Hey Geographic Subset of Friends, Have You Voted Yet?
|Amy Widdowson||Jun 7, 2016|
I know this only applies to American subscribers of the Missive - sorry Canadians, and the lone Brit - who live in CA, MT, NJ, NM, ND, SD - sorry everyone else - but have you made a plan to vote? Do you have your voting buddy? Have you figured out where to precisely place your "I Voted" sticker for maximum impact? If, like me, you voted by mail, have you been able to find your "I Voted By Mail" sticker that came with the damned ballot and was sitting on your bedside table and is no nowhere to be found,and may have been digested by one (you know who) of the dogs? Dammit, where is it...
You know how I got into policy communications? Prior to 2013, I'd done in-house marketing and communications my whole career, mostly at technology publishing companies. At the time, I hadn't yet taken my oath of citizenship, so I was an immigrant sitting on the sidelines for the 2012 Presidential race. To demonstrate my dedication to American democracy as best I understood it, hubby and I had binge-watched The West Wing in its entirety the month prior. I even walked him to the polls in North Beach to drop off his mail-in ballot because my voting FOMO was so bad.
When I got to work that day, I cheerfully asked everyone if they'd voted that morning. To my dismay, many hadn't, and many weren't planning on it. Some said they had too much to do and didn't have time, others didn't know where their polling places were, and some hadn't even registered yet.
I maaaaaaaaay have had a wee freak out, and proceeded to unleash my best President Bartlett impression in my impassioned plea for democracy in action. Some were receptive, many more turned back to their computers and kept working.
A few months later, I received a note from someone who'd been in the room that day, but had left for another gig. He referenced my penchant for the political and asked if I was looking to make a job change. He said he wanted to introduce me to the folks who ran a policy communications shop with a DC HQ and an office in SF, and had an opening. I ended up meeting with them soon after, and was hooked. I'd never worked at a firm, however, which made them a bit wary, and I was afraid to leave my current gig, having millennial-style job hopped the years prior, so the conversation went no further than a beer after work. So when layoffs at the tech company a few months later gave me the requisite kick in the ass to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, I reached back out and proceeded to hustle harder for the gig than I ever had before.
So this is a very long-winded, self-indulgently nostalgic way of telling you to vote. So do it. And let's chat more tomorrow once the dust settles.