Tