For the majority of my life, I’ve never really thought politics were for me. My main exposure to them came through the headlines I mostly skimmed every four years during election cycles, and from my loyal viewing of all HBO’s Veep (which I highly recommend). However, something has changed over the last year. Now, another louder, more energized part of me is saying, “maybe politics should be for me.”
So, as a political novice, I recently joined the campaign staff of Jessa Lewis, who today announced her candidacy for Washington State Senate (District 6). This is a super-exciting time for women getting involved in all levels of government, and it’s humbling and energizing to be a part of it.
And, I’m going to be writing about it.
My goal is to provide a behind-the-scenes look at women pursuing politics. And while my enthusiasm for Jessa’s candidacy will, I’m sure, be very clear over the course of this project, I promise this series isn’t meant to serve as merely a longform endorsement of her. There is so much to learn about this field, about this world–especially for women–and it often feels elite and intimidating. My hope for this series (which Jessa totally supports) is to help change that. And, the way I see it, if I’m nervous about entering it–even though I know I have plenty of relevant experience and totally deserve to be here–other women are, too, so writing about my experience may be helpful for people outside of my normal bubble.
To be honest, making this commitment wasn’t an easy decision. I have young kids at home, I’ve been freelancing (ie, setting my own schedule) for the last few years, and I fully expect to be pushed out of my comfort zone more than a few times. Though, it comes down to this: I believe in it, and I think it’s important. And really, the best way I can describe my motivation is actually in someone else’s words. I bought this amazing book of quotes from women on clearance at Borders like 8 years ago, and buried deep inside is this gem:
there is this idea that you can stay home and make the world better for your family–well, you can make it a whole lot better for a lot more people if you get out and do something about public policy.
Thanks, Pat Schroeder (also, shout-out to Pat, who I didn’t know much about before now, and who is actually pretty amazing.)
So, with that, I can now happily tell you that you’ve just finished the first installment of The Woodsy’s newest series: Campaign Trailing. It’s an unofficial chronicle of the author’s first working experience with a political campaign, which happens to be for Democrat Jessa Lewis of Washington’s 6th Legislative District. Thanks for reading, and watch this space.