Tagged: diversity

It’s Not Everyday When You Make NBC News

Yesterday was a big day! I was honored to be a part of a speaker line up for the launch of the National Association of Diverse Consultants. This mission of the organization is to increase awareness to progressive campaigns, organizations and allies of consultants who can bring cultural competency and experience.

If you care to read more about the organization, check out the website, Facebook (where you can search for the launch in videos) and twitter. If you’d like to be a part of the organization, you can also sign up to become a member.

It was terrific to see that we were trending on twitter and got some incredible news coverage. Much thanks to Chuck Rocha (if you don’t follow him on twitter, get on it!) and his team, Solidarity Strategies for being the driving force in making this organization a reality.

Since I’m a fundraiser and we do our darnedest to not be in the press, it’s not everyday that I get quoted in NBC News 🙂

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v29

I’m getting ready to get back on the road again! Leaving for the Bay area to do another training and hopefully experience cooler temperatures than the DC humidity. On a non work related topic, whose been watching GoT??? I’m loving the women characters from the premiere. Lady Mormont maybe small and she doesn’t need anyone’s permission! #FeminisimRules

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • Work is work and sometimes we get caught in the notion that you have to love your work to be happy in life. Life isn’t meant to be perfect because you need the ebb and flow to understand gratitude. Recognizing when the benefits of your work outweigh the challenges is really the key to understanding if you’re doing what you love. It’s probably the reason why I continue to review the past 15 years as an entrepreneur with rose colored glasses. I can barely remember the times when I wanted to throw in the towel because all of the benefits outweigh the challenges. It’s good to know what drives your purpose because when your work becomes a career, it can also be an adventurous journey. Here are a few extraordinary women who share how they made their careers into an adventure.

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  • As a woman, I know all too well the pressures that society places on my gender in both a professional and personal context. For the longest time, my own mother (who has been an independent woman for all of her life) really didn’t understand why I didn’t want to get married and because she raised a stubborn daughter, I pointedly didn’t get married when she wanted me to just so that I could say that I did it out of my own choice and not by being harangued into it. Living in DC, where everything is not normal, I see women who chose to have children later in life and women who decided to get married in their 30s+ or not at all. I have also shared how the “outside/normal” world thinks about women candidates/elected officials who are single or who don’t have children. Society continues to place pressure on gender roles and finding a workplace that takes that into consideration is extremely forward thinking. This has led to new opportunities for businesses to fill in the gaps. There are now maternity concierge services that will help women with the issues that they normally deal with so that they can focus on returning to work. It’s helpful in getting the tasks done so that women aren’t trying to do it all however it doesn’t address the same societal pressure that it’s women who have to be the ones responsible in executing these tasks.

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  • I’m trying to be more present these days which means, I don’t look at my phone. I have an app that tells me each week how much time I spend on a particular app where I’m trying to curtail my engagement. I try to spend one day of the weekend where I don’t read my email and I don’t respond to work. I don’t want my life to be a series of hours that were meant to catch up. So if you’re learning how to unplug, here are a few suggestions so that you can properly decompress and come back refreshed.

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  • We live such crazy hectic lives that it seems a little out of place to slow down. I have to be honest and tell you that I have a lot of guilt if I’m not doing a million different things (which is a horrible habit). My brain is constantly firing away at different thoughts and projects that it physically hurts when I have to focus **all** of my attention to accomplish one action. You should have seen me last week responding to my French tutor in French in an email. It’s been more than 6 months since I used my brain to speak, let alone think, in another language. You could virtually see the steam coming out of my ears because my brain was working so hard. So it’s a nice reminder to everyone, including myself that it’s OK to slow down. I used to drive a lot more than I do now and I used to listen to NPR or the BBC on the radio and I can’t do that anymore because listening to the news is too depressing. So the alternative to listening to the news is silence, which is an act of kindness to myself. Silence is so rare and I do my best thinking when there is no noise but my thoughts. Hence, my best thinking comes from when I take a shower, but maybe TMI. Nonetheless, I like driving in silence and I can say that I’m meditating (sorta).

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Thanks for reading/sharing and please don’t forget to subscribe! If you can give Arum Group a LIKE on Facebook and me a follow on twitter that would be awesome! Appreciate it! Feel free to comment below or on my other social media platforms.

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v26

OMG – it’s the end of the month and end of the QTR and we’re headed into the July 4th recess. Then it’s full steam ahead before the August recess. I’m ready for a break!

Here’s Tuesday Truths to get you through the week!

  • I believe a great deal in what Eric Liu espouses and I hope that people who have recently become active in the political process will take it to heart about being a part of a community and those who have been in the battle, allow space for those who are interested in joining. Civic life doesn’t start/stop at becoming an elected official and it grows every time someone wants to be a part of the collective mission.

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  • If you’re thinking about working in politics, doing it at a younger age has it advantages and if you’re extra fortunate to have the resources to participate, it’s even more advantageous. We’re talking long hours with very little compensation. I often say that working on campaigns can lead to many more opportunities should the campaign win and since campaigns are always understaffed, if you can excel at your job then you’re going to be successful. Campaign work is basically the equivalent of aging in dog years. You get to gain so much responsibility if people can see that you’re producing quality work. Life is good when you’re the last person standing or among the few left who survive the grind. With that mindset, it means that young people are given responsibility a lot faster than in a more structured setting and you may doubt your ability although management may seem to think otherwise. Confidence is a key factor to making sure that you don’t exude imposter syndrome as well as a healthy dose of reality from people who have more experience and are invested in your success. So if you’re in your early 20s you may benefit from hearing about Adam Litt, a former presidential speechwriter who worked in the White House at 24 years of age.

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  • I’ve spent a great deal of June speaking on panels, whether to interns or full fledge attorneys and giving lots of career advice to those who are seriously thinking about running for public office. I get asked a lot of similar questions and it basically boils down to “What would you tell your younger self about your career trajectory?”. I did tell a group that they should consider a purchase in real estate in DC because everyone says that they’re staying for 5 years and then 25 years later, they realize that they should have bought property instead of renting #beingpractical. I have also started saying that life is unfair, get used to it and don’t think you need to take giant leaps to make a difference. I try to be inspiring and in the end, I find that I would rather give practical advice because work life is never consistently rosy. As a result, I’m happy to find that Jennifer Romolini is offering career advice that most people don’t know how to share.

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Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know how you’re doing!

–Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v25

We’ve got an election today in Georgia 6 so we’ll see what happens after the polls close and we left everything on the field. #Flipthe6th

In the meantime, let’s dish about Tuesday Truths!

  • We’re in full swing with interns in DC and that means a lot of young people running around getting coffee and making copies (seriously, does that happen anymore? c’mon people, aren’t we more environmentally friendly?). Nonetheless, there are going to be people who will think that there are jobs that are not worthy of them. I may complain about it because after 20+ years working in politics, I know that when there’s work to be done, I’m going to get it done, regardless of the task. At the end of the day, I greatly respect the people who have taken years to master the simplest of tasks because before they move on to the next accomplishment, they have achieved perfection. If you’re on the 1st rung of the ladder and want to reach the top rung, you’ll have to work for it and there maybe a time when you can take several steps ahead of others. To do that, you need to have a positive image of yourself as well as your abilities and where you want to go with your goals. Take this time to mold your scope of responsibilities to something that you can be proud of on your road to leadership.

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  • Can you believe that the U.S. ranks 101st when it comes to gender equity in our national legislature?? China, Iraq & Afghanistan outrank us (frigging unbelievable). In years past, American women declined to jump into politics, but the political climate has ignited a flame within women to run for office. It’s partly our jobs to build the bench. I always like to remind people that being in politics really means being a public servant. Women warriors, we’re going to call you and I hope that you’ll take the leap!

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  • The joke from my friends is that I must have a endless wardrobe collection and I’ve had fun documenting my fashion choices via Instagram and FB. One of the 1st questions I got was when I was going to repeat wearing the same outfit. I do admit to having an extensive closet so although I have repeated, it would be many months and sometimes years in between. Who knew that it was a fashion faux pas?

Thanks for reading/sharing and don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v22

Hope everyone had a good 3 day weekend! My father served in the armed forces and although he had already retired his military service by the time I was born, he reminded me of his dedication to the U.S. with his actions and through his relationships with those who served with him. I constantly grew up with stories and mementos of his military career. For example, there is a piece of jagged shrapnel that sits on the fireplace mantel of my childhood home that is a keepsake of what my father endured. He was wounded by that piece of shrapnel and kept it as a reminder. When my father passed away, my mother and I had his burial at Arlington National Cemetery and when I visit him now, I’m made more aware of how many more burials there have been in the nearly 30 years since his funeral. The markers are not of those who served in long ago battles/wars but within recent times. I see parents visiting their children, especially mothers/fathers and widows who sit on lawn chairs, sometimes with small children playing beside them while the adults keep their deceased loved ones company. Even after three decades, if I allow myself the moment, I can tear up thinking about my father so I can only imagine the grief that those left behind must feel. Military service is one of the highest honors to this country and I salute all of those who have served and continue to do so as well as give the utmost respect to the family members who support and continue on in service.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • Managers, soon-to-be managers, supervisors & the like – we need you to create space for emerging talent and guess what, you’ll be rewarded with those people who step forward with them taking things off your plate! Ways that you can expand the leadership circle starts with you so let’s get cracking by changing the environment – it’s a WIN/WIN!

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  • The feedback that I’ve received from my team throughout the years is that people in my office feel valued and I take the time to invest in their progress (even after they leave Arum Group). When brands/companies/restaurants/retail establishments create a healthy work environment, teams form with the company philosophy in mind. Individuals are not just getting a paycheck, they believe in the work. When you have customer service where the employee cares about the customer because the employee knows that that’s part of the brand of the company as well as why, you have a brand that will weather more challenging times. Companies that care about their employees take the time to understand their employees’ well being. If I’m on deadline, I maybe a more irritable person and less cheery but my team knows my quirks and knows that I’m on their side to making them successful. Personality is an ever changing situation but the core of my team’s values remains the same. We fight for one another and when we make mistakes, it’s on me. I’m thankful for their work and I care about them individually. It’s important to understand that I value them and not see them as just another person who clocks in. This creates trust between us and that they can count on me as much as I can count on them.

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  • For those folks who are experiencing their 1st professional job interviews post college, you may want to review these tips to make sure you’re prepped. Some of them are very basic but better to be overly prepared then running late going to the wrong address. I had a young woman who was walking frantically in my neighborhood looking for the address for her interview (mind you, I live in a fairly residential area so not a lot of office buildings) so she knew that something was off. I asked her if she needed help and she showed me the address. Of course, living in DC is also about understanding the quadrant system and she was in NE and not NW (where she was scheduled to interview). I let her know and she was quite distraught that she was going to be late (not a good feeling when you’re trying to remain calm as you interview). It happens and you can prevent being frazzled if you advance your interview location or at the very least, check out where it is located on google maps. Happy Interviewing!

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  • Congratulations, you have the job offer! In this market, you may want to accept the 1st position offered to you but let’s take a moment to think about whether it’s the best fit. You spend so much time at work that aside from the paycheck, you might as well get something out of it for a future position.

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  • For those of us who work constantly, there is a major risk of burnout. My friends and colleagues who have moved out of DC have discovered that work life balance does exist and it’s a crazy atmosphere that drives DC professionals to becoming workaholics. Whether it’s the peer pressure of those around us who are consistently working themselves to the brink of exhaustion or the demands of our jobs, where there aren’t enough people to execute the tasks at hand, DC is a hotbed of crazy work schedules and no time to decompress. It makes us wonder if we’re really cut out for a sustained period of time of non-stop work. Does this lifestyle make us resilient because we are battling time and its effects? If anything, it makes me put boundaries on my time. I used to answer my emails every day of the week, including holidays. Instead, I have a no email Saturday. I don’t look at my emails which means I don’t answer anything and continue the cycle of work. It’s a small step in reclaiming my time and the space that is thoroughly occupied with work. I enjoy what I do so it’s not really a complaint of that type of work, but more of an assessment that I need to be more well rounded. Less work time and less guilt and more time set aside to do things outside of work. It’s nice to have coffee with someone and not discuss work! How you take the time to become resilient is less about enduring the tasks at hand and more about how you give yourself the time and space to recharge.

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  • If you haven’t seen these photos about race and power among women, then you need to check it out immediately. Representation is so important as well as breaking racial stereotypes. The images are a starting point for a deeper and more complex conversation. What do you think about them flipping the script?

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Thanks for reading/sharing! Do you have a topic that you want me to cover? If so, leave me a comment below or on Facebook or drop me a note!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v21

I survived last week’s crush of events to celebrate AAPI heritage month. It’s always a lovely time re-connecting and forging new relationships with those who are interested in uplifting the AAPI community. There are 21 million AAPIs and we represent 6% of the population so we’re encouraging talented individuals to look at public service as a career. Oftentimes, you’ll find people who aren’t interested in running for office because the sacrifice to run and be in the public eye can be daunting.  Compared to pop culture, the majority of elected officials are not “Frank Underwood” or “Fitzgerald Grant”. As a political consultant, I can attest to not ever stealing an election or playing dirty to win. To make policy and politics “sexy”, writers have schemed scenarios that are simply way past anything that any boring campaign/election could ever contrive, with the possible exception of the 2016 presidential election. When faced with squeaky clean candidates, policy discussions and the minutiae of facts and figures can be boring. That doesn’t really draw people’s attentions. If during opposition research, you find information that can be used against your opponent, do you?  Whose the messenger? How is that executed? As a political consultant, I’m still a human being. I may compartmentalize my own emotions to work with a candidate/public official but that doesn’t affect how I treat them as a client. I’m helping them to sell their views and ideas, not mine. I’m certainly not going to do anything to jeopardize my reputation and relationships and most definitely I’m not going to jail for them by doing an illegal activity just so we win. Understanding the limits of power is also essential to really understanding what it means to be an elected official. I go to bed at night with a clear conscience that I’m using my skills to help those who are interested in serving people. Working in politics is an honorable profession, regardless of what my counterparts on tv may do.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I get asked about what makes a good candidate and I always say that it’s important to be an active citizen. Regardless of your constituency, you have the ability to be a part of your community. I’m a DC resident and I travel across the country training and speaking about getting involved in your community so that you can think about being a public servant and get into elected office. That being said, I’m not particularly an active citizen in my own neighborhood. I trust the people who are my neighbors to help me make informed decisions about how I should vote about particular initiatives affecting where we live. I quietly volunteer for a local nonprofit and have gotten to know the people who serve our community in the everyday work that they do. If I were to run for ANC Commissioner, I would need to show up to the meetings and listen to the concerns of my fellow neighbors. I would need to understand what challenges we face and the history of the relationships that have gotten us to this point. Listening is a key factor to understanding what needs aren’t being addressed and learn how I might join the already existing infrastructure to help get those concerns remedied. If you didn’t already know, I read music and have performed for many years playing guitar and have taken many years of voice lessons, particularly in opera. My voice instructor suggested that I switch it up and take jazz instruction. Well, that was a novel idea because as a performer or instrumentalist, I’m supposed to play the music as it’s written and most people have an idea that jazz is an impromptu performance. Let me inform you that it is and it isn’t. In my jazz class, it was required that we learn the pieces as written and then and only then were we allowed to “blow it up”. In other words, learn it as it was intended and then bring your own spin. I can say the same thing about politics and activism. Being an elected official doesn’t mean you are a know-it-all. Most people like the humble aspect of public servants and when you see a problem, learn from the people who have spent years/decades/more time than you on trying to solve the situation before you decide to blow it all up. Although I don’t know the particulars of this election, it’s my understanding that a younger person challenged an older more established person who was the sitting mayor and won. People voted for the younger person in the primary because it appeared from the article that the young person had spent a lot of his youth tending to the needs to the community by revitalizing an amphitheater and voters paid attention to this individual’s enthusiasm for their shared hometown. That is the kind of candidate you want to be, regardless of age, ethnic background etc..

