Project Wonderful

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Your Official CampaignSick New Year's Countdown

After this year's election I promised to keep you apprised of the things that were making me feel good and hopeful after what we'll just call a terrible election season. I've been staying away from sharing a lot of news, mostly because I still find it pretty overwhelming but also because I have been busier than expected lo these past couple months (job hunting, I got engaged!, etc). I did want to leave 2016 with you guys on a positive note though so that we can look forward together optimistically to the New Year. So while you enjoy your holiday however you plan to spend it (ours will be on the couch eating Chinese food, because we live large) please enjoy this brief countdown of things that make me feel good going into 2017.

FIVE Inspirational Quotes

Yes, I see the irony that only one of these is from a woman, but these are the thoughts I meditate on when I am in the pits of post-election despair.

"And with this faith I will go out and carve a tunnel of hope through the mountain of despair. With this faith, I will go out with you and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows." Martin Luther King Jr

"If you’re going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt

"Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, for as long as you can." Hillary Clinton

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." Rabbi Tarfon

FOUR uplifting facts about women running for office from the 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes AND became the first woman to secure a major party's Presidential nomination

The next Congress will see a record high number of Black women representatives.

The number of women of color in the US Senate QUADRUPLED.

More than 4500 women signed up to run office post-election and that's just through She Should Run's incubator!

THREE articles I have read in the last 24hrs that made me smile

Only three passengers on BA flight enjoy champagne and selfies

Giant panda no longer endangered

Eavesdropping Uber driver saves young girl from pimps, police say

TWO songs that make me feel powerful and inspired in such times as these

ONE picture my friend who is a 2nd grade teacher sent me from an exercise where she asked her students what they learned from the election.

One final thought: time is just a construct. Celebrities will continue to die in 2017. Donald Trump will be President. But we will get through this as we get through everything, as a community. Can't think of one I'd rather be part of.

Campaign Love and Mine,


Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Think Piece Worth Reading

If you are like me, you have a super long queue of articles to read post-election but not a whole lot of emotional bandwidth to read them. But you should read, this one, "The Magnificent Martyrdom of Hillary Clinton." I don't have a lot to add, but in keeping with my resolution to share things that make me feel better after the election and my other resolution to make Hillary Clinton's birthday a national holiday, I just had to share. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Just What I Needed To Hear

I promised you I would share anything that is making me feel better after this horrible election but I have been remiss in sharing this conversation with a Mary Kay colleague. (BTW click here to read about why I think Mary Kay is the perfect side hustle for campaign people.) She reached out to me two days after the election and it was the first time I had felt uplifted since November 7th. I hope it makes you smile too.

NOV 10TH, 10:18PM

Molly: Out of curiosity, how did you get involved in campaigns? I'd love to get involved in Ohio and potentially run for a small office but not even sure how to start!!

Nancy: OMG you have no idea how much this made my day. You should definitely check out Emerge America. They do amazing trainings for women who want to run. What's your email?

Molly: Ok that is awesome!! I've always been huge into women's rights and equality and hate my job (hence the Mary Kay) but this election just brought out so much passion and excitement for me, I want to get involved in something I care so much about. My email is [redacted.]

Nancy: OMG Molly, I cannot even tell you how much I needed to hear this from somebody today.

Molly: I admire you so much - thank you for all of your work on Hillary's campaign!!

Nancy: Oh yeah, to answer your question I actually fell into working on campaigns...I took my first job bc I was applying to the CIA and I needed something to do during my security clearance and I fell in love w it and decided to do that instead and then a couple years ago I got my Master's in Gender and Social Policy.

Molly: Fascinating!!! I got my job bc I wanted to work for the FBI and needed 2 years of experience, wish I would have landed on the campaign trail instead lol

Nancy: OMG hahaha we are twins! Where do you work now?

Molly: [Company Redacted]I'm a Finance Director.

Nancy: That's awesome

Molly: It's awful and boring and I make no impact to anyone

Nancy: So starting out working on campaigns a big pay cut, but the work is very rewarding

Molly: Totally get it - I'm hoping to cut back to 3 days a week after my maternity leave to focus on Mary Kay, I'd love to do something else that also empowers women.

Nancy: Yes!!! People think I'm nuts when I see the two jobs as related.

Molly: I totally do!!! I get it. It's all about empowering women to live their goals, regardless of how different those goals may be.

Nancy: I don't know if this is your thing, but I feel like Planned Parenthood is often hiring in OH.

Molly: Wow!!! What would I do?? That sounds exciting!
I'm terrified of what trump is going to try to do with Planned Parenthood.

Nancy: ME TOO. I have been like...catatonic since election day.

Molly: Ok I'm going to look at that!

Nancy: Their website is cool in that you can put in your skills and it sends you alerts when they have jobs that match.

