Five years. In March 2003 I got out of my armchair and went to work supporting this former governor from Vermont, who had called the Democrats on their spinelessness. He didn’t get the nomination, but he asked us to get involved in our local Democratic parties and work to help elect John Kerry. And work I did. I jumped in with both feet in Lyon County and elsewhere in rural Nevada. I designed the Lyon County Dems web site, got elected Secretary and served in that position until June of this year. I probably created nearly every flyer that came out of the party. I wrote press releases, administered the email list, tabled, phone-banked, walked, waved signs and opened my house to poll workers on Election Day. In 2004 I got elected chair of the Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus and as a group we canvassed in remote parts of rural Nevada on behalf of John Kerry, and Nevada Assembly candidates Marcia deBraga and Cathylee James. The Democratic Party was my passion. I believed in it.
After the election, I was approached by the former Northern Nevada Field Director to see if I’d be interested in replacing her. I was honored that she would consider me, and after many interviews with the PTB, I proudly came on board with the NSDP in April of 2005as the Rural Coordinator. In July 2005 I switched over to the DNC payroll as one of Governor Dean’s first hires in the 50-State Strategy. I spent the next two years working all over rural Nevada during an off-year election cycle. I’ve met and worked with some of the most incredible people you could ever hope to know. I put tens of thousands of miles on my car, attended every county central committee, state central committee meeting, conducted trainings, “cut turf” and conducted precinct walks, phone banks, organized GOTV efforts. I’ve been flipped off, booed and yelled at, and told I wasn’t an American by rightwing whackos who thought that Democrats were the spawn of Satan. All of it rolled off my back. The Democratic Party was my passion. I believed in it.
After two years, I wanted to gain some semblance of normalcy to my life, and stepped down as paid staff and took a full time job in Reno in May 2007. Little did I know that my move just meant I had two full-time jobs. My day job and my work for the Democratic Party. I continued to volunteer and worked with Dems from all over Nevada, and was a key organizer for the January 2008 Nevada Democratic Caucus. We’d never done anything this big before and a lot of people worked long hard hours to pull it off. With no opportunity to catch our breath, as the Lyon County Democratic Convention Committee Chair I barely looked up for the five weeks between caucus and convention. At the same time I was working for the party, I also found time to support my candidate.
There wasn’t a weekend that didn’t go by that I didn’t have something “Democratic” to do. In the past five years, I have no idea of how much money I’ve put into Democratic work, and I don’t just mean candidate support. I mean paper, toner, food, pens, postage, etc, etc, etc. The house, the critters and the LOML were put all on the back burner. My husband understood. After all, we were the good guys. The Democratic Party was my passion. I believed in it.
More on the flip side.