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  • For all those who are in leadership positions in non-profits please take heed of these myth busters. So important that we don’t perpetuate the ugly cycle that causes all of us to have burnout creep. For those who work in non-profits, share it with your leadership so that they can understand that it’s not meant to be normal. Campaigns with its limited life span has similar attitudes but we campaign hacks know that it will last for only so long because election day is looming. There is a way to have work life balance and work shouldn’t consume your life, unless you’re an entrepreneur and it’s just a way of life (totally different topic with a broad array of answers & attitudes).

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  • Going back to the basics when you need to de-stress. Make time for family/loved ones and your tribe who will help you re-charge and release negative energy. I try to not complain because life is bound to have peaks and valleys and so goes work. I enjoy politics and the energy that comes from it (#politicscanbefun) so when there comes a point to when I wonder why I’m doing something, I remind myself of why I got into this industry in the 1st place.

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  • I haven’t yet watch The Handmaid’s Tale (am I the only one?) but I read the book many years ago when I was a college freshman and it was required reading (considering that I went to an all women’s college, Newcomb College of Tulane University, it makes complete sense). Just like in feminism, solidarity to the sisterhood is defined by power and where you are in proximity to it. This article really reflects on how the women villains are so terrifying. This fictionalized novel will hopefully never become reality, however we have had very real situations in history where the women villains have played a significant role. Think back to the Holocaust, slavery, the civil rights movement and there are women who are complicit in the evils that were enacted.

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  • Going from women villains to SHEROS because these Latinas are investing in other women. This gives me so much energy and I love sharing the accomplishments of women, especially those from diverse backgrounds. These stories are about inclusiveness and bringing new stories to the table.

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  • My alma mater graduated over this past weekend – Go Tulane 2017 graduates from this 1994 graduate! Which means that there will soon be an influx of interns and new graduates commandeering the halls of Congress, the streets of DC and the metro tunnels. Every year I want to take a group of these young professional women and give them my 2 cents on what is deemed professional attire. Each industry has their standard and it’s totally up to you if you want to blend in or stand out. What’s important is that you have a work attitude that goes with your attire, one that screams, “I’m a go-getter and I have the brains to match this awesome outfit too”. People will take you seriously if you look the part with your own personality thrown in for good measure. Here are other professional women’s suggestions on what to wear if you’re an intern or if you’re starting your first career job. For the record, most people say that I always look “dressed up” (trust me, I’m not wearing a ball gown) but their definition of “dressed up” is just my regular way of putting on my armor (white hat not included, Scandal reference BTW). Occasionally I’ll get mistaken for a Member of Congress and that’s probably more a combination of someone confusing me for a real Member of Congress, the way I dress & my demeanor. That tells me that I’m wearing clothes that allows people to make that assumption because if I dressed like a “stereotypical intern” then people would mistake me for one.

Thanks for sharing/reading! If you enjoy the posts, please LIKE Arum Group on Facebook! Appreciate the support 🙂

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v20

May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me 🙂 Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.

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  • I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.

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  • From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!

Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Vote for Our Netroots Nation 2017 Panel

The Netroots Nation Conference is happening in August this year and we’d like to ask for your vote so that we can have a discussion on “Diversifying the Progressive Movement”.

We’ve got a dynamic group of people for the panel:

Moderated by Jalisa Washington, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s new Director of Diversity, my fellow panelists include Jessica Byrd from Three Point Strategies, Amber Goodwin from the Community Justice Reform Coalition, and from Solidarity Strategies, Chuck Rocha and me! This panel has the experience and creative solutions to have a spirited conversation on how the progressive movement can become more inclusive.

