 favorites! What game changing products did you discover in 2017? Tweet @CampaignSick to let me know!


1) Gobble Box- As many of you know I went back out on the campaign trail in mid-2017. Determined to continue some semblance of a budget and self-care my (also on the campaign trail) husband and I tried out a variety of meal subscription boxes and fell in love with Gobble. We prefer Gobble for a variety of reasons. First, you can assemble their kits in 20 mins (their site says 15 but I'm keeping it real for you) using only one pan which is perfect when you come home from work exhausted or are staying in a sublet with limited supplies (check and check.) Second, they just taste better. Our first two meals were Chinese chicken lettuce cups and an Indian dish with cauliflower and paneer both tasted as good or better than what we would get with delivery plus they were less expensive and way healthier. Finally, they allow you to choose your meals from a menu of about 9 options per week and you can choose as few or as many as you like. (Although serving sizes start at 2 people.) The picture above is what we're expecting in next week's delivery. Highly, highly recommend! You can use my link to get your first dinner kit FOR FREE. You won't be disappointed. Tweet me and let me know what you think!


2) Homesick Candles- I've already waxed poetic (get it?) about the virtues of scented candles but this Fall I got to take it to a whole new level. I found Homesick candles when I was experiencing serious longing for the sights and smells of Autumn while living in Southern California. Just read the New York State candle description, "Experience the natural bounty of the Empire State with the scents of the Adirondacks, forest brush crunching underfoot, and the autumn fragrance of pumpkins and apple orchards. Sweet hay and rushing river mix with spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon to finish." I mean #home. I was so excited I registered for both the New York City and New York State candles (thank you, Bridget!) and purchased respective candles for all the members of our wedding party (two New York, one Virginia, one Maryland, two Wisconsin, two Florida, one England and one Northern California.) I will say that some states' scents are better matched than others-I especially appreciated that Maryland smelled like Old Bay and that Wisconsin didn't just smell like cheese- and that the scent throw isn't as good as Bath and Body Works. However it is such a thoughtful, comforting gift for someone who is on the campaign trail and longing for home and I have to say a very fun gift give. I don't have a code to give you but if you sign up for their email list you can take 10% off your first order.

3) Greetabl Boxes- This one is another gift idea! Greetabl boxes are like souped up greeting card with a little surprise inside. You choose the pattern of your box and the customize it with up to three detachable photos of you and the gift's recipient. Then you can add a small treat ranging from tea, to socks, to champagne flavored gummy bears. 2017 saw deaths, breakups, moves, marriages, births and everything in between for my immediate friend group and left me intent on finding a way to better keep in touch and let the people I love know I'm thinking about them in between momentous occasions. (I spent the weeks after both my bachelorette party and my wedding texting various loved ones "why don't we get together like that more often?") I love that Greetabl is super personalized but not overly expensive. One of very the Greetabls I sent is pictured above. All told the four boxes I've sent ranged from $9-$20. AND you can use my link to get 15% off!


4)Crime in Sports Podcast- Southern California traffic is as advertised and until recently I lived about an hour away from my office which meant lots of time in the car. Once I'd exhausted This American Life and Slate Political Gabfest on my drive out from the East Coast I was searching for some road trip entertainment and after discovering Crime in Sports it became my companion on my daily commute. The Podcast is two comedians telling true crimes stories involving professional athletes. It's one of those things where I can't quite put my finger on why I find it so satisfying but I love having an episodic apolitical reliable source of entertainment on a long or long-feeling drive. One caveat: while hosts Jimmy Whisman and James Pietragallo seem like generally good people they occasionally use less than PC language/make some cringe-inducing jokes so you be judge of whether this one is for you. The good news is it's 100% free. And campaign people love Podcasts so I had to share.



5)Tieks- If you are a woman on Facebook and anywhere near my age group chances are you've seen Tieks advertisements. You're probably also thinking "Are you crazy? Why would I pay $200 for a pair of flats? Do you know what I get paid?" Yes, but after hearing accolades from one friend who is a doctor and another who is a classroom teacher (two professions that spend a lot of time on their feet) I'd been dying to try Tieks for a while. You're talking to someone who pretty much exclusively wore Tufts flip flops unless it was absolutely necessary, such was my disdain for shoes. (In practice. In theory I can't get enough of them.) I treated myself to a rose gold pair of Tieks as my dancing shoes for my wedding and I have not looked back. You guys. These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn including sneakers. I have now two pairs, the rose gold and another pair in black and wear them almost every day. If you are like me and always get blisters from shoes rubbing you or find them otherwise uncomfortable you need a pair of Tieks. Sadly I don't have a discount code to share with you but if you find one you are forever my hero.

Can't wait to post more soon! Tell me what products/services are making your lives easier in the new year!

Campaign Love and Mine,

Nancy

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How planning a wedding is like running a campaign


You guys, I am getting in a cab to get on a plane to fly to New York to go to my wedding. How bananas is that? People keep asking me if I'm nervous and I'm really not. As a friend observed recently, "people who get nervous about weddings have never been through an election day." Other than the surreal quality, I'm pretty pumped and I wanted to take a moment to share with you fives ways in which planning a wedding is a lot like running a campaign.

1) People will surprise you both good and bad. The same way that a candidate's wealthy friend might never re-up his 50 dollar donation, but the parents of the kid who babysat your candidate in high school might randomly max out. People will come through for you (and disappoint you) in unexpected ways for your wedding. Shout out to my friend from the Edwards campaign and his awesome wife who are flying out from Wisconsin to join us! (And un-shout out to the person who texted me last "when is it again?")

2) Unsolicited opinions. Need I even take you through this one? Oh you volunteered for McGovern? Please tell me how we need yard signs. Oh you got married in 1972? Please tell me about people will be upset there's no cake cutting.

3) Its starts impossibly early. There are people hiring field staff for exploratory work in Iowa for 2020 presidential campaigns! Hello! We haven't even had midterm PRIMARIES yet. Meanwhile when Future Mr. CampaignSick and I started looking at venues NINE MONTHS AGO (no I'm not pregnant) people were like "oh you're too late. We're already booked into 2018." Calm down everybody.

4) The closer you get, the less is in your control. One of the reasons I'm not nervous is because I planned. Just like you work backwards from election so by the time you get there the wheels are turning on their own, I made a list of everything we needed for the wedding a few months ago and have been slowly checking items off. I know I did everything I could to put together a great event so barring a disappearing act on the part of my future husband (which, is not going to happen but if it did I hope you'd all come visit me in prison) the worst that can happen really isn't that bad.

5) There's a little bit of imposter syndrome. I keep texting my Maid of Honor "are you sure I'm getting married this weekend?" and she for her part has been answering "I don't know, that seems kind of weird." Similar feeling as to when you are 23 and managing 200 volunteers or managing a race that's getting national attention. Don't get me wrong, I know I am going to be awesome at both, but they are such grown up seeming activities that I need to pinch myself to make sure this is really happening.


Thank you for being a part of my life this week and every week! (PS. Read this adorable article I found while looking for a picture to use with this post.)


Campaign Love and Mine!


-Nancy




Sunday, October 15, 2017

To California On the Eve of My Wedding


Three and a half years ago I wrote one of the more personal blog posts I've ever shared with you. "To Washington on my 29th Birthday" was about the anxiety, wistfulness and almost resignation I felt at the precipice of my new adventure, my move to D.C. Finding myself at another career crossroads this summer, I revisited the post hoping rereading it would give me some sort of clarity.

I was struck by a couple of things, but in particular, how inextricably tied my relationship status seemed to be tied to my perception of own my career. I mention my being single five times in the blog post, which was ostensibly about a career decision. Even the metaphor I used to describe my predicament is a Mike Birbiglia joke about marriage. When I think about it, my career path and my relationship status have always been intertwined--in part because I tend to date people who do what I do, but also I think because of how I've been socialized to view success. My decision to finally take a break from campaigns to go to graduate school--a decision that indirectly led to the creation of this blog-- was preceded by the end of my first serious relationship. Even when I wasn't in a relationship, the fear that a peripatetic campaign lifestyle would preclude my ability to find lasting love loomed large over the decisions I made.

Depending on how you count it, I'd been thinking about going back on the campaign trail on and off since 2012. If you had asked me why I hesitated I would have thought it was because I'd always have the option to go manage a campaign but finding a healthy, sustainable romantic relationship felt completely out of my control. But as it turns out it was never about losing any particular relationship but about giving my all to something and having that not be enough. What if I tried and failed? What if I'm not as good as I think I am? What if no one wants me? The same fears that were holding me back in relationships were holding back my career.

Then this summer I found myself in a situation I had never anticipated: engaged, unemployed, and out of excuses. After three and a half years in our nation's capital, I left DC with my fiance to do what I have always wanted but been too scared to do: manage a congressional race.

Look, I know how this makes me sound. As Feminist its a trite, uneasy, Sex-and-the-City thing to write about oneself. It's why I've written, rewritten and been sitting on this post since June. I finally decided to publish it because of all people, my personal trainer. We've been spending a lot of time together lately and I absolutely adore this girl. She is 24 years old, moved to LA after a traumatic end to her first serious relationship and is trying to make a career in her chosen field happen. Her pain and fear are palpable. It hurts me to know in my heart from experience that she will be okay and also know there is absolutely no way to communicate that certainty to her. After our second session, I texted my Maid of Honor, "Thank God we will never be 24 again."

I get that I am very, very lucky. I have an amazing partner who understands what I do and is committed to making our relationship work even when it keeps us apart for small periods of time. I found an amazing candidate and consulting team who remind me why I chose this career in the first place--and I found them within 40 minutes of my future husband. Even that boyfriend, the one with the break up that spurred me to go to grad school is now one of my best friends and a guest at my wedding. #Blessed.

But it's not just luck; It's patience and experience and confidence. In the time between moving to DC and moving to California I became a person who sought out a partner I could trust to support me professionally and to be my equal in maintaining our relationship. I became a person who was okay with others seeing my imperfections both personal and professional and was therefore more willing to take risks. I got better at asking for what I need. This is by no means a declaration that I have it all figured out, far, far, far from it, but it is a declaration that I know better than I did before.

This post is embarrassing to write and more so to publish. But it's what I would have needed to hear when I was younger and earlier, which is what I strive to do with this blog. The biggest difference between me when I wrote that initial post and me today is the knowledge that even if things do not turn out okay, I will be okay.

I want to end this with a quote said by one of my favorite woman role models (Michelle Obama) to another of my favorite woman role models (Oprah Winfrey) at the 2016 United State of Women.

"I don’t want young women out there to have the expectation that if they’re not having it all that somehow they’re failing. Life is hard. But life is long if you maintain your health, which is one of the reasons why we talk about taking care of yourself. Because you want to get to the next phases in life where you can do more of what you want to do at any given time."

Be strong lady friends in your 20's. Life is coming.

Campaign Love and Mine,


Nancy

Friday, September 29, 2017

Please Join Me: Support Danica Roem's Historic Candidacy for Delegate!!!


CampaignSick Nation,

It's end of quarter and I should be asking you to donate to the federal candidate whose campaign I'm running. Instead I am asking you to donate to a delegate candidate in Virginia who you have probably never heard of. Danica Roem is a former journalist, activist, and step-mother running in my fiance's home district in Prince William County and if elected she would be the first and ONLY out transgender state legislator in the country.

By contrast, Republican incumbent Delegate Bob Marshall is a rabidly anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-LGBT political dumpster fire who authored Virginia's version of the anti-trans bathroom bill. It should take one aback but come as no surprise then that he has repeatedly misgendered Danica, refused to debate with her, and called her a bully when she pointed out his bigotry.

I should take a moment to point out that Danica's candidacy is not predicated on her gender but instead rooted in a deep understanding of the issues that impact her district honed from years as a local reporter. Mike (future Mr. CampaignSick) knows her from his time working on races in the area and has told me that he was always nervous to put his candidates in a room with Danica because she knows her stuff and the district so well and she doesn't pull any punches. Doesn't that sound like exactly who you'd want as your state legislator?

Danica can win this race. In a political environment where it seems like words don't mean things and actions don't have consequences, here is a race where we can stand up for kindness and common sense with small donations and really make a difference.

In case you remain unconvinced, allow me to share a couple of choice (no pun intended) pieces of media:

About Delegate Marshall (I could have found 30 of these):
In 1989, Marshall told the Boston Globe that he opposed birth control pills, calling them “abortion.” He also objected to long-acting contraception, telling the Globe: “It’s a real tribute to women’s intelligence. They feel so irresponsible they can’t do something once a day?” In the same interview, Marshall railed against abortion in the case of rape. “Your origins should not be held against you,” he explained, in reference to the victim’s fetus. “The woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman.

Video from Danica about Marshall's transphobic attacks:



And finally, from Mr. CampaignSick. I mean come on, you guys.



I have never asked you to donate to a candidate before, not even one I worked for, but I hope you see why I am asking now. Please, if you are able, join me by donating to Danica's campaign.

Campaign Love and Mine,

Nancy