I’m sitting in my new apartment – a cute two bedroom in Waco – unpacking boxes and trying to get settled in a city I’ve never been to before. After a long day of driving, loading and unloading boxes and furniture, and buying some basics for the apartment, I passed out early last night. This morning, I woke up to an email from my role model – my mom – about my move.
I’m excited to start organizing in Waco and kick off a dialogue about Wendy – and ever so grateful to my parents, who didn’t blink when I decided to take a year off of college to help get Wendy elected. This is the message my mom wanted you – and Wendy – to hear.
I heard you speak at luncheon in Austin a couple of years ago. I was captivated by your words, your sincerity, your story, and your passion for Texas, Texans, women, children and a better future. I was moved to tears actually. I am a tough, type A, courtroom lawyer. I don’t do emotions, and certainly not in public over a rubber chicken plate. But I did that day, and have since. I was in a rush to leave. I wanted to share my experience with my daughter. I couldn’t then, and really still cannot, articulate what moved me. But it was something. Something important. Before I left though, I wanted you to know that your words meant something to me. Obviously to others too, as the line to shake your hand and have your attention for a few fleeting seconds was already the length of the ballroom. Patience not one of my virtues, I circled around the back of where you were standing and quietly said-That was f$&@!ng awesome. I told my daughter the same, and encouraged her to stay connected to what was happening here as she made her way through her first college semesters on the other side of the country.
She did. I did. She and I spent many hours at the Capitol last summer (her more than I), and I watched as she became more involved politically. More driven. More compelled. We were there on that magic night when our voices, along with thousands of others, were heard, and made a difference. When we finally left, in the early morning hours, we drove up Congress, the Capitol lit behind us, and the song Can’t Hold Us came on. Somber, not wanting, or really able to talk, the music did it for us, and that is now “our” song. My daughter went back to school at the end of the summer, but a bigger piece of her remained here than she had ever left before.
In calls with her during the fall semester she started dropping hints that she wanted to come home. To work on, with, and for, what you and others like you – too many name, but included in our gratitude and in this letter as if I could and did name them all-stand for and believe in. She wanted to come home. She wanted to make a difference. Her father and I encouraged her. She left school at the end of the fall semester and moved home.
She didn’t have a job on your campaign. She really didn’t have a plan. She didn’t know exactly what she could or would do, but knew she could do something. She volunteered. She got deputized to register voters. She registered voters. She went to meetings. She did field organizing. She walked until her feet were swollen. She spent hours on the bus because she had no driver’s license. She made calls. She sent emails. She talked to people. She became one of your fellows.
I helped where I could. I’ve handed out stacks of voter registration cards, asked countless people if they were registered to vote, talked to people about what is happening around and to them without their realizing they have a voice and a vote, staffed a voting location for the primary, and made a few financial contributions to you and similar candidates and causes.
But the “donation” I made to your campaign today was priceless. It was far beyond any check I could write. Today, my husband and I packed up our only child, our precious, kind, funny, smart, beautiful daughter, and took her to a new city where she knows no one. We helped her load and unload her typical college kid stuff (as well as dishes from our cabinets and all our living room furniture and dining table) into a strange new apartment in a strange new city. We filled 3 baskets at Target, so she could get through the first few days. (Ok, I can be emotional.) She starts her job next week as field organizer for you.
As I return home tonight to an empty house – without my baby girl (or any furniture), please know that what you do matters. Please know that people are so moved by you that they change their lives to support and assist you in what you seek to accomplish. Please know they are willing to move 1,593 miles, leave friends and family and devote 100% to the cause. Most important to me, please take care of my awesome young woman and use her talents wisely.
Godspeed to the Governor’s Mansion. MMK
Love you too, Mom.