I hope that you will consider voting for the “Diversifying the Progressive Movement” panel. You can sign up (it doesn’t take very long!) to vote or login if you are already a member HERE. **You can vote for as many sessions as you like in a day, but you only get one vote per session per day.*** The last day to vote is THIS Friday, April 14th!

Appreciate your support in moving this dialogue forward! Thank you!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v7

Over the weekend, I was in Baltimore for the DNC Future Forum supporting one of the Vice Chair candidates, Rep. Grace Meng in her re-election to the DNC. Years ago, I worked on another Vice Chair race for the DNC when Rep. Mike Honda was elected to that position and this go around reminded me why I’m a Democrat (not that it really takes much to remind me of my personal values). I hold particular personal views about who I am as a Democrat and my travels around this country have always reminded me that my version of being a Democrat isn’t necessarily someone else’s version, but it doesn’t lessen the significance when we talk about our allegiance to the Democratic Party. We talk about the D Party being one of a big tent: welcoming those from different faiths, gender, ethnicity – the whole gambit. Yet when we talk about how much of a progressive are you, we start towards the slippery slope to having a litmus test. I once worked at the New Democrat Network and was deemed “Republican lite” from my colleagues in Labor and the more progressive wing of the Party. That doesn’t sound very much like a welcoming attitude :/ Every person should be allowed the space to evolve in their views. With education and awareness, people can actually move towards ideas that were once not so welcomed into their personal sphere. Respectful discussion can create opportunities for evolution. Any kind of talk where attack of character or the disdain of geographical difference or industry only leads to more conflict. Understanding each other’s perspectives and teaching one another contrasting stories helps to educate and better understand what it means to be in someone else’s shoes. Just like we can’t expect all of the U.S. to fit a particular model, we can’t expect a Party that has diversity as its greatest asset to be of one particular mindset. We may all share core values and want to promote those values together so let’s also welcome the diversity of ideas that allows all of us to proudly say that we’re Democrats.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • A common habit that I’ve noticed in people in senior leadership positions is their inability to listen to feedback when having a tough conversation. I totally understand what it means when someone is coming at you with negative criticism. When I share feedback, I do my best to come from a place where everyone involved understands that I want us as a team to do better together. When one piece is dragging, it brings everyone down and if we’re performing at our peak then we’re hitting all the right notes. When you represent a client or a MoC or someone in a hierarchy, your actions also reflect on that person and/or organization. I’m all for nipping bad habits in the bud so that they don’t continue and they don’t spread. When a supporter shares feedback, it’s to help and to figure out how to do something better. When you’re not present or when you try to win the “battle” of this is how we’re doing a certain task, it doesn’t endear you to your supporter. In fact, it can cause them to walk away because you’re not listening. The urge to be right can be overwhelming. OMG – it’s like a drug – the feeling you have when you KNOW you’re right and you want to stomp out your opponent. Guess what, when people are on the same team and giving you constructive criticism, you want everyone to be right.
  • More self-care tips! This time related to not going crazy when you’re following all of the DJT news. On my personal twitter, I keep lists and that allows me to step away from the constant political barrage, but there are times when even on my lists for “fashionista” and “culinary inspiration”, tweets seep in regarding DJT and that’s OK. Just the act of reading something else un-related to work can help soothe my constant feeling that I need to be doing something for the resistance. It helps that I journal more and that allows me to recognize how much gratitude I have for life itself. There are times when I feel some guilt for having fun and that’s not good for me. Being able to spread and share joy into the world is important so I hope that you’ll take the time to do that for yourself and others. Vogue has ideas on how to manage anxiety as we continue to move forward in a DJT administration.
  • I don’t consider myself a fashionista (I can’t tell you from which collection an accessory or piece came from — Spring, Winter, resort etc but I do have a sense of what I like) so it’s cool when my social media feeds gets populated with more fashion news than usual. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) has started so seeing designers weigh in with political commentary through their creations is an added benefit. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has partnered with Planned Parenthood of America to create pins. Choosing how to dress as a political statement has been historical with how women have chosen to push the boundaries. Being forced to wear a corset vs being Madonna and doing it whenever you want is about choice & not social conformity. PoliticsxFashion is an interesting intersection.
  • If you had to read one thing in Tuesday Truths for this week, read this! Excellent outline on how to re-shape or course correct your life. It’s not just about today because every action you take leads to something else so that it brings you to your destination. Stop moving long enough so that you can take strategic steps to get to your bigger picture. I find that most people who talk with me about how to move forward in their careers aren’t thinking about the big picture because they haven’t stopped long enough to recognize what they truly want. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can think BIG and you can work towards those bigger goals when you take the time to reflect.

