Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v5

It’s been a rough week. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m in a constant headache. It has been fast and furious and not in a good way. This has been brutal for the heart, soul, & body. Remember that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • This past week has shown how swiftly the WH is moving on immigration. Here are ways that you can help fight these policies. Share them with your friends and network who don’t live in the Beltway because that’s where we need the movement to grow.
  • CNN Contributor Jeff Yang has some insightful thoughts about the WH for their explanation of the exclusion of mentioning Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Make sure you follow him too!

  • Interesting PBS piece on the stigma of being young, black & Republican. As a lifelong Democrat, I hope that the Democratic Party and the progressive allies that align with our values don’t ever take for granted the constituencies that support the Progressive Movement. Outreach and being welcoming, among other actions are clear indicators in making constituencies feel valued.
  • I work with c3s that are looking into more flexible funding for their organizations because of the changing environment. This piece from Inside Philanthropy is important because we all need to recognize that having the flexibility to address needs quickly will help those communities who are in desperate need.
  • We need more women leaders in elected office, not just because it’s representation but also because women govern differently and as a result, things get done. The 2016 cycle had a decrease in women governors and an average flatline in the US House & US Senate. I’m imploring my fellow women activists to take the reins. We need you!

Whose interested in getting together for a group hug? At the very least we can give one another some moral support but we can also do a daily action together! Thanks for reading/sharing & let me know how you’re doing! See you back here, next Tuesday!

— Madalene






Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v4

I hope you’re energized after January 21st. Seeing all of the fierce women & feminist men from around the world in my social media at the Womens March has been heartwarming & gives me hope for having allies in the challenges ahead. I enjoyed being in New Orleans because I got to meet one of my Tulane/Newcomb Institute mentees in person & help her with her professional goals. Sharing my experiences with future generations of women leaders allows me to welcome those who are willing to share in the struggles & the work towards equity for all women. Minh Ngoc Nguyen was gracious enough to introduce me to wonderful people from the Vietnamese American community who bring resilience & add vibrancy to the New Orleans community such as the co-owners of Drip Affogato Juley Le & Anh T Vu & community leader Anna Nguyen. I’m thrilled to see how they are using their talents to bring awareness to issues important to all members of society. I have The Mister to thank for taking time to the Bywater area so that I could take this pic (if you have the time to read it, I highly recommend it). It reminds us that it will take sacrifice to protect those whose rights are trampled. Civil disobedience and calling out individuals/groups who think that we will stay silent is necessary in creating equality for all of us. We rise together.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I started journaling more so that I could better recognize emotions from my day and better understand how the root of my emotions affects my work. Described as emotional agility, it allows you to be more productive so you can assess the meanings behind your emotions. Here’s where you can evaluate those emotions and take necessary steps to increase your chances for wellness.
  • I’ve had to go on a news detox because it was just too much. I’m pretty vigilant about the news sources that I read/watch so when I share materials, I try to vet them before I share any links. The uptick of fake news got me wondering how they were able to get so far in spreading non-facts and luckily, Melissa Ryan not only shares how these “news stories” were used as a form of attack but also how we can use their same tactics to spread legitimate stories.

Thanks for reading/sharing. Got a tip that you want to share? Send it to me! See you here next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v3

Photo credit via

We’re in the last days of the Obama administration. My husband and I went to a reception at the White House on Monday night to celebrate the work of those who served in the Administration for 8 years. My husband, who I call The Mister, was one of those faithful public servants. It was a wonderful way to start the week, acknowledging all of the energy spent in improving the lives of the American people on behalf of President Obama. The President addressed the crowd and gave thanks for their endurance for sticking it out for those 8 years. I do the political side of things, so it’s nice to see policy in action. Can you tell that I’m super proud of The Mister? He has served in 2 Democratic Administrations so this isn’t his first rodeo when it comes to ending one Administration and transitioning to another where the opposing Party is coming in – the last time we had to do this was in 2000 and since then, he has learned a great deal in his management skills and how to motivate his team. As the Chief of Staff of an agency, he has had to deal with crisis management, personnel issues, as well as working to help improve peoples’ lives. Because isn’t that what we really strive towards, those of us who work in politics or policy? To help bring public policy to the people in an everyday way.

As we head out of DC, there are those who are coming into town for the Womens’ March so we bid you good weather, a safe place to express your views and the spirit of camaraderie. We’re in this together and for the long haul. We’ll see you for the next go around.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Saturday’s a big day so planning ahead on what to wear is equally is important as planning what signs you’ll be carrying. You’ll want comfortable shoes and layers so that you can shed layers if the walk gets your temperature rising. Here are additional tips that can be helpful when you’re planning what to wear for a protest march in winter, not only for comfort but also to make it easier should there be random security sweeps. Good luck!
  • I recently commented on a post of a friend/colleague who shared her long history of work within the progressive movement as well as within the Democratic Party. I acknowledged that she was a mentor and role model for so many women organizers because since she was in a senior leadership position during a time when there weren’t that many women leaders, she helped to amplify and elevate our voices. I’ve lived through 2000 when the Democratic Party was astounded to find itself back in the desert after experiencing 8 years of the Clinton Administration and prior to that 12 years of being locked out of the White House. We are at a place where we need more mentors not only lifting fellow women voices but also teaching the next generation how to survive the desert. When women come to me for advice, I try to give them a perspective of what their actions mean not only to their personal goals, but also how it affects those who come behind them. Why? Because I feel that I have a responsibility to them just like they have a responsibility to those after them to make it a bit easier and that domino affect reverberates to not just women of our generation and ethnicity, but to all of us regardless of those factors. Melissa Harris-Perry calls it activist mentoring and she’s got a list of inspiring women who have done just that for others.
  • I love brainstorming and bringing ideas to reality. Trust me – this sh*z is HARD. There are times when the most brilliant of ideas never make it because the execution is so challenging. Remember when Barack Obama (the dude with the funny name?!?) was running for US Senate? It takes a lot of belief in the idea or of oneself to get others to believe and to convince others that it’s more than just pie in the sky. When you’ve got a great idea, here are the things you must do to make it real.
  • Instead of managing your time, how about managing your energy? I really enjoyed reading this article because it reminds me so much about the link between the alignment of company and staff values. I run a small shop but we can get extremely busy which results in directives and not a lot of time for explaining procedures or the Why (an idea of which I’m a big proponent). To counterbalance some of that crazy, I established a weekly staff lunch so that we would remove ourselves from our work and take the time to get to know one another and to ask questions about why we do things a certain way and learn new ideas. It allows us to get re-focused and re-energized on projects. If we have a late night due to work events and if we don’t have early morning fundraisers then we have a bit more flexibility of coming into the office. When organizations align with the values of the individuals who work there then you have more committed staff. Being able to bring body, mind, emotion and human spirit together equates to a more better performing individuals. Happier, healthier & more focused employees – who doesn’t want to be in that kind of environment?
  • We talked a little about being healthier in previous posts regarding 2017 – how about bringing some hobbies back into your life? What’s that?? Yeah, I know – I’m doing an awful job in committing to my own hobbies (maintaining French lessons) but there are 8 creative hobbies that you can do that are fun (French is fun, I promise!). Embroidery and cross stitch were 2 things that I used to do when I was a teenager. Maybe I can add it to my list again!
  • If you’re planning to hibernate this winter, why not include some SHEro documentaries into your playlist? Get streaming and get inspired!

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you get a minute, LIKE Arum Group on Facebook! See you back here on next Tuesday (I’m going to need a group hug – it will be the start of the new administration).

— Madalene








Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v2

The 115th Congress has been sworn in and we’ve started another year of legislative business. Which basically means, fundraising for 2018 has started as well! For the new members, it means hosting Meet and Greets to introduce themselves to the government affairs representatives and to the DC insiders who see this ritual quite often. For those more experienced members, it means call time to start booking events that will tally toward fundraising goals for the quarter. With a new administration and newly sworn in Congress, the Players may have changed but the dance has stayed the same!

Here’s Tuesday Truths…

  • I always believe that you don’t need a certain date to get started so if you have goals that don’t seem to stick, look to your future self to break the cycle. Small steps each day will create the accountability that you have to yourself to change your perspective of self-control.
  • The only place where I have absolute organization is my kitchen (!!). I could tell you where every single item is located with my eyes closed and when I’m cooking, I am fanatical about cleaning as I go so when I’m finished, my kitchen isn’t a hot mess. Now, if I can do the same with my desk….here’s to going back to my previous post!
  • We know that the Inaugural is almost here and the security blanket that was the Obama administration is coming to a close. Having lived in DC when we had a Republican administration seems like a world away but we’re about to live in a different kind of circumstance. If like me, you thought 2016 was a sh*t year and want to make 2017 better, we’re sharing recommendations on how you can make 2017 better politically.
  • We’re just in the beginning of transition, where people may be taking this opportunity to change jobs (willingly or unwillingly). Should you find yourself in a pro-longed job search situation, you may want to bookmark these tips so that you can stay positive while you’re searching.
  • I have a lot of people in my network who are starting new positions creating teams in offices from scratch. That’s a great feeling when you have a fresh start. How you use it can determine how effective the team will be to weather crisis and be as productive as possible. Here are ways that you can create harmony in the office regardless of whether or not you’re starting fresh (you can help course correct too!). I feel this every time I start with a new client and especially when I worked on campaigns, you create an immediate bond because you know that your team has one another’s backs. That camaraderie pushes offices to innovate and to kick out some killer ideas.

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you haven’t subscribed, what are you waiting for 😉 See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v1

I hope you were able to end 2016 on a high note! I’m ready to kick start this year so let’s get blasting into Tuesday Truths…**pew pew**

  • I think it’s pretty well known that I gravitate towards strong women even when they think that they’re not strong. Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses is very empowering and that recognition, allows people to take their strengths and use them to their greatest potential. One of the things that others have commented about me is that I tend to give zero F*CKs and I don’t normally have FOMO because I tend to live my life the way that I want. I choose to not regret my choices and that means that every decision that I make is made in consideration in how it furthers my goals (sometimes that means, I share those goals with others and that brings others into consideration). I’m willing to collaborate, be a team player, and live an authentic life that’s true to what I want to accomplish. I really do believe that life gets better when you stop giving a f*ck.
  • When you’re in need of advice, it’s a good idea to check in with people you admire to get clarity on where you’re headed aka networking. That may mean talking to someone who isn’t necessarily a buddy/pal. To really make progress, you need to network smart. You don’t get brownie points if you have 100 coffees (although if this was fundraising and you were strategic about coffees, I would give you a gold star for every coffee you had that equated to $$, but I’m digressing). This is an exercise of quality over quantity.
  • Back to my random thought about fundraising from my earlier post where a mix of quality and quantity work to make fundraising successful or for that matter, life. I read this awesome article about rejection. Most people fail at fundraising because they’re afraid of that sensation. Life becomes much more fruitful when you disconnect/desensitize the negativity associated with rejection. Fundraising involves a bit of psychology because we research what motivates prospects to give and it’s the same when you think about asking for something. Jia Jiang – you’re a ROCK STAR!
  • One of the best gals around is Tanya Tarr (I’ve talked about her writing for Women@Forbes in the past) and she was recently interviewed by Morra Aarons-Mele on her negotiating checklist. She’s got an incredible guide for resources and walks you down the path to clearly mapping out your conversation. Game changer for sure!
  • Because I want you to start getting active along with pursuing your professional goals, I’m sharing 7 tips to help you keep your fitness goals. I’ve talked about recognizing what your body tells you – get enough sleep, drink more water, exercise when it’s best for your schedule and whether you like it or not, being healthy really puts you in peak condition to do more with your best muscle, your mind. I skipped out on exercise for the last few months of the 2016 election cycle and my body feels it! I lost a lot of my strength and I’m trying to get myself back to pre-election fighting form. To be perfectly honest, I use none of the tips that I shared with you in this post (do what I say, not as I do!). I do regularly schedule classes and make myself exercise when I don’t have a class – all with my work/travel schedule in mind. I’m jazzed when I compete with myself and knowing that I’ve kicked ass on those pistol squats and I have muscle definition from doing weights is what motivates me to keep at it. I’m hardly a fitness guru and I’m fine with knowing that I’m challenging myself physically every day. Getting old is a B*TCH!

What tips do you have to share? Thanks for reading/sharing!

See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene