At 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2016, I had an existential crisis. How could a Progressive candidate like me win election on the same day as Donald Trump?
The LD9 team won early on Nov. 8. Randy, Steve and I were the first winners to take the stage at the Pima County Democratic Party party in the Marriott Hotel, where many of us watched President Barack Obama win twice.
Excitement was in the air. Everyone was so cheery. The polls all told us that our candidate– the first woman president– would win handily. Yes, of course, one poll said that Hillary Clinton would win by only 3%, but how could that be when all other polls were so high in favor of her?
Now we all know what happened. The polls were wrong. Twenty-five years of lies; millions of social media shares of questionable meme attacks and fake news; editorializing instead of news analysis by mainstream news media; Russian hacks; dithering, drawn-out FBI investigation of those @#$% emails; and deep-seeded sexism took down the most qualified candidate and gave us a president who promises to rule with an authoritarian hand.
Since I received my $16,000 in Clean Elections funds in June, it been a whirlwind of activity, with three coffees with the candidate, three more house parties, canvassing, phone-banking, and many, events. (I am so appreciative of my volunteers who have helped with by hosting events, making phone calls, canvassing, labeling, and driving me around in the heat from neighborhood to neighborhood. You’re the best, and I will never forget your help.)
The August 30 is just nine days away, and I decided it is a good time to post photos from some of the events.
There are more events and more photos, but you get the idea. I was busy! Onward to the primary.
At Agnes Hannley’s recent 94th birthday party, I had a great talk with her and her bridge group, all life-long Republicans, about equality and fairness.
One of them put her hand up by her mouth and whispered, “We don’t like what’s going on… you know… with the party. It’s embarrassing.” (She is referring to Donald Trump being on his way to the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee.)
My husband had mentioned to the ladies that I am running for office, mentioned my support for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and left me poolside with the three ladies who all live in the LD9 Foothills.
We had a great time talking about women’s equality and pay equity. When I was telling them about the ERA, they were surprised that even women in their class are paid less than men.
Each of them had a story of discrimination. One of women said wanted to be an engineer when she graduated from high school and went to college in the early 1940s. They told her she couldn’t be an engineer, but she could be a nurse. She became a nurse because she wanted to go to college. She still seemed miffed about it.
I told them that her story is similar to my encounter the “guidance” counselor at Central Junior High School in tiny Amherst, Ohio, when I told him my desire to go to college. I was an “A” student. I was in the band, in the St. Peter’s youth group, in the church youth choir and in the Rainbow Girls. There was no reason why I couldn’t go to college.
My Grandma Powers, who graduated from Oberlin College in 1924 and worked in Admissions at Oberlin in the 1960s, advised me what to take in high school and what to the tell the guidance counselor when I met with him. I was so greatful to have her advice and the backing of parents and grandparents when I went toe-to-toe with him to fight for the right to go to college.
I was pretty shy back then, but 13-year-old me argued my way into the college prep track in high school. He kept saying that “girls don’t need to go to college” because, of course, we’re going to get married … and that’s the end of the line. When he finally relented to the college prep track, he asked, “Do you want to be a teacher or a nurse? Those are the one two professions a girl would need to go to college for.”
I said I didn’t want to be either and surely there are other jobs that girls could do. He finally acquiesced and told me I had to take Latin. I said “no” to Latin. I wanted to take Spanish. (He was starting to get red at this point and wanted me out of there. Other kids were waiting in line to be “advised”.) He insisted I had to take Latin if I wanted to get into college. I insisted on Spanish saying, “Lots of people in Lorain County actually speak Spanish … not Latin.”
Anyway, it was a great discussion with Agnes and her bridge buddies and long-term friends. Pay equity should be an issue that crosses party lines. We had shared experiences, and we all knew we were treated unfairly in our younger days.
It has been almost exactly two months since I announced my campaign for the Legislative District 9 seat in the Arizona House.
Except for being down with a cold bug for a few weeks in October, I have been busy talking with supporters and Democratic Party stalwarts– at LD9 Meetings, the Democrats of Greater Tucson (DGT) Awards Luncheon, Pride in the Desert, Arizona Democratic Party State Committee Meeting and the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus Meeting in Flagstaff. I really appreciate the opportunities to speak at the LD9 meeting in October and at DGT in November.
Even though we haven’t done a major fundraising push yet, I’m happy to say that I have raised $1000 of the $4000 allowable seed money for Clean Elections Candidates and collected 100 of the 400+ signatures that I need to get on the ballot.
Now that the local 2015 election is over, canvasing operations and fundraising will be stepped up.