That’s all for now, folks – looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday! What self care measures are you taking this week? Drop me a note in the comments section! Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v6

We’re officially 2 months into 2017 and rolling deep into the 1st QTR. I already feel like I’ve been hit by a MACK truck due to all of the intensity of the year. There hasn’t been any easing up so the mantra is to continue forward by collaborating with others and group hugs with your tribe.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Maybe you’re not down with protesting – totally get it – maybe you’re a consumer who wants to make an impact with how you spend your hard earned moolah so you decide that you’ll patronize establishments/brands that have your shared values. Recently we saw that with the #deleteUber trend and #grabyourwallet where Uber and Ivanka Trump’s brands were affected by consumers making a statement with their purchasing power. It also works when you have a brand such as travel expert Rick Steves making a commitment to donate to the ACLU if you spent money on his products on Inauguration Day. I’m an advocate for companies to have good corporate social responsibility and when they do, I want to support their efforts. Not all companies are perfect because humans aren’t made to be so I believe that customers can make companies aware of how to improve and if actions are taken, support them for course correcting. What do you think? Do you think about corporate social responsibility when you support brands?
  • Living in DC makes every Executive Order even more acutely meaningful. I also have a life where my professional life is fully integrated with my personal beliefs. I may not necessarily agree 100% with my clients but I know that their intentions are well meaning and a policy disagreement isn’t going to dissuade me from working with them. As a result, I’m keenly aware of my personal definition of living a meaningful life through a professional context. If your professional/personal life makes you want to take action in a more meaningful way then you can create projects or join in projects that align with your own values and personality.
  • I’ve talked about having more headaches lately, but did I also mention that I’ve been feeling more anxiety as well? It helps that I’m spending less time watching the news, although I keep informed with reputable news sources so that I can stay updated on what’s happening around me. Another activity that I’ve been incorporating into my daily life is the practice of grounding so that I can feel my physical being while separating the anxiousness that has bubbled to the surface. There are times when you just want to curl up in the fetal position, but remind yourself that you’re not alone and use these tips to get you back up and ready to go. For those who consume alcohol, a glass of wine also helps 🙂
  • More than ever, we need to look out for one another. Living in DC is slightly different than living in other places because a lot of us work in the political sphere in some capacity so it’s extremely important to remember that other people don’t live in such a politically charged atmosphere. We need to help one another in an intersectional way so think about our sisters and brothers in other places so that we don’t feel so alone. It can be challenging to be in an area where you’re opinion is the dissenting perspective. Reach out to one another and let’s welcome more people who share the same concerns.
  • With the #NoBanNoWall and a myriad of other Executive Orders as well as expressing our opinions to elected leaders, the congressional switchboard has been in overdrive. Making calls can be challenging for those who don’t really talk on the phone, but this kind of outreach is the most effective in swaying elected officials to take their constituents’ opinions seriously. Practice helps which means making more calls (something I routinely tell my clients when making fundraising calls) but it may help to know that psychologists can explain the source of your phone anxiety.
  • With the change in administration and the end of the campaign season, I’ve been doing a lot of coffees with people who want advice on how to transition to their next position. Here are Do’s and Don’ts for going to your next coffee. I would also add send a thank you note (email/written note) afterwards! It helps us to remember who you are and let’s us know that you’re inclined to have good organizational skills and attention to detail.

Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene