This is it! the last week of recess and I start a bit early as I have a weekend work retreat. I’ll be in a new venue so I’m looking forward to working with the team there. As I’ve mentioned in the past, working as a political consultant can bring a variety of tasks. We do what needs to be done so that the events that we execute are as flawless as possible. It’s really not strange to think that my colleagues and I would get into a stranger’s car to ride with them 3 hours to a mutual destination because our flight was cancelled and we need to get to our event before our guests. Campaign people are generally left to their own devices and as long as our decisions are ethical and legal, we’re going to do what it takes to get the job done. This type of environment lets us really think on our feet with very little supervision. More often than not, it all works out!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Do you have dreams about having “inbox 0”? I’m pretty responsive with emails and I get a little antsy when I’m supposedly on vacation with my autoresponder saying that there will be a delay in response. I mainly respond quickly because I want it out of the way, but with anything that requires a more thoughtful response, I want the time to articulate my thoughts and that requires the most important resource, time. When you think your email is spiraling out of control, here’s how you can master your own email destiny.
Not every day is perfect. There are times when everything seems to be going in the wrong direction and negative thoughts start to overwhelm me. I remind myself that things can be worse and that I have it pretty good. There are always going to be obstacles in life and how we handle them teaches us how to be better people. So when you’re faced with a situation where you doubt your abilities or wonder how to get through a dark period, use these techniques to get to a more positive attitude.
When you’re facing challenges at work, especially in a campaign atmosphere, it can lead to a downward spiral. Managers can provide a bit of reassurance but when you’re feeling it as a supervisor, you need to pull yourself together so that you can provide a steady hand for your team. I always like to take a team effort approach to projects even though I’m ultimately responsible for the outcome. Seeing where you have obstacles and putting people who have the most skills to tackle the problem can create an environment where creativity can be fostered. Here are other ways that you can work through those challenging situations.
I do my best thinking in the shower. I also spend a lot of time singing so I’m probably the worst person when it comes to water conservation. Nonetheless, I think the idea of having the water wash away my doubts helps me to get to another place that allows me to walk out more confident and ready to take on what may be crowding my mind. The shower also lets me be my most vulnerable. Tears can flow and the private nature of the moment gives me the opportunity to face any negativity. I know that I don’t have a lot of time so it does limit me to wallow. It’s reasonable to question your actions and to give pause to a situation, but don’t allow those thoughts to determine your actions.
Communicating with people in any organization can be daunting. Group emails, reply all, should you call vs email…the list goes on and on. My philosophy is that I will communicate with you however to best get your attention. I work with donors who will only give if I fax them while I have other donors who I know will give if I text them the information. Not only do you have communication protocols outside of an organization, you have them for people who work with your organization. As technology changes, I find that younger people would rather snap then text but as with any hierarchy, communicating with your manager should be done in the way that is most comfortable for your manager. Learning to be flexible as well as establishing office protocols will allow you to know when it’s truly an emergency to respond. Travel also comes into play because team members may be in different time zones and knowing that before you communicate allows them to know that a response is OK during their business hours.
I always like to read how other fundraising professionals brand their organizations for donors. In political fundraising, Emily’s List taught us that there are only 4 reasons why political donors give and that kind of psychology really works in thinking about how you craft a message to donors to get them to contribute. When you’re dealing with development and working towards an individual donor program with a long term vision, you’re asking individuals to invest into a bigger picture than just an election. Here’s a great article of how you can keep your donors invested in your organization.
I do not pretend to know what my African American colleagues experience in their lives as women and if you didn’t realize how difficult it is for them, then you should read this article because if you’re not outraged by the time you’re finished, then there’s nothing anyone can do to help you. It’s a sisterhood that should be acknowledged and uplifted. We rise together!
Thanks for reading/sharing! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
I’ve started getting antsy for Fall. DC has been given a break from the heat and humidity and has returned to more “normal” temperatures. Less air conditioning and more windows flung widely for fresh air. So when the weather starts to turn, I start to think about back to school (my favorite time of year!) and of course, the elections. With 76 days left until E-Day, the excitement has already surpassed the usual buzz. All around me, people are organizing trips to swing states and are ready to fire up their personal cell phones to get to phone banking if they can’t travel. The frenzy has begun! It’s time to dive into the deep end 🙂 In the meantime, we’ve got Tuesday Truths!
I’m cutting some onions here! I couldn’t get through the entire article without welling up. Whether you’re for Hillary or not, you can’t deny that there are bonds that are forever forged through friendship. The people who surround her, whether they are people who met her when she was First Lady or those who know her from a shared childhood, these women are in this together. That kind of friendship is one that I’m fortunate to share with women who are part of a shared tribe. We may live thousands of miles apart but we have shared the highs and lows because this sisterhood makes us stronger. Yes, I hope this article sheds light on a different side of Hillary for you (if you didn’t already know), but what really struck me was it only confirms that women are the strongest advocates for one another.
Should Secretary Clinton win the White House, I truly believe that we’re going to see much more crazy comments about having a woman as President. I remember when I was elected as VP of the student body at Tulane, I was one of six women to lead the student government. It was the 1st time the entire elected executive council were all women and the 1st thing that people asked, “Are you going to paint the student government offices pink?” – is that crazy?! That was over 23 years ago. As a woman elected official, there is just so much more crazy that you put up with than when you’re a man. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
I’m fortunate that I have friends who are well versed on expressing themselves in their wardrobe choices, from vintage finds to high end designer outfits. Your style is a statement of your personality and one woman who has always brought style to the DC aesthetic is Huma Abedin. She has been in Vogue on numerous occasions and with this election cycle, the spotlight has been especially intense. She’s had a full spectrum of experiences, from staffer to candidate’s spouse to Vice Chair of a presidential campaign. With such a high profile life, she has had to endure evolving from a young professional to the person she is today and she’s always held her head up high.
If you haven’t read this open letter to managers who have women on their staff, you need to do it now, especially if you’re a man. I know I have some male readers! Respect your talent by advocating for them and obviously, (but not so obviously as this kind of crazy has been going on forever) PAY HER for equal work.
I’m back in the office after taking a few days off to visit with family up and down New England. Lots of driving the past few weeks for me so I’m happy to relinquish the car for at least a few days and be still. While I was “off”, I was also notified that my information may have been hacked due to the security breach at the DCCC (fun times!) and lo and behold, I started getting random phone calls (like disgusting racist ones) and lots and lots of spam texts and emails. Needless to say, I spent the majority of one morning changing passwords and dealing with the crazy. This definitely is not when #politicscanbefun 🙁
This has been such a crazy year in politics. I can’t wait to see the results and how political scientists will assess the environment for the history books. As a political science major in college, we learned of the historic pendulums that led to the dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties and to live during a time with so much history being made, I enjoy reading about people’s experiences on the campaign trail. MSNBC/NBC Reporter Katy Tur discusses her adventure covering the Trump campaign and it is WILD! Major props to her and to all of those who live the road warrior life.
If ever there’s a time when I need inspiration to live a more authentic life, I see Baddie Winkle as my spirit animal. She’s a BADASS and I would want to live my life as freely as she lives hers. She has no problems being herself. At 88 years young, she has lived a lifetime where she can give zero F*cks so, why wait?
We’re in the midst of August slumber, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not working! I have a ton of events on the books and we’re excited that we’re 90 days from E-Day! Have you signed up for a volunteer shift? I’m happy to direct you to any of the Democratic organizations that are actively recruiting volunteers 😉
Political life can bring discourse. I found this article quite interesting because it made me take a breath and LISTEN. I like to think that I can be patient, although it’s not an adjective that I would immediately use to describe myself and the ability to actively listen and to better understand someone who comes with a differing opinion requires a healthy dose of it. We move in such a fast society with social media only lending us maybe 6 seconds of attention span so the ability to listen and be aware of someone else’s perspective makes for a test of patience. Would you want to change the person’s opinion? Would you want to voice the merits of your perspective? Of course, but sometimes what really matters is that we give each other the space to be heard.
I give big PROPS to the Washington Post for creating a compilation of articles about women in power in DC. They highlight women in both parties and how they have grown or decreased within these establishments, how women are coming into their power through political contributions, as well as how women of color still battle everyday to be recognized. It’s a great digest of how women in DC are fighting to be at the table.
Being that my spouse is also a campaign hack, who I met when we both worked at the DNC during the ’96 re-election, I thought this article about finding love on the campaign trail hit close to home. I’ve always likened campaign life like being in a class. You work with people your age as well as those who have more/less experience and those relationships/friendships forged during those particularly intense moments can build a bond that would have never existed.
