Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v46

I’ve been in a good mood since last Tuesday with the success of the elections. Voters were unafraid to repudiate bigotry and racism. Diversity and inclusion may seem to be buzz words for the current environment and the truth of the matter is that different perspectives weaving throughout society brings humanity closer together. We are here to respect one another as equals with compassion and a level of curiosity that should lead all of us to better understand those who have had different experiences from us. Civil discourse is about respectful and factual conversation. We can disagree and yet still work to find common ground so that we can finds ways to help society. This was never meant to be easy. It’s hard work to listen to one another and to not discard someone else’s values. I have a difficult time doing it without getting emotional and that is something that I know that I must work on so that I don’t widen the divide. I recently saw an exchange on FaceBook where my peers were discussing gun control and I took lessons from it because it was civil and the person who I sided with in the exchange was respectful and acknowledged the opposing view. Patience is in short supply and I’ll take notes wherever I can find the most useful actions. I hope that you will also join me on this journey together.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • My introduction for this week talked a bit about active listening. It’s having emotional awareness and the ability to acknowledge your own emotions, especially in the heat of the moment to bring it all together. I can usually read people’s reactions and try to work with that when in a challenging position. What I recognize is that when people who are close to me exhibit a type of behavior that I don’t agree with I resort to my more emotional side and get more stubborn. I’m a stubborn person by nature and having more emotional awareness tampers some of that willfulness. I’m going to have to keep this article bookmarked so that I can have it as a reminder for myself whenever I find myself in a situation where I need to improve. With the holidays fast approaching, you may want to use it when you find yourself in a heated discussion with your family.

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  • Priorities, people – you know that you’re going to start figuring out your new year’s resolutions for 2018, which is really your priority list. When we “gained” the hour with the return of standard time, I used my “extra” hour to sleep. Starting to think about that list really helped to set priorities. Your wish list on how you want to spend your time should be how you prioritize your time. Schedule it and stick to it so that it becomes a habit. Being able to prioritize yourself should never be a question. You need to take care of yourself first before anyone else so that you can be the best person you can possibly be so that you can be that version of yourself to help others.

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  • Taking the same attitude about priorities also means that at your work, you need to protect your time. Our immediate response to people when they ask, “How things are going?”, we say, “Busy!” because it’s a thing. If we’re not busy then we’re doing…what exactly? Take back your time and make it impactful. You may not have the ability to control your schedule because you’re a junior member of the staff and you have to roll with everyone else’s schedules first. That’s OK – you can still manage your time by taking the blocks of time that you can control and prioritize the projects and work that will help with your team or your manager’s time.

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  • With so many things that can pull for your attention, it’s bound that stress will occur. Believe it or not, stress makes you stronger. It tests your ability to take multiple pieces of your life and create systems to address them. Whether it’s direct action in addressing the many facets or the mechanisms that you create so that you are working at optimal performance, you are taking stressful circumstances and evolving your actions and attitude to come through the other side. If you didn’t have a lot of stress in your life, adversity may be more challenging for you. When you’ve experienced a lot, you’re able to work through these difficulties because you’ve created the support system you need to function. These skills will help you better manage your stress when those times occur.

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  • This Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?” certainly piqued my interest and not just because of the title. Charisma and confidence masking themselves as potential leadership qualities are propelling men into roles where transformational leaders are needed. Throw in bias and societies thinking that men are superior to women and we find ourselves in this current predicament.

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  • Does appearance really affect hiring decisions? I’m a believer in branding and that goes with the idea that I’m marketing myself and my work through a visual perspective as well as the work product. My sense of style is to be a little out of the box and the person who cuts my hair knows that I have a thing about not looking like everyone else. I want to stand out because I have a professional yet interesting haircut and an wardrobe aesthetic that says professional yet age appropriate with clean lines and far from cookie cutter as possible. When I pitch for clients, I want my work to stand out and my appearance to be the added benefit. A majority of my life has been spent making people aware that my outward appearance may appear to be one of a young professional who wears understated but finely appointed accessories with the experience of someone who actually has spent multiple decades in my profession. I may look younger, however my demeanor are going to point towards my actual numerical age. How do these factors increase already existing bias? It’s not only the people who go through the interviews, it’s also having diverse hiring managers who can look to diverse candidates for consideration.

That’s it for this week! Thanks for taking the time to read/share the post. 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 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 2016 Edition v46

The fog is slowly lifting. I’m re-integrating parts of my life that I put on hold while I was going through the election (expressing myself through my caring and feeding of friends and family, enjoying art, and finding joy in new cultural experiences). I know that there is a new reality. I know that I need to prepare for things to come. We are restless, yet we need rest. There is guilt for wanting to participate in simple pleasures while others are being traumatized. I’m still reconciling those parts of my life. I’m going to practice self-care and remind myself of the flight safety announcements that tell you that should you need oxygen, please put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. I hope you do the same.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • In light of this past week, there have been an increase of hate crimes so if you find yourself in the position to help others being subjected to this kind of harassment, here’s a guide to help in the situation. Here’s also a video that gives you practical ways to be an ally and combat racism. The Southern Poverty Law Center also has a guide on how to respond to everyday bigotry. **I know that it’s tiring and we feel defeated. The more we help one another, the less that we’ll feel small and retreat. You are BRAVE and we each have a light to shine.**
  • How important is social trust when it comes to having an impact on society? I learned a great deal from this article, however I would add my 2 cents in that although the US has experienced low social distrust in the past (the discrimination of Germans, Irish, & Italians), the people who were immigrating to the US didn’t look that much different than the people who distrusted them. African Americans, Latinos, AAPIs – we look visibly different and that creates social bias almost immediately. When you hear people talk about how fortunate they are to be “White Latinos” that tells you that being “passable” has a lot to do with how people perceive you.
  • If this campaign cycle has rocked your psyche, let me reassure you that you’re not alone. I felt this kind of desolation after the 2000 campaign. It made me question whether it was all worth it. At that point, I had already stepped out of politics (my quarter life crisis) and made a commitment to go back in only to find myself on the losing side. What if you also wonder if there’s a life outside of politics because you were also meant to do multiple careers throughout your life? Here’s a terrific read on what it means to have more than one true calling.

Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v42

Photo credit via

Taking deep breaths! I hope you’re having a great week! I’m ready for Election Day and to head out for a break. Any suggestions on someplace warm I can visit? Remember to give yourself time to decompress and to give yourself self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of others!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Have you been listening to the Mentoring Moments podcast? It’s great and has excellent stories/interviews on how successful women from multiple generations reached their goals. The most recent interview was with the Editor of Chief of Seventeen magazine, Ann Shoket and she’s dropping knowledge on how she got to her current position (after her 3rd attempt!). It’s the journey, people!
  • I’m always looking for ways to help people network (myself included). You can get into a rut that may be comfortable but is it really effective? Here are a few tips for a better introduction. What do you think?
  • I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me that she appreciated my habit of learning new things or at the very least trying new hobbies. I’ve talked before that I’m a Jill of all trades and a master of nothing (basically because I have so many different interests). I think regardless of how long you spend on a hobby and how deeply you delve into it, that hobby is always going to make you more well, interesting. I love people who are passionate about learning something and go all in and become experts (I know who to call when it’s time to hire someone for calligraphy!). I also love the people who take an interest in learning how to play an instrument, only to find that a couple weeks/months later they’ve changed to a different hobby to pursue. It’s all good! As adults who aren’t required to attend school for educational purposes, we’re learning to enrich ourselves and isn’t that what life should be about anyway? If you don’t have time that’s fine too. Life is about spending it however way you want. If that includes changing interests every few days/weeks/months then more joy to you in your pursuit!
  • I was having lunch with a friend who is working a side hustle. There are a lot of things to think about when you start a business and even more work when you’re doing it on the side while maintaining your current work load. Here are some things to think about when you’re working your magic.
  • Since I kinda live in a bubble (majority of my friends are progressive and partisan), I tend to not meet people who are in support of Mr. Trump. With that context, it helps to realize that with any situation where you have disagreement, it helps to ease people onto an exit strategy so that they have room to move in that direction. When you box people into a corner, it’s more common that they will want to dig deeper into their beliefs and fight. This isn’t about providing more evidence or facts/data. It’s about giving people who are in disagreement the space to change course without punishment. It takes a lot of patience on the part of the individual to keep an open mind towards this discipline. The urge to fight back will be overwhelming. This going to be a long road ahead after this election and it’s all a part of the process of unifying this country.

Thanks for reading/sharing! Let me know if you have any tips you care to share!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v37

Photo credit via

September is always an exciting month and as we count down to Election Day, it just keeps getting better! I’m on the road later this week so looking forward to making new friends and visiting longtime supporters. Hope you’re making the most of the week!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • There are days when I absolutely love the work that I do. I’m excited to face the day and I’m fulfilling a goal, but honestly, who doesn’t have moments when you just can’t. even. My go-to on those days is to step back and think about the big picture. Oftentimes, you get into the weeds to get a job done and that means you loose sight of the goals of your work and the higher purpose. It’s my “Why” and it’s the reason I use to keep my team motivated. They need to know their “Why” as well. What do you do to stay motivated in your job?
  • So what happens when you resolve to step out of your current career to make a significant change? How do you know if you’re in a career funk? Before making the leap, there are ways to gauge your level of anxiety. Maybe it means that you need to do some new things to give yourself a different outlet from your professional life. Or maybe it’s a change in mental attitude. Breathing energy into a boring work scene can make a difference in your wellness.
  • I got a chance to catch up with my friend, Andrew Fullerton who heads up GAIN, the Government Affairs Industry Network and it’s a great organization where you can network within the government affairs/lobbing industry for free. There are educational webinars to learn about new tools as well as trends that affect the legislative process. They also have partnership events that allow for broader networking. Have a look see and meet people who work in advocacy!
  • Are you looking for conversation starters when you go to an interview? If you’re looking for starters for networking events, these would work too! For those of us who need to practice to be less rote, it’s good to have some ideas in advance to not get caught with the same dry questions. Now go out there and network!
  • I’m always trying to think of ways to give thanks to contributors and since some clients aren’t necessarily development driven, it can be hard to be creative but we find ways without spending a lot of money to express our appreciation. If you’re a non-profit who does do development, here are some ways that you can thank your donors and make them feel the love!

Alright folks, let me know how you’re doing – I feel a survey coming along so get ready to give me your feedback on what you want to read more of and how I can help you through this crazy life! Thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll catch you next week!!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v35

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.
  • Sometimes it seems like I have all the time in the world because I’m reading, practicing French or just having non-scheduled time to do nothing. While all of these activities are important, I know that I also need to spend time thinking about how to move my career forward. These tips are helpful just as a reminder to myself to stretch outside the boundaries of only doing the work.
  • 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!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v34

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.
  • Need a reminder that your self doubts are full of air? Then check out Women@Forbes video. They’re waiting to burst your bubble(s)!.

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you have tips you want to share, leave them in the comments!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v32

Photo credit via

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 😉

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • 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 🙂

— Madalene