On the road again
My work at EMILY’s List means I get to travel. A lot. I have become a world class packer. I can remove my cowboy boots at the security line in under 5 seconds. That sign in the airport with the picture of the “expert traveler”? That’s me.
But there’s more to my travel than learning everything there is to learn about airport food. Eventually I get to land and take a look around. I’ve been all over this country, and I can tell you it’s absolutely full of inspiring people. Not just the awesome Democratic women candidates, but the generous women and men who make our work electing them possible.
But my favorite part of traveling? It often takes me back West – where I can really connect with those folks just like me. Who grew up having an appreciation for big sky and an independent streak.
Yesterday, I landed back in DC after a week’s long swing out West (though, no stop in my home state of Montana – this time). And though it’s nice to be back in HQ with the staff humming along, I sure do like being with the amazing women we’re supporting out there.
We’d kicked the trip off in southern California where I caught up with our “On the List” candidate Denise Moreno Ducheny – she’s such a tough fighter, and she has the potential to be a real leader in the House. Exactly what we need these days to fight back against the GOP agenda. I also met with several of our Majority Council members while I was in San Diego. And wow did they have feedback for me! It wasn’t a coincidence that many of them were beaming about EMILY’s List – our training staff had just been out there and had talked to almost half of these women just before I showed up, telling them to RUN! By the time I arrived, we were talking strategy and resources. And we couldn’t possibly move this fast without our partners. I have to give a shout-out to Francine Busby, a great community leader in California who now serves as the Executive Director of Run Women Run.
Traveling as much as I do, flights are bound to go wrong every now and then. And this trip was no exception. We almost didn’t make it to Arizona, but I was still able to connect with EMILY’s List Candidate, former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick. Ann’s a real western woman – the kind who raised me and who have always been my role models. We got to talk about her campaign to unseat her Tea Party opponent and take back the district. And she’s incredibly resilient – this is absolutely a race to watch.
Our visit to Portland, Oregon was another reminder: there’s no such thing as an off year! No one knows that better than Suzanne Bonamici, who’s just a few short weeks away from her own Election Day. She’s running one of the best campaigns in the country – and I was lucky to sit down with some of her supporters and hear how hard they’ve been fighting. They know that Suzanne’s win will be historic – it will mean the largest number of women in the House ever! AND, she’ll be the only woman currently in Oregon’s delegation.
"I look at the young women of today that look at Congress, and they can't understand why [there aren't more women,]” Suzanne said. "It's important to have a woman's voice at the table."
Here are just a few of our photos from the trip – and I’ll post more next trip, which will be soon. (The next trip is always soon.) But there are incredible upsides to life on the road. And meeting the EMILY”s List community is the best part – can’t wait to meet you one of these days!