Last night, I got to hold my best friend’s hand as we watched the election results come in and victories unfold around us.
For students and sick kids.
For working mothers who deserve equal pay.
For people who believe in a better future for this country.
For a renewed vision for tomorrow.
When my great grandmother came to this country in the early days of the last century, she never would have imagined the scene I saw last night. In my home state of New Hampshire, women now make up the entire Congressional delegation, and we’ve elected an amazing woman to serve as our second female governor AND made history with the first female Senator from MA. She, who fought for an end to segregation and was there when Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream, would have wept to see the spread of justice in the form of victories for marriage equality. She would have been stunned into silence at the idea of a black man not just winning the presidency, but doing it twice. And she, who trained her son who trained his daughter who trained her daughter – me – to stand up for what you believe in would have been right beside me all weekend as I phone banked, canvassed, and waited in the cold for two hours to cast my ballot for amazing candidates.
From the state rep races in Michigan (congrats Dian!) to marriage equality in Maine to NH swinging blue to record-high turnout and people waiting in lines for hours just to do their civic duty, it was a night to remember.
I am so proud of our victories last night – and I’m so excited to see what amazing things we’re going to do in the years ahead.
Three points to anyone who gets that.
It’s here. FINALLY. For better or worse, we’re picking a President today – and more. In New Hampshire, we might end up with an all-female delegation – two Senators, two Representatives, and a Governor, held by women. Can you even imagine how cool that would be??
The odds are in the favor of us Democrats, as you can see in this chart (which is definitely the only reason I was able to sleep last night).
But when the ballots are in, how will you know if we’ve truly won? Check out this amazing guide my coworker forwarded on to the rest of us political nerds (thanks Ezra!).
I, for one, am looking forward to an amazing night. I spent 2008 exhausting myself on a State Rep race in Michigan, and we brought home a victory only after the thousands of absentee votes were counted. In the rush of taking care of my awesome candidate, I didn’t get to truly celebrate the historic moment in the Presidential race. So tonight, I’m looking for a redo. I’m looking to be able to throw up my arms and cheer at the top of my lungs as they proudly announce that we’ve reelected Barack Obama.
See you on the other side, friends.
PS: GO VOTE!!
In case you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a swing state, it’s a little bit like this:
I was one of 14 thousand people who showed up to see POTUS and “OLD POTUS” (as my mom says) in Concord New Hampshire yesterday. Five hours in the cold gave us plenty of time to think about tomorrow and what’s actually at stake in this election – healthcare, equality, women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies, climate change, and more. So while I know the ads are getting annoying… we’re tired of people knocking on our doors… you can’t stand to see another poll or political pin… just remember what’s on the line. And don’t stop thinking about tomorrow – and then DO remember to vote tomorrow. The future of our entire planet could depend on it.
Still not sure where to cast your ballot? Click here to find out!
Alternate title: Picking your battles
I know who I’m voting for next Tuesday. I’ve known for a long time – even before the state primaries. I am passionate about politics because I’ve seen how it can have an impact – positive and negative – on my life.
There’s nothing wrong with being an undecided voter. There IS something wrong with not voting. Whoever wins on Tuesday will get to shape your town/ state/ country’s future, and it’s up to you to weigh in – even if you end up having to write in a name.
But if you’re still struggling because it’s hard to get beyond the talking points and tell who really believes in the same things as you, I feel you. However, there are sites out there that will show you how people in office have voted, how candidates have filled out surveys, and what you can expect from people if they win on November 6. Think about what issues are important in your life, and then find the candidate that matches your priorities – chances are, one is better than the other.
- If you care about a woman’s right to choose, check out the NARAL Pro-Choice America Voter Guide. No matter where you fall on the issue, the facts about records and statements are here.
- If you care about food politics, look at this Food Policy Action voter guide. You can see a lifetime score for current officials to help you understand how they vote on issues like ending domestic and global hunger, fighting for humane treatment of farm animals, etc.
- If you care about the environment, check out the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard - one of the best scorecards out there with tons of information about who is standing up for our air, water, and earth… and who is not.
- If you care about civil liberties, head over to the ACLU to check out their scorecard regarding key votes.
- If you care about labor issues, see who AFSCME has endorsed for their stance of this topic.
- If you care about health and financial security, look at AARP’s collection of candidates’ stances in their own words.
What other scorecards to you use to determine who gets your vote?
Still don’t like what you see? Then I hope to see your name on the ballot next time!
PS: Not sure where you actually cast your ballot? Find your polling place here >>
No, really – are you? Have you moved/ changed names/ decided to stop voting in your hometown by absentee ballot but haven’t done anything to move this forward yet?
Better safe than locked out of a crucial national election because you fall into this overlap (courtesy of Change.org):
Join voters across the country today for the first ever National Voter Registration Day to make sure that by the time the day is over, you are on your way to be registered to vote – including knowing where you actually need to go to cast your ballot.
And while you’re at it, maybe bug your friends and family too – the number of people who think they’re all set but who actually need to take a few more steps to vote is staggering, and could lead to heartbreaking results when the polls close on November 6. Just send them a nice note today saying “Hey there! I know you care about this election – time to make sure you can vote before registration deadlines close!”
The world will thank you later.
As we get into the part of the election cycle where all the ads are recycled – and frankly, all a bit depressing and pessimistic – something this awesome shines like a beacon of truthiness. It’s a symbol of why we vote in the first place and how important it is to know what’s at stake, rather than just checking a box and voting the party line. There could be some good candidates you miss!
More information about how this awesome ad came to be here.
Cool: A new State Department initiative to support women in public service.
Cooler: The fact that Mount Holyoke College is part of this new program, and is going to serve as a world leader getting women involved in – and recognized for – public service.
Coolest: The fact that my dear friend Priti Rao is one of their success stories already!
Go Priti, go Mount Holyoke, go women kicking butt and making the world a better place, one public service position at a time! Check out the Women in Public Service Project to see what great things they have in store for the future.
You know that person who is so smart, so great, who just gets it – it being the change we need in this state/country/world? The one who has no hidden agenda, who has no legacy to uphold, who is just a good person even before becoming a politician?
She just announced that she’s running for Senate.
I’ve been a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren since she thought of the idea of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) around which my last job was centered. In the fight for financial reform, she perfectly melded the arguments of economics and the middle class family, and presented the problem – mortgages that are allowed to “burn your house down” while toasters get super strict regulations – and the solution – oversight much? – in a way that we could act on. And when we did finally create the CFPB, we were both there to celebrate.
I am so excited that I’ll get to support Elizabeth Warren in her Senate bid. We could use more people like her in Washington.
PS: Anyone who feels the same way is welcome to come crash on our couch a night or two in return for some days of canvassing!
PPS: “The ragged edge of the middle class” is my new favorite phrase of the day. Check it out.
In honor of a great orator and public servant, Martin Luther King, Jr., I bring you this video about a leader in our own time.
Every time I watch this video, it reminds me of the importance of this moment in history. These words, and the actions that match them, give me the feeling that this is our moment, our time to change the world. I am glad to be a part of that solution, that change.
My great-grandmother used to say that she was there when MLK delivered his “I have a dream” speech. It seems a bit unlikely, though she was definitely an active supporter of the civil rights movement. Even knowing that there are zero pictures that support this claim, I think what she was really trying to say was that she was a part of that idea that changed the country. And I think she would be glad to see the result of that dream, and the way our generation made it a reality. Let’s keep her proud.
In order to evaluate any roadtrip (or trip in general), you must see if certain criteria have been met:
- Did you get lost at any point and laugh as you found your way back to humanity?
- Did you eat at least two meals in the car and another in a parking lot/rest stop?
- Did you get scurvy from eating only white carbs for 72 hours straight?
- Did you sing to a rocking 90s music and argue over the contents of one such playlist?
- Did you use public buildings and campaign headquarters as pit stops?
- Did you have conversations about life, the universe, and the validity of KFC’s Double Down sandwich?
- Did you pull a quick u-turn when you saw a giant native American statue on the side of the road?
Oh yeah we did, and how! (Get it?)
I still think that if P and I are going to make a career of campaigning cross country, we need a better GPS, a cooler full of fruits with vitamin C, stronger bladders, and a car that I am allowed to help drive. But we survived this trip and are still best buds, so I have faith in us. Watch out world, we’ll be on your road sometime in the (distant) future!