This week kicked off #APAHAM2014 so we had a flurry of activity celebrating and reflecting on what the AAPI community has done and what it will continue to do in serving our country. It’s a reunion of sorts – people from across the country collaborating on ways that will better serve our constituency and catching up with people that you may only communicate with via email and phone. Being together IRL brings that personal connection that only weeks like these can provide. It’s been AAPI 24/7 so I’ve collected quite a few things to read!
In case you missed the Vice President Joe Biden at the Opening Ceremony for the start of APAHM2014, you can read about it.
Are you preparing to be a great leader for the 21st century? Here are a few thoughts about it from a Ted talk by Roselinde Torres.
In watching Mika Brzenzinksi on Morning Joe, she talks about her mom, Emilie Brzezinksi’s work as an artist, mother & wife while balancing life in DC and there’s an opportunity on June 2nd to see them in DC at Politics and Prose.
This week brought back the return of Congress from a 2 week district work period so that meant events, events, + more events. No complaints because that means events = checks being delivered. As a result, I get to add more numbers!
So we gotta give former President Bill Clinton some props too. His alma mater, Georgetown University recently posted a 4 part lecture series where the former President discusses “the guiding principles that have shaped his career in public service”. Since we think leadership is key to a life in elected office it’s always a good idea to keep learning from the best.
Since we last Shared the Headlines, we finished the 1st quarter of the election year and we’re barreling through the 2nd. Spring has finally arrived to DC and with that everyone’s more than fair share of allergies. So while everyone is making fundraising calls and trying not to sneeze on one another, here are the headlines!
Which leads me to how the young(er) generation is taking the initiative to train their colleagues within the AAPI community to learn the basics of digital strategy. Although the amazing folks of The Brain Trust met their goal of raising the funds that they needed for the training, they want to give SCHOLARSHIPS to the participants. So get on over there and put in a few bucks ($10 contributions add up – ask the folks who did the grassroots fundraising for the Obama campaign).
Gird your loins, Asian Heritage Month is around the corner (the entire month of May!) so we’ll have some fun posts on what’s happening with the numerous celebrations.
I hope everyone had a great holiday season! With the start of 2014, we’ve switched the “on” button for Election 2014. Every campaign season is different and as I’ve gotten older, I fondly remember some really great moments and the enthusiasm for being on the road.
These days as a consultant, I get to stay in the comforts of my home and that makes me (momentarily) forget that life in DC isn’t certainly life beyond the Beltway. I used to spend the last 6 weeks out on the road doing GOTV because I started doing professional politics in field. One of my favorite moments was when I worked in Pittsburgh as the Deputy GOTV Director. My office was located in one of the tallest buildings in downtown in a law firm. I had an office where 3 key volunteers helped me everyday to organize the GOTV activity for all of Pittsburgh. This little secluded oasis was away from the frenzy of the main headquarters office, which was always brimming with activity. At night, the space was used for phone banking so volunteers would do phone calls. The space was so chic that they used the space for surrogate phone banking so as we were getting closer to Election Day, surrogates would file in and make calls urging people to vote. So while sitting in my office on the phone dealing with what was a crisis at the time, the Pittsburgh Director walks in my office and tries to introduce me to actor, Martin Sheen aka President Bartlett of The West Wing. I’m awkwardly looking at the phone while I see mouths moving in introduction and hello’s and thanks for all that you do while trying to handle the person on the phone and saying hello to the fictional POTUS. Classic moment.
Let the fun begin! What are your favorite campaign moments?
I’ve had strong women in my life as role models. Of course, the 1st person who comes to mind is my own mother. In my professional life, I like to credit 2 women who took a chance on me and let me flourish because they saw that I had skills that would benefit the team.
In the political arena, Emily’s List has been there to support pro-choice Democratic women; the Women’s Information Network (of which, I’m a proud Advisory Board member) will be celebrating 25 years of connecting women in DC to one another for professional and personal growth; and of course, there is Running Start, an organization that helps young women see the possibilities of themselves running for elected office (I’m proud to say that I’m also a mentor to their Running Start Fellows and that my current associate, Fiona Zhu, went through their high school program). These organizations along with many others have been instrumental in helping young women achieve their goals in public service. If you haven’t taken a look at their portfolio, you should take the time to see how an investment in these organizations is also an investment into our future.
As the analysis continues on Election 2013, one of my most vivid memories of wrapping up my previous campaigns was trying to clean up the office to shut it down. It was a little more euphoric if we were the winning campaign and complete drudgery if we lost. So many things that you held near and dear during campaign season lost their value the moment it was all over…”all that data that we meticulously tracked….whoosh….into the shredder!”.
Photo used by permission: Alvina Yeh
Now’s the time to get your life back together because for real, your life was basically on pause for however many months. Probably first and foremost: getting sleep! You’ve probably been running on adrenaline and you’re about to run out. How many people got sick after the election? I’ve been fortunate to have a strong immune system so I never fell prey to the post election sniffles but one remedy is definitely getting sleep. Maybe even plan a vacation where you can get sleep!
If you’re like me and you’re a worrywart about landing your next gig, getting a job interview is probably a priority on that post election list too. I give a lot of informational interviews and I am supposed to schedule coffee hours through my role with Democratic GAIN (sorry guys, I know that I haven’t done it yet but I promise I will!). I have suffered through many coffees (which I don’t even drink!) because the person who requested the interview was ill prepared. So let me give you tip – brush up on your networking skills because now you’re the campaign. The only candidate is you because you’re looking for a job and that itself is a job. Here’s a great article on how you can make the most of your informational interviews. Every one of the tips will make a great impression.
The aforementioned Democratic GAIN is a great resource to get tips on building a stronger resume as well as learning about trainings where you can increase your value as an operative. Check them out and most importantly, JOIN!
Yesterday was Election Day 2013, and the kick-off to the 2016 presidential cycle (did you watch Governor Christie’s speech?) but as we begin to armchair QB the election, let’s take a look at the numbers. A poll commissioned by America’s Voice and People for the American Way and released by Latino Decisions shows that Latinos and Asian Americans broke heavily for Democratic candidates. To see more results, check out the entire breakdown from Governor to House of Delegates.
Do you think your elected officials in Congress look like you? Well, if you’re not Caucasian (technically I am since my father is of German ancestry but my Asian heritage is the immediate visual) than you’re in the minority. Check out Huffington Post’s article on the Diversity Gap.
If you want to bring change in the representation then you need to encourage your communities to participate in the electoral process. We can do this but we need to be present and be active. Politics matter and so does diversity.
Why is time the most important resource? It’s because you can never get it back and it’s finite. Elections are changing to where you have vote by mail, early vote etc so you don’t necessarily only have one election day but you do have a final day to vote. That final date is it. The most important piece of time is the candidate’s time. Using that resource wisely means wringing every minute to get $$ or to get votes. If you’re not accomplishing one of these 2 things then you’re wasting time.
You can always raise more money and you always recruit more volunteers but you can never get more time.