Recently in this space, I wrote of my endorsement of Brianne Nadeau for the Ward One seat on the D.C. Council. Today, I would like to explain why I am supporting Elissa Silverman for the At-Large seat in the April 23 Special Election.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen several candidates run for At-Large seats under the “progressive” and “reformer” banners. In 2011, we had Bryan Weaver. In 2012, we had Peter Shapiro and David Grosso. Two out of these three candidates lost, with many people talking about how the “progressive vote” split, allowing for the “establishment” candidates to win. That trend was broken in the November 2012 General Election when David Grosso defeated incumbent Michael Brown.
Now in 2013, we are facing yet another Special Election. There are several choices, and the top tier of candidates includes progressive candidate Elissa Silverman, Republican reformer candidate Pat Mara, Democratic reformer candidate Matthew Frumin, and Democratic incumbent Anita Bonds. Out of these choices Elissa Silverman is the best choice.
Anita Bonds, who was temporarily appointed to the Council via an internal vote of D.C. Democratic Party members, could be considered the establishment candidate. She is the chair of the D.C. Democratic Party and works for a construction company that does a lot of business with the city. She’s well connected with the older generation of D.C. politicians. While I respect the work she has done with the D.C. Democratic party, she doesn’t bring new energy or a new perspective to the Council.
Matthew Frumin, who has been civically involved in his neighborhood and surrounding area for some time, offers something of an interesting campaign. He is not part of the traditional D.C. establishment and is running on a “reformer” platform. He has prior experience running for political office — he ran for Congress in Michigan in 2000. I think Frumin would make a good candidate to one day run for Council from Ward 3, but he doesn’t bring enough to the table right now to represent the city as a whole.
Pat Mara, a Republican running under the reform banner, has run for city-wide office several times and presently serves on the State Board of Education. He says he is “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” That term is a nice way to introduce a Republican to your Democratic friends, but it’s difficult to understand from a policy perspective. In many cases it’s very difficult to balance those two. He signed Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” and was an ardent supporter of both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns. His fiscal conservatism runs at odds with too many things I value as a progressive Democrat. I don’t argue with the claim that Pat Mara will bring reform if elected, but I worry what kind of reform that would be. I know it wouldn’t be progressive.
That leaves Elissa Silverman, the former journalist and budget analyst for the non-profit D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. I have known Elissa personally for several years, and I have urged her to run for office in the past. When she told me she was considering a run, I told her it would be the hardest thing she would ever do, but it would also be the most important thing. I’ve watched her build a strong campaign and avoid many of the pitfalls and mistakes I’ve seen other candidates make.
Over the past few years, I’ve worked with many candidates on many campaigns. I’ve seen good candidates lose elections and bad candidates win. Elissa is a strong progressive candidate, who challenges the current political environment from the left. That’s a good thing for a city that is plagued by income inequality, education inequality, gun violence, homelessness, and many other problems. Elissa understands the D.C. budget and isn’t afraid to be tough to get results. She’s also working hard as a candidate and has built an infrastructure that I believe can turn out enough votes for her to win.
I hear some say that supporting Elissa will yet again splinter the “progressive” vote and lead to an “establishment” victory. I would argue that the conventional wisdom surrounding some of the recent progressive defeats is incorrect. There’s a million ways a campaign can lose an election, and it’s very often not the fault of an opponent. Those who complain about vote splitting as a reason for defeat are usually destined to lose. A campaign that wins should be focused on identifying, persuading, and turning out voters. Focusing less on vote splitting and more on vote getting would be a better strategy.
With your support, Elissa Silverman can win on April 23. I offer her my vote and my strongest endorsement. I hope you join me.
I am thrilled to support Brianne Nadeau’s campaign for the Ward One seat on the D.C. Council.
I previously worked with Brianne on a D.C. Council campaign and I have seen her talent and dedication. She also served as my ANC Commissioner when I lived in Adams Morgan. I know that she works hard and delivers results for her constituents.
Bringing new leadership to the Council for Ward One will be challenge, but I am confident Brianne has what it takes to win. Over the past several months, I have seen her build a strong, professional, and powerful campaign. She has demonstrated that she has what it takes to run a winning campaign. I fully endorse Brianne and will do everything I can to ensure she prevails on Election Day.
This is important so I wanted to make sure I say it as loudly as I can. It’s very important to stand with Adria Richards.
I want to say it loudly because I have the opportunity to say it and for you to read it. This is a privilege as well as an obligation.
First, this Forbes post, “Why Asking What Adria Richards Could Have Done Differently Is The Wrong Question,” is an important read and is right on the mark. There’s also an amazing hashtag developing on Twitter right now, #IAskedPolitely.
The very short version of all of this is that Adria Richards was at a conference and overheard men making sexually explicit jokes during a plenary session. She took a photo of the offenders and tweeted it. The offenders were asked to leave the conference and one of them was apparently fired from his job. A whole bunch of ignorant, hateful people began to target Adria and her employer, SendGrid. Many made very explicit threats of violence to Adria. Hacker groups and others targeted SendGrid with denial of service attacks. As a result, SendGrid fired Adria.
In the wake of this, there’s been a lot of talk about whether Adria handled this correctly (wrong question: see Forbes article linked above), whether the offending man should have been fired (I don’t know), whether SendGrid should have fired Adria (no), and then all sorts of other ignorant questions and assertions that make my blood boil.
When I was a senior in high school, I was a volunteer server administrator for an online gaming network. I’d stay up way too late playing Counter-Strike and removing abusive players, cheaters, etc. One of our very strict rules was that we didn’t allow people to make “gay” jokes on our servers. A lot of people would come on the server and say “gay” when they got killed, or call other players “gay” or “fags” or whatever else, and I’d have to warn them and then kick or ban them if they continued. It was weird at first — growing up and at school everyone used “gay” or “fag” as an insult or whatever else, so I was used to it. I didn’t even realize how used to it I was until I had to look for it and enforce this rule on the server.
But I was just joking! they’d say. Lighten up! I would hear. Didn’t matter. I’d warn them and if they did it again, they’d get kicked off the server. Do it again and you’re banned. No questions. No exceptions. That’s the rule and if you break it, you’re out.
At the time I thought it was kind of a pain to enforce the rule and didn’t really understand why it was important. At the time, I was 17 and a dumb kid. A dozen years later and I am very thankful we had that rule. We decided that using that kind of language was unacceptable, and we stood firm. And you know what? It worked. People didn’t use that language on our server. And for people like me, I thought about the use of those words in my own life, and decided not to use them, and I called my friends out for it when they did.
There’s a lot of people in this world who don’t think about how what they say or do affects others. That’s simply the truth, and in fact it can be very hard to really think about how your words might make others feel. But here’s what I know, and I think most others know as well: the tech industry is not very welcoming or empowering to women. There’s a hundred or so reasons why this has come to be, and there’s a hundred different things that need to be done to fix it.
But here’s one thing that’s simple: be professional and consider how your words may make others feel. I simply want to throw my computer out the window when I read something somewhere that complains about how this whole incident will have a “chilling effect on free speech.”
Newsflash: It should have a chilling effect on stupid, offensive speech. Good lord, how is this that complicated. While you may not intend your dumb joke or explicit story to offend or make anyone uncomfortable, it’s a problem when it does. Let me try to be clearer on this because it’s really important. When someone is made uncomfortable in those situations, you don’t get to tell them they shouldn’t feel that way. You don’t have that right. No one has that right. No one can tell Adria that she shouldn’t have felt that way.