Molly: I can only imagine how you feel - but know your efforts were not wasted - I feel so empowered now
And I know so many others that do too

Nancy: Dude that means...everything to meCan I ask you a weird, weird question? So I have a blog for campaign operatives that is read by like 3,000 ppl.

Molly: Wow!!!!

Nancy: And I have been struggling with something uplifting to share. Can I post this conversation, anonymously?

Molly: Of course! You can even put my name.

Nancy: That's awesome. Thank you.

Molly: You are truly inspiring, don't forget it!!!

Nancy: Dude YOU are. This is the first conversation that has made me feel like hope for my work is not lost in 3 days

Molly: Awww so happy I reached out, I wanted you to know what a huge impact you've made!!! Sometimes jobs are thankless but you are empowering and we are all ready to fight!!

Nancy: Thank you! And now you are going to be sick of me because I am going to keep sending you info on trainings to run for local office 🙂

Molly: No I want the help and appreciate it so much!!! My dream has always been to run for office.

Nancy: OMG we will make it a reality. I'm going to be your [Name of our mentor in Mary Kay] but for politics!

Molly: Ok!!!I'm getting goose bumps!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Deep Canvass Your Relatives

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wanted to do a longer post on this but then of course time became a thing and like many of us when it comes to the election I go back and forth between being able to engage thoughtfully and turning into a ranting sniveling mess.

I first want to say that I really feel for anyone who is spending the holidays with relatives who support Donald Trump. I still feel betrayed and incensed by my relatives who voted for Clinton but propagated the misogynistic language during the primary that I feel ultimately contributed (along with a boat load of other things) to this electoral outcome. I can only imagine having to share Thanksgiving with Trumpster fires. You are sincerely in my prayers.

There has been a lot of discussion over whether its appropriate, admissible or even incumbent upon us to talk about 2016 at the Thanksgiving table. I know my boyfriend and I are dreading having these conversation with my relatives, all of whom supported Clinton, but are less politically engaged than we are and likely to come at us with their own aggressive hot takes not at all hampered by the fact that this is our field of expertise.

Our friends at the Campaign Workshop shared an interview with Episcopal Reverend Tim Schenck for those taking the "I'd rather not go there" approach.

This will shock absolutely none of my readership, but I am quite comfortable arguing with my family even on holidays. This is in part because I'm Nancy and in part because I'm Jewish. Many Jewish holidays center on wrestling with interpretations of morality, questioning what we have been taught and even arguing with God shimself. And if I can have that argument, even my relatives are a piece of cake.

One of the many things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving is a family that loves me and whom I love unconditionally, who share my values and for the most my interpretation of how those values should present themselves in our democracy. I recognize not everyone has that privilege. I don't mean to advocate for you to participate in actions that supersede your mental health.

However, when a colleague, who it should be noted has a very different relationship with her family, shared this article with the note "deep canvass your relatives," I was immediately drawn to the idea. Deep canvass as you may remember, is a method of voter contact that essentially allows the target to persuade themselves by answering thought provoking questions. You can read more about deep canvass here. When I consider the very few people in my life who voted for Donald Trump I am inclined to ask them that which is also the title of this New York Times article, "How Could You?" which presents 19 questions to ask your loved ones on the opposite side of our bitterly fought and bitterly disappointing presidential race. Those questions are:

1. Describe your relationship to me.

2. Are we close?

3. Who did I vote for and why?

4. What was the most important issue for me?

5. Why do you feel differently about that issue?

6. How do you think our views came to be so different?

7. Has it been difficult to talk to me about this election? If so, why?

8. Do my views influence your politics at all?

9. What do you think most needs to change about this country?

10. Are you uncomfortable about any aspect of how America is changing?

11. Do you think I’m sexist or racist?

12. Do you feel ignored or misunderstood as a voter? If so, for how long?

13. What is a position my candidate held that you agree with?

14. What is a trait you find positive about my candidate?

15. What is something that you don’t like about the candidate you voted for?

16. Is there anything you are hopeful about in a Trump presidency?

17. Is there a goal Clinton talked about that you could get behind?

18. What do you think we agree on?

19. Do you still like me?

Even more fascinating, the article offers a link to The Run Up podcast, which features sets of relatives having just this conversation.

