Project Wonderful

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,


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,


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

One More Great Celebrity GOTV Video

Yo, Urban Outfitters is THE WORST

It's Election Day and I'm tired so I am mostly going to be reposting reporting on this but I hate Urban Outfitters SO MUCH and I can't believe stupid idiot hipsters still shop there.
"Yesterday afternoon, the company tweeted an Election Day “handy guide for your reference” to its 1 million Twitter followers, offering a free “I Voted” button at stores while supplies last.''

The guide is full of false information. Under a subhead titled “Requirements,” the guide says that Americans going to the polls need a “voter’s registration card” as well as an ID.

That’s not true.

In fact, no states require a voter registration card to vote. Some, but not all, states now require ID to vote. (Some states accept voter registration cards as a form of ID.)

Urban Outfitters is no stranger to political controversy. Here’s a rundown from the Washington Post.

Update, 8:30am ET: Urban Outfitters has deleted its tweet from yesterday and updated its guide."

You guys. DO. NOT. SHOP THERE. It's a wolf in sheep's knockoff marked up slave labor clothing.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Thank you so much to everyone who reached out as I was worrying about my own enfranchisement yesterday. My absentee ballot did in fact come this morning, and I overnighted it to the DC Board of Elections for a 10:30am delivery!!! I am partially convinced that it only showed up thanks to the positive and supportive vibes from you all so thank you again so much. Special thank you to Travis Ballie, Councilmembers Elissa Silverman and Robert White and Raymond Bryan at the DC Board of Elections. Kind of embarrassed that it takes a village to get my vote out but mostly incredibly grateful.

Two things I wanted to highlight if you ever find yourself in a similar situation:

1) Contact your local elected officials. I can't believe I didn't think of this on my own. I am blaming it on GOTV brain. Travis connected me with Robert White and Elissa Silverman both of whom were ready and willing to help. This is what local government SHOULD BE and both Robert and Elissa can rely on my enthusiastic support in any and all future campaigns. (I actually got to vote for Robert on my ballot.)

2) It is in fact possible for the Board of Elections (at least the DC one) to email you a ballot if you waive your right to secrecy (which you know, not super shy about that stuff) as they would do if you were voting overseas.

You all know I firmly believe that voting should be as easy as checking your email but until technology and legislation catches up to our ideals, I am just very relieved and thankful. Happy Election Eve!

Campaign Love and Mine,


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Why I Am Probably Not Voting For Hillary Clinton

What? Has Nancy gone mad? Has she lost her mind? Has she been hacked? No, no friends, it's true.

Here's the situation: On October 6th I accept an offer to go out and spend this last month on the campaign trail in North Carolina. I had to be here by the 10th. The second THE SECOND I know I am leaving I make a to do list which includes things like do my laundry, quit my current employment and oh yes, FIGURE OUT HOW I'M VOTING. I have all my pertinent information because the first thing I did when I moved into my new apartment was register to vote, and I carry my voter reg card around in my wallet. It's too early to vote early in DC so October 8th, an ENTIRE MONTH, before the election I fill out my absentee ballot application and mail it to the DC Board of Elections.

They do not issue my ballot until October 23rd. No big deal, still plenty of time. I ask the staff in my office to be on the lookout for my absentee ballot. Turns out we don't get mail at the office, nobody knows which mailbox is ours and nobody has the key. Shit.

Okay not to worry. I befriend our mail lady, who is delightful by the way, and explain the situation. She promises to bring the ballot up to our office when she sees it. I also put a note on the mailbox bank asking that any mail for the campaign office be left on top. On three separate occasions I see a mail truck pulling into our parking lot and race downstairs like I'm 12 and it's Mister Softee. When the mail carrier tells me they don't have my ballot today, I make them open all the boxes and look in case another mail carrier accidentally shoved it in there. No luck and they think I'm insane.

MEANWHILE, recognizing that my ballot might not get delivered, I call the DC Board of Elections FIVE TIMES. Thrice I leave a message and once that message is returned. The very nice and helpful man tells me to email him my alternate address (the campaign's PO Box) and he will reissue the ballot. According to the DC BOE website that ballot is mailed November 1st. I ask our Campaign Treasurer and Finance Director daily whether it has arrived. It has not.

You guys, I am FREAKING OUT. First of all I'm super angry because no one is going to be more persistent than I am when it comes to voting. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anybody and voting should be easy and accessible and it bums me out on principle. Second of all, I LOVE VOTING. It's kind of my thing and I have voted in every single municipal bond measure, uncontested primary and low key election since 2006. And now for PRESIDENT? For HILLARY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Not to mention that DC Statehood is on the ballot. I have been waiting six years to vote for Hillary Clinton. I have been blogging and donating and volunteering and intermittently considered leaving my job to go work for her campaign. How can this be happening?

So here's the plan: God-willing, this thing is in our PO Box on Monday at which point I will pay money to overnight it to DC. I am also planning on calling the Post Office here in Raleigh just in case...I don't even know what. I seriously briefly considered driving up to DC to cast a provisional ballot on Tuesday but since I am down here working on a campaign that is beyond sketchy. And yes, I got here too late to register in North Carolina. I even replied to a text from the Hillary campaign for people who have voting questions, but shockingly they had other things to do besides delve into absentee ballot problems in DC.

Honestly, I am open to suggestions. I MUST vote for Hillary Clinton. What do I do?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for GOTV! (Sponsored Post)

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is my first sponsored post. I would never, ever take money to talk about something I didn't believe in but when it comes to frozen desserts (in this case gelato) I'm about as passionate as I am about voting. So when Iorio's Gelato in East Lansing Michigan asked if I would post about their election themed flavors I said "HECK YES...if I can try them." So the good folks at Iorio's sent some tasty treats to their local HFA field office per my request as well as to North Carolina for yours truly to try.

At first I was nervous that the gelato wasn't going to come in time, which is fitting because that is the current situation with my absentee (DO. NOT. EVEN. START. ME. I'm freaking out.) But luckily Iorio's is more organized than the DC Board of Elections. And I got to try some election themed flavors with my friend Jonae. Here's how that went:

If there are two things I love, they are gelato and elections. If there are three things hey are gelato, elections, and puns. So I was super excited to read the flavor descriptions...per my contact there:
So the Trump flavor is a white chocolate base (dark chocolate did not poll well with Trump). It's full of a whole lot of NUTS and has homemade orange marshmallows.

Cookies and Clinton is a play on cookies and cream with a vanilla base and a mixture of a bunch of different cookies. We don't know what the cookies are because the recipe got deleted.

This was also helpful because the Trump flavor was described to me as Trump's Rocky Road (get it? get it?) and I was wondering why the base was white. Also there were yummy little red bits in the Cookies and Clinton that I wanted to know about, but I guess I will have to have to head home to Chappaqua to figure that out.

Conclusion: I vote for Cookies and Clinton. Granted I was predisposed to be on Team Clinton to begin with but I also just really, really love cookies and cream. Which sounds better to you? Vote here!

The good news is unlike in this election you really can't go wrong so visit Iorio's website and check 'em out!

My Favorite TV Shows Tackle Elections (G.O. TV)

Life in a boiler room can be pretty boring. If you've done your job right and if your Secretary of State/Board of Elections is not behaving like dumpster fire there's very little for you to do: collect numbers, reallocate resources, and that's about it. It's hard to keep yourself entertained/distracted/from obsessively refreshing 538. I've been wanting to do this post for a while and I thought what better time than when you'll be sitting in front of a computer for several hours obsessing about an election. Unfortunately Cupcake Wars and The Bachelor have not yet done an elections episode (can you imagine though) and I didn't shows that routinely deal with electoral politics like Parks and Rec and West Wing. So, here are some of my favorite television shows of all time reviewed for how they deal with the concept of elections!

Futurama: A Head In the Polls (Also Available on Netflix)

Fry: If I were registered to vote, I'd send these clowns a message by staying home on election day and dressing up like a clown!
The plot: The episode starts out with two nearly indistinguishable candidates running for President of Earth and the gang commenting on their various political affiliations/registration status. However the Planet Express crew starts to take the election a lot more seriously when a robotic Nixon gets in the race.
Review: I started here because in my mind this is the most well done election episode around. All of their political episodes are wonderful perhaps in part because SNL writer and Al Gore's daughter Kristen Gore is on their writing staff. I love how creative Futurama can be because they are not bound by what is physically or temporarily possible. This episode tackles voter apathy, third parties and a slew of other topics that are perpetual thorns in my side with humor and insight. RoboNixon not withstanding this episode is #tooreal. If you only watch one episode this GOTV, this is the one to watch.
High points: Presidential history jokes (my soft spot).
Low points: Spoiler alert: their sudden enfranchisement doesn't go great for the crew.

30 Rock: Brooklyn Without Limits (Available on Netflix)
Jenna: If they could be bribed I would have won an award for my Lifetime original movie, 'Sister Can You Spare a Breast?'
The plot: Jack gets involved in a Congressional race to back an Independent Tea Party type candidate who he thinks will be good for business. Meanwhile Liz becomes obsessed with an Urban Outfitters type store that turns out to be owned by Halliburton.
The Review: Another excellent episode and not the only 30 Rock about elections. I would also recommend watching the episodes called Unwindulax and There's No I in America. I chose this one first because I love John Slattery who plays candidate Steven Austin ("and if you're blind, yes, I am the wrestler") but also because it feels so relevant to this election. How much crazy will people vote for in favor of their perceived economic interests?
High points: My distaste for Urban Outfitters' liberal persona with right-wing roots has been well documented. This episode expertly lampoons what Liz Lemon would refer to as that "Hipster nonsense."
Low points: Does Steven Austin's Zappos box ever arrive? They really left me hanging.

Seinfeld: The Wizard (Available on Hulu)

George: Snoopy and Prrrrickly Pete!
The plot: Kramer moves down to Florida and runs for President of Jerry's parents' condo board. George lies about owning a home in the Hamptons to avoid Susan's parents. Elaine's boyfriend is of indeterminate race.
Review: Several Seinfeld episodes touch on electoral politics most notably The Non-Fat Yogurt where Lloyd Braun is David Dinkins' campaign manager. I chose this one because it was the episode in which an election played the biggest role. Yes it's not a "real" election but the show is self-aware enough that the joke is in how inappropriately seriously the characters take it and as always they nail the old Jewish thing. It also includes two of the most quotable Seinfeld B-stories. This episode is solidly in the upper quartile of what is in my opinion the best sitcom of all time. Giddy-up!
High points: Like I said, this is an all-around amazing episode but the way Mrs. Ross nails the line "sounds grand" makes its way into at least one conversation a month with one of my best friends from high school.
Low point: The idea of a cottage cheese and egg whites comment is so gross I sometimes gag when I hear that scene.
Bonus content: Who Seinfeld characters would support in 2016. It's extremely well thought out.

Arrested Development: The Immaculate Election (Available on Netflix)

Rav Nadir: Drought, starvation, there are the things my family has had to deal with for generations...although fortunately not since we moved to Corona Del Mar.
The plot: George Michael is running for Student Body President against the much more popular Steve Holt. Michael enlists GOB's help to keep George Michael from getting crushed.
Review: There is actually a more-election specific episode of Arrested Development in Season Four but because its in that season I consider it non-canonical (I don't understand that episode and I won't respond to it). I actually appreciate that the episode doesn't go out of its way to pretend that school elections parallel actual political campaigns plus Seasons 1-3 of Arrested can do no wrong in my eyes.
High points: This clip of Buster acting out his favorite movie scenes is my happy place.
Low points: As I said it's not really that electiony.

Saved by The Bell: The Election

Jessie: Fair! Fair? What does fair have to do with it? We are WOMEN we go to the bathroom together, we VOTE together!
The plot: Jessie is running for school President which Zack thinks is totally lame but THEN Zack finds out the winner gets a trip to Washington, DC and to miss school for a week. You see where this is going. Zack gets in the race, friendships are put to the test and spoiler alert: valuable lessons are learned.
Review: I'm not a huge fan of school-elections-as-social-commentary episodes because student government has very little to do with real elections, but you know, its an easy allegory especially when your show is set in a high school. Reviewing an episode of Saved by the Bell is like reviewing a bowl of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese- you know empirically its not going to be good but its so formulaic and neon and nostalgic that you enjoy the heck out of it anyway.
High points: Mr. Dewey the sardonic and monotone math teacher/faculty advisor, delivering deadpan humor in a way that only exists in 90's sitcoms.
Low points: Zack, "As for me, I only run for buses, blondes and brunettes" Burn, Zack. I'm right here. Also could do without the sexism and the Roseanne Barr fat joke.

Bob's Burgers: The Millie-churian Candidate (Available on Netflix)
Tina: Wow brains and brawn, is what I would say if you had the brawn part.
The plot: Louise's weirdo groupie Millie runs for class President in order to get closer to her.
Review: I hate this episode so much. And I LOVE Bob's Burgers. It's pretty needlessly convoluted and just uncomfortable for pretty much every character. Also it is very low on Linda Belcher who is obviously the best character. However it does have a pretty clever twist at the end and as Linda learned the hard way, a lie is not a twist. So go ahead and watch it but don't have a crap attack.
High points: It did give us the above GIF which has been of big use this election season.
Low point: The character of Millie is so annoying that its almost unwatchable. She is so annoying that uses the idea of an improv club to make herself sound LESS gross and crazy.

Golden Girls: Strange Bedfellows

Blanche: Just because you didn't have a good time is no reason to bore your friends with a bad story.
The plot: The girls are volunteering on the City Council campaign of "wimp" Gil Chesteron, but Dorothy and Rose are dismayed and angry when Blanche appears to have had an affair with the married candidate. Meanwhile Sophia is convinced that Gil is harboring a secret.
The Review: Ughhhhhh.....okay, I'm just going to tell you. The "secret" that Sophia senses turns out to be that Gil is transgender. This is probably my least favorite episode of one of my favorite shows because it is problematic as fuck. It's also just not very good. Two cheesecakes down.
High points: Rose the whacktivist has the idea to make bird feeders with Gil's name on them and Dorothy is appropriately disgusted by this plan.
Low points: Transphobia, slut-shaming, not believing women. Take your pick.

What do you think? Did I leave something out? What's your favorite election episode and how are things going out there? What are ya hearin'?

Campaign Love and Mine,


Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Just when you thought it was safe....FBI email schedule! Nevermind the fact that Trump is being accused of raping a child.

A friend shared these on my Facebook wall a couple of weeks ago and now I wanted to share them with you because what would usually be an interesting piece of historic memorabilia is actually frighteningly close to what could be found on Reddit this election cycle. Take a look, share, and remember what's at stake.