I support Adria because she spoke out against something that wasn’t cool. She made it clear in the way she felt best that she was uncomfortable by the comments she heard. Good for her. It’s really hard to stand up for yourself sometimes. You know how you always imagine what you’d do in some far-fetched scenario like getting mugged or your house burning down? And you think you’d always do things the right way? Or even just some dumb scenario like ordering coffee at Starbucks and then you screw up your order when you get to the counter. It’s really hard to stand up for yourself. It’s really hard to stand up especially when you know the Internet is going to bring forth all kinds of nonsense wrath and threats and who knows what else. So good for her.
She stood up and said something wasn’t cool and she did so in a way she felt comfortable doing. End of that part of the story.
Should the guy have been fired? I have no idea. That’s up to his employer. Maybe he’s had a history of offending people and this was the last straw. Maybe there’s another explanation. I have no idea. But that was a decision made by his employer, not Adria, not women as a whole, not feminists, not feminist bloggers, not feminist tweeters, not anyone other than his employer.
Should Adria have been fired? No. SendGrid had an opportunity to send a clear message to the tech community that they stand by a woman who stands up for herself and for other women. But, they balked at that. They didn’t have it in them to push back against the vitriol. That says something about SendGrid and their management team.
There’s a lot of work to do to make things better for women in technology. I don’t have all of the solutions, but I know we need more people like Adria.
We looked at each other with a mix of tenderness and befuddlement, moist-eyed. It was clear to both of us, after the five or ten minutes of our hasty conversation, that this chance meeting was the last time we ever were going to see each other. I would never find myself in Yekaterinburg, and he wouldn’t be returning to New York or coming to Montreal. We wouldn’t have seen each other, either, had he not recognized me a few minutes ago in this unlikely locale, in the middle of a bustling New York bookstore.
But that was O.K. Knowing we would never see each other again—it was O.K. When you’re young, you think there’ll be plenty of time for everything in your life: counting all the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert, seeing all the people in the world, becoming greater than Jesus and Lenin and Lomonosov and Pushkin and Einstein all rolled into one, reuniting at some point with everyone you’ve met once in your life, befriending every man, falling in love with every woman… Life is a process of gradually coming to terms with the meaning and the very concept of never-ness. Never—well, so be it. Quoth the raven: oh well, them’s the breaks. Get used to it. Get over it. Life is a perishable proposition of rapidly diminishing returns. You could’ve become this or that; you could’ve been here and there and everywhere; but that didn’t happen—and well, so be it. There won’t be, in the end of your life, a joyous, transcendentally meaningful regathering of everyone you’ve ever met on your path, with stories shared and wine flowing and laughter lilting and happiness abounding and life never-ending—well, so be it.
“Well, so—how was it, in all?” I asked him, just as we were about to part ways and give one another an awkward farewell hug.
He understood me. “Life, you mean?”
“Yeah, you know… life,” I said, with embarrassed chuckling. “What did you think of it?”
“It was O.K. Good. Better than one might have expected,” he said, pensively. “I can’t complain. How was it for you?”
“Interesting,” I said. “Yeah, definitely. Pretty interesting. I wouldn’t know what else to say about it. I, too, can’t complain—and it would be pointless to complain, too, because … well, who or what would one complain to? It was interesting.”
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.
One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865
Earlier this month, I was out in San Francisco. I end up out on the west coast once or twice a year for work, and this was the first time in 2012. I had the pleasure to catch up with a friend of mine who had fled the east coast for greener pastures a few years ago.
We met up in the Tenderloin, not far from my hotel. We caught up on the past year or so over fancy cocktails in a perfectly dimly lit bar. He came out west for Twitter, I stayed out east because of Twitter. I talked about having spent most of the year working on the election, and he recounted how different it was to be in California for an election.
A couple of days later, we’d meet up again at Twitter’s offices for lunch. It was an odd experience to see their giant dining hall, with hashtags such as “#comfort” over the different food stations. It was at once surreal and predictable. Here we are at Twitter headquarters. Of course they have hashtags in the dining hall and there are engineers everywhere wearing Twitter hoodies.
That night at the bar, I tried to find the right words for why Twitter has been important to me. It was difficult, but there was an unspoken understanding with my friend. Since he worked there now, I wanted him to know: Thank you.
Something else was on my mind, a feature soon to be released. It had been promised for some time: the Twitter archive. The ability to download all of your old tweets. It was a feature I wanted so badly. Three years of tweets, more than 29,000 of them. The primary source on the history of my life, 2009-present.
I was worried, though. What would happen when I opened this box? Would I agonize over certain moments, certain events, certain tweets? Would I replay the years over and over with the perfect narration that was already in my own voice?
A few weeks later, as soon as it became available to me, I eagerly downloaded my archive.
Before I dove in, my friend warned me:
Also — be careful, it’s like the Mirror of Erised … “It does not do well to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.”
As I explored, though, I was pleasantly surprised. First off, the interface is wonderful. It’s exactly how I imagined browsing my old tweets. It’s sorted by year and month, with a little bar graph that shows your volume of tweets per month. I wasn’t particularly surprised by which years and months I tweeted the most. I already knew.
What was surprising was what I ended up pulling out as I went through the archive. I didn’t focus on the sad stuff. I laughed at my favorite jokes. I noted my observations that seem silly a few years later (e.g. “IPAD IS A HORRIBLE NAME” or “I really want Google Wave!”). I found fewer things that were embarrassing than I imagined, and the sting of certain things was less than I anticipated.
For me, the archive was serious business. I had wanted it for so long. I found a lot of things I was really proud of, and I could see how I had evolved since 2009. It was startling. It was incredible. I saw a few things I wish I had done differently, but such is life. I didn’t dwell. I smiled. It was good.
Ultimately, the archive just reinforced what I love about Twitter. That it’s here and it’s now. It was nice to look back, it was nice to find those funny and poignent moments — but it’s not to dwell over. I am glad the archive is a download and not a page that anyone else can see. The wonder of Twitter is how instant it is. How it’s all about what’s happening right now. Sometimes it’s vapid. Sometimes it’s sad. But it’s real. It’s the realist thing, and I mean that in all the ways you can mean real, that I’ve ever experienced on the Internet. It’s real, and it’s amazing. That hasn’t changed, even though now I can look back, perfectly, over all of it.
I was sitting at my table tonight reading the news on my computer when I heard shots outside. If you live in a city, this isn’t all that surprising. That fact by itself is sort of horrifying — that you aren’t surprised by gunfire.
I heard a shot, then another, in rapid succession. I hoped it wasn’t gunfire, but I knew better, it was. I barely had time to think, “I hope I don’t hear any more.” But then I did, another pop, pop, pop. Then someone yelled, but I couldn’t make out what they said. I was already at the window, on the fifth floor of a tall building, so I could see a few blocks in a few directions. I didn’t know where exactly the shots came from, but I looked for anything that could be helpful, such as a car speeding off or people running. I didn’t see anything. Then I heard the sirens. Someone got shot. Three blocks away.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard shots, not by a longshot. But it was different tonight. Maybe because of Newtown. I don’t know.
It had been three days. Three days since I made those first frantic phone calls. What had happened? Had you heard anything? Did you see her there? Where could she be?
Soon enough it had changed from making the calls to receiving them. I’m so sorry. We don’t know. The police will follow up with you. I’m a reporter, would you be willing to speak with me? Do you have a recent photograph?
And then finally, “the president is coming and would like to meet with you.”
I was numb while I drove to the school that morning. It was one of those mornings that was grey and blue and you could feel how grey and blue it was. I’d insisted on driving myself alone because I needed to do things myself, alone.
A sheriff’s department squad car blocked the intersection near the school. I pulled up slowly, and nervously told the deputy that I was there for “the event.” I didn’t know what else to call it. He directed me to a parking lot, where I saw news trucks and more police cars and an ambulance.
A woman in a suit met me at the entrance of the school and shook my hand consolingly. She took me to a man in a suit who scanned me with a metal detector. The woman then asked me if I needed anything, and I did not know what to say.
There were press people and Secret Service and policemen and coffee and pastries. The woman in the suit led me to the classroom where I waited with eight other people. We were there because we had this one thing in common and soon we would have one more thing in common.
We waited, and waited, and tried to make small talk. Eventually, a young man knocked on the door and said we had two minutes before the president arrived. We tried to compose ourselves. There were nine boxes of tissues in the room. I felt dizzy and used every bit of strength to not throw up.
When the president entered, I was surprised because he did not look like what I expected. I don’t know what I expected, but he looked shorter and he looked older.
We were all standing and he told us that it was okay to sit and we did. We sat down in the school desks and turned them so that we were in a semi-circle. It was odd to see the President of the United States sitting in a school desk.
He told us that he was sorry for our loss and he pledged that justice would be done. I am sure he said other things about what had happened, but my mind wandered to the flag hanging above the chalkboard and then to the clock ticking away. Like when I was in school, I could have sworn I saw the second hand freeze and then tick backwards.
The president knew each of our names, and the names of our loved ones. He asked each of us to tell him something about those that we had lost. He said that being president is a difficult and terrible thing but also a wonderful thing. He asked us to share something wonderful about our loved ones and that it would help him to do his job.
We spoke one by one and we cried and the president cried too. I didn’t know what wonderful thing to share and I stammered a bit. The president made a joke and told us that it was okay to laugh. We did, and it was. He told us it was time for him to speak and he hugged each one of us and together we walked from the classroom to the gymnasium.
The event was beautifully choreographed. The president stood at a podium with his seal on it and spoke about loss and about strength and about God blessing America. The crowd applauded and some even cheered when he talked about how evil could never triumph over good and that the prayers of a nation were with us.
The president finished his speech and left the gymnasium, followed by an entourage of suits and cameras. I filed out with the crowd, throngs of people I did not know, many carrying small American flags.
By the time I got back to my car, the sirens from the motorcade had faded into the distance. It was almost as if he had never even been here. Like so much, he was gone without a trace.
I’ve been saying this a bit to people I know, and people I work with: “It’s weird that it’s over.”
For most of this year, I was working on the election. It began in earnest this past spring, when the Sierra Club announced their endorsement of President Obama. We then set out to build the largest grassroots campaign mobilization in the history of the organization.
But I’m not writing to talk about the digital strategy I put together. Or about how many emails we sent to our members. I’m writing to tell you about the last five days of the campaign — the time I spent out in Virginia.
The last days of a campaign are all about getting out the vote, or “GOTV.” There was nothing left for me to do in an office — I had either done my job or not, and we would see the results. The most useful thing I could do was get out in the field and talk to as many voters as possible.
I headed to Virginia. I started off GOTV weekend canvassing (fancy word for “knocking on doors”) in Fairfax County. The Obama campaign field operation was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Volunteers ran canvass staging areas out of their homes all across the state, and I heard that on Saturday alone, more than 40,000 people were out talking to voters in Virginia.
But numbers aside, the real story is what it felt like to be out there. There was an electricity in the air, combined with a strong sense of urgency. Every minute that ticked away was a minute you can’t get back. Every conversation you had was precious, and every second spent talking to voters was immeasurably valuable.
This wasn’t 2008, we weren’t fighting for the opportunity to make change. We were fighting to protect what we had done — and for many, dare I say all, it was personal. I wasn’t out there just for me, though thanks to Obamacare I knew I would have coverage for my preexisting condition. I was out there to defend a president who thinks women should have the same opportunities as men. I was out there to defend a president who thinks all of my friends should be able to get married. I was out there to say loud and clear that yes we can, yes we did, and yes we will.
On the day before the election, I was knocking doors out near Chantilly, Virginia. The sun was going down quickly, and I had hit all the doors I could before it was too dark to go on. I had one house left, but it was quite far away, and I wasn’t going to make it. Since it was the last one on the sheet, and we had a phone number for the voter, I decided to call instead. His name was Kevin.
When Kevin answered, he quickly told me I was barking up the wrong tree — he was voting for the other guy. Normally I would have ended the call right there, and thanked him for his time, and moved on. But, I was driving back to my staging location and he was polite, and we talked a bit. He didn’t like either of the campaigns — he thought there was too much dishonesty and negative ads. I talked to him about how Obamacare was one of my personal issues, and how Romney’s threat of repeal on Day One was a big deal to me. He sighed and talked about how his family was from Massachusetts and he thought the governor was just lying about that to get elected. And that if he won, Romney would be more reasonable. I knew I wasn’t going to persaude Kevin, but we both shared a hope that no matter who won, we’d see more progress over the next four years.
As we were wrapping up our conversation, my phone cut out. My battery had died. I felt badly, because even though Kevin was a Romney voter, he was willing to have a conversation, and he respected that I was out there working hard for something I believed in.
A little while later I got out my phone charger and I called Kevin back. I told him I didn’t want to leave him thinking I had hung up on him. He thanked me for calling back, and wished me the best of luck with my work and with my health.
On Saturday, at the Obama for America office in Sterling, Virginia, I met Kathy. Kathy was the volunteer directing traffic as people came in the door. I had come to “advance” for the Sierra Club President who was coming out to do a canvass. Kathy was thrilled and put up Sierra Club signs and got everyone to wear our “Another Voter for Clean Energy” stickers. Loudoun County was the bellwether of Virginia — and winning that county was a top priority.
Over the next couple of days, I’d spend every extra moment I had out in Loudoun county. On Election Day, I diverted my plans to give them some extra support to get across the finish line. I had started the day at 5:30 a.m. in Fairfax, but ended up helping organize in the afternoon out of Sterling. As the final numbers got crunched, the campaign needed help canvassing out in Ashburn. I sped off and knocked doors until about 6 p.m. All of the houses on my list had already voted, and many people thanked me for being out there. At the last house on my list, the man who answered was wearing an Obama t-shirt. He had canvassed that morning and he shook my hand.
As I drove back to the Sterling office in the dark along Route 7, I started to cry. Polls were about to close, and this journey was almost at an end. I thought about everyone I had met along the way. I thought about all of the people who believed, like I did, that what we were doing was so important. For so many reasons. I thought about my friend Trina, who died in 2008, before President Obama won his first term. Before he had won the nomination. She was thrilled to watch the primary battle, and was torn between rooting for who might be the first woman president and who might be the first black president. This summer, I had visited her grave and promised that I would do all I could to make her proud.
I thought about that and I thought about the hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country making that same trip back to an office for the last time. I thought about what they were fighting for, about who they were fighting for, about who they wanted to make proud.
I made it back to the office just a few minutes before polls closed. I took out my timer and we counted down and cheered when it hit 7:00 p.m. “We made it,” we said, with relief. No more doors to knock on. No more calls to make. I took a picture with Kathy and the cutout of President Obama that had stood behind the desk for the final days. We took a group photo, with the thirty or so people who were in the office, all cramming in behind the front desk.
We felt good. We knew we’d worked as hard as we could. Everything in the run-up to Election Day told us that we’d probably win — but we never felt assured of anything. We worked like we were five points behind. Deep down, I knew we’d win Loudoun County, and we’d win Virginia and the election. But, in that moment, there was nothing left to do but clean up the office.
It was hours until we’d know who won the election, so we took out the trash and closed down the office. I got back into my car and drove home to D.C.
It was over. We were done.
Hi, I'm Dave Stroup. I write and take photos in Washington, D.C. You can call me an organizer, but of people and not things. I'm on Twitter and Flickr. Here's a small bio. You can view my resume on LinkedIn. Questions? Ask me. I can also be reached via electronic mail. You can subscribe via RSS.