I mean this not to be saccharine but as political necessity;our current state of affairs is severely lacking in empathy. I am as guilty of it as anyone. I CANNOT put myself in the position of someone who voted for Donald Trump, insurance premiums be damned. If we can't see where the other side is coming from, we can't communicate effectively and we will continue to lose elections. As I piece together my own personal version of "what's next" I know that listening and communicating in a way that meets people where they are is essential for progress as well as my own ability to reconcile what I believe to be true about our country with what happened at the polls. I will continue to share opportunities I find to do this and most of all continue to be grateful for your friendship and your readership today and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Campaign Love and Mine,


Friday, November 18, 2016

Goodnight Mainsplaining Twitterverse [Phase Two: Anger] : A Poem By Nancy

Goodnight Mansplaining Twitterverse
Who thinks I should calm down
I'd care about your hot takes
Had you spent time on the ground

Goodnight racists who blame their basest
Urges on "economic anxiety"
Goodnight self-righteous Bernie Bros
I hope you're happy with your piety

Goodnight misogynists who tell me
It isn't sex or race but class
Why don't you take your white male privilege
and shove it up your ass

Goodnight Monday morning quarterbacks
Who "saw this coming all along"
I don't even care for football
But I know that means you're wrong

Goodnight alt-right and neo-Nazis
though you're basically the same
Goodnight media who for the sake of expedia,
we'll just call equally to blame

Goodnight 24 hour pundits
With your reporting all the time
as if assault was "trading barbs"
but sending emails was a crime

Goodnight non-voters, you freeloaders
Who protest now but didn't vote
Who condescend to then pretend
that we are all in the same boat

Goodnight majority of white women
What you were thinking I can't tell
I'll take this moment to remind you
There's a special place in Hell

Goodnight Director Comey
Who just felt the need to share
When it's time for your public stoning
You can bet that I'll be there

Goodnight Anthony Weiner
At your sex addiction place
We'll be financing the midterms by
Charging to slap you in the face

Goodnight brogressives who think now Dems
Should pander not empower
When they went low, let records show
You chose to run and cower

Goodnight colleagues posting all about
How fired up they are
I'll join you when I'm ready
You're a badder bitch by far

Goodnight old roommates, friends, and lovers
Who text me now in disbelief
Your current fears, I've had for years
I can't help you with your grief

Goodnight baby orgs and fellows
For whom this is was your first campaign
You are loved, your work is needed
I hope this soothes your pain

Goodnight broworkers new and old
"Just calling to say hi"
Your words say, "can we grab a drink?"
The subtext? "Please don't die."

I understand that Tweeting's not
The best way to convey
my anger and frustration
But I don't know what to say

At least I'm not still crying
That's a step in the right direction
So for now I'm Nancy, signing off
Fuck you, fuck this election

Sunday, November 13, 2016

So......that happened.

You know that trope in a romantic comedy when a girl thinks her boyfriend is about to propose but instead he breaks up with her and it turns out he's done/been doing something so vile that he's not even the person she thought he was in the first place? That's what Tuesday (which by the way, was my fucking birthday) felt like. Except it wasn't a rom com. It was real life. And it wasn't just happening to me. It was happening to everyone around me. There's no sassy best friend to show up with ice cream, we all have to be each other's sassy best friend.

I am heartbroken in a way I have never been before. Just as our country has no roadmap for what's about to happen, I have no roadmap for what my life is under this new reality. My identity is forged around elections, empowering women to engage politically, and believing in the arc of the moral universe. We elected a misogynist/accused rapist over the most qualified woman in history. Where do I go from here? What does it say about my fellow white women that on average we care more about preserving our privilege and our fear than our own empowerment and that of our sisters? Two weeks ago I cried with gratitude and reverence each time I read the stories of grandmothers born before women's suffrage who were voting for a woman for president. Now I'm crying because I realize I might be those grandmothers before I feel this close to the precipice of equality again; a nonagenarian whose grandchildren take her rickety ass to the polls. "She's been waiting for this ever since she volunteered for Hillary Clinton," they'll say.

For the most part, I've been avoiding social contact. I'd like to tell you it's because I'm taking part in radical self-care or plotting the new Feminist agenda but the truth is I don't know how to be myself in the world right now. The moral arc is so much longer than I ever anticipated. Social media is wave after wave of anxiety inducing reminder of exactly what these next four years will be, self-righteous Monday morning quarterbacking as if ANYBODY saw this coming, and friends whose pledges to fight on only make me ashamed of my own inability to answer, "what's next?"

I don't know. If you want think pieces about whether Bernie Sanders could have won or whether Trump means what he says or which segment of the population is most culpable for Hillary Clinton's loss you can find them, just sign on to Twitter. After commenting my way through six years of elections I feel compelled to say something, yet every time I sign on to Facebook to an "ok folks here's my take on the election," I sign right off again. I don't want to add to the cacophony just for the sake of being on record. There is nothing that hasn't been said. Besides, I'm still reeling too much to crystalize exactly what I'd want to express anyway.

More than anything, I always strive for this blog to be what I would have needed in a given moment, so that's what these next couple of posts are going to be about--just whatever is making me feel better. Like I said, the moral arc really isn't doing it for me right now, but there is a Martin Luther King quote that I've been finding comfort in lately. It's the best I can promise myself right now.
With this faith I will go out and carve a tunnel of hope through the mountain of despair. With this faith, I will go out with you and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
(More than ever) Campaign Love and Mine,