I had an opportunity to speak to a couple of interns last week about what it means to be a political consultant and the work that I do as a fundraiser. It was great to tell them about how I work to elect candidates who look more like America, but what I failed to tell them that I also do things like, order 50lbs of pork butt (and pick it up) for an annual fundraiser so that my out of town chefs can prepare their menu. I also purchase golf balls for gift bags and order catering from a specialty food truck for 100 so that I have food for my events. I’ll just let The Campaign Workshop talk about what campaign fundraisers REALLY do for their candidates 😉
If you’re having Democratic Convention withdrawal or even FOMO (I’ll admit it, all of the frenzy was quite worth it!) then here’s a recap from my dear friend Edil De Los Reyes(follow her on twitter!!). She worked with the Democratic Convention digital team to share stories and poignant moments during Convention and she wrote a recap of the 1st day. Thanks Edil for capturing other parts of the day so that I can see what else was happening!
Thanks for reading/sharing and if you haven’t signed up for the weekly blog, I hope you get on the party train 🙂
So a bit of context to my photo, I was sitting on the convention floor (like really sitting on the convention floor and not in a seat) watching President Clinton speak on Tuesday night and he was so close because I was in the 3rd row from the front (AMAZEBALLS!).
I’m still processing the past week’s Democratic Convention activities, mainly due to being overwhelmed with emotion and serious lack of sleep. I could have been a responsible adult and went to bed after the proceedings, but I chose to see friends that I hardly see when I’m in DC or elsewhere and stay up way too late and get up way too early. It was all worth the experience of being there and being apart of the revelry. Now that I’m looking at the calendar, the realization of it being less than 100 days to the election has hit me with full force. If you weren’t serious before now, it’s time to get to organizing!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I’ve been to 6 Democratic conventions as either part of the DNC or as part of an allied group participating in the extracurricular activities to motivate and energize people to volunteer their time and resources to electing a Democratic ticket. I’ve been emotional at each one because as much as I’m a cynic now, I was an idealist (and continue to be somewhere in the depths of my soul). Part of my journey was that I was able to find my way to the Democratic party and make my goals a reality and to stay connected to the progressive movement to make this a career. I’ve seen this Party go through ups and downs and to come out on the other side to elect the 1st African American President and to nominate a woman to a major political party. I think I have been fortunate to live my life in rose colored glasses. I was raised in a multi cultural society, where my friends from all faiths and backgrounds were seen as part of the community. I went to school in the South where the student body elected an all female Executive Committee for the Student Government, where I was privileged to be VP of Administration. To witness firsthand the workings of an institution to nominate a woman was truly astounding. We are not perfect by any means and yet, this emotion was set forth because women deserve the respect and equal treatment of our male counterparts. Geraldine “Jerry” Emmett, a delegate who casted her vote from Arizona was born BEFORE women had the right to vote. Think about it – there was a time when women could NOT vote. We had men tell us what to do and with this moment, we have a role model who can say, “You belong here.”
Women are constantly getting critiqued for their appearance and elected officials as well as those who work in politics are not immune to those criticisms. Male candidates have the luxury of knowing that they need to spend very little time thinking about wardrobe when they enter the political arena. All they need to worry about is if their suits fits them, if they’re well groomed. Women, on the other hand, need to worry about hair, wardrobe, makeup. Do you know how many times Secretary Clinton was admonished for her headbands?? Extra time needs to be cushioned into the schedule so that a woman can get her hair and makeup done while men can easily take the extra time to rest or prepare for the day. Wardrobe can also be symbolic of your candidate’s message. I found it interesting that there was much ado about Secretary Clinton’s white pantsuit for her nomination acceptance speech. Did she actually choose all white for the symbolism? The same question can be posed to First Lady Michelle Obama’s choice of attire for her Monday night speech, where she spoke of inclusion and diversity. Just like in the days of when I was a field organizer, you drove American cars to reflect the alliance with Labor, the choices that we make as representatives of the Democratic Party can also be seen in our choice of attire.
When I think of my tribe of women friends, I know that they are progressing in their careers and reaching for their goals while also holding the door open for those who come behind us. All of that and more can be said for Donna Brazile and her #girlsquad of “Colored Girls”, the name that they gave themselves ages ago. They each have inspirational stories and together, they have forged a dynamic alliance of power with one another. True example of no drama and women helping one another. They’re writing a book and it should be out by mid terms of 2018. I know that I’ll be pre-ordering a copy!
Were you riveted with the introduction video at the Democratic Convention of Secretary Clinton? It was the best 12 minutes to showcase the Democratic nominee at her best. Shondaland outdid themselves. I hope Ms. Rhimes thought it was better to do this than take her vacation!
Show of hands! Who went to the Convention? Was it your 1st time? Share with us your experience! For those of you who watched from home, what did you think?? How did it look on tv? Would enjoy reading your comments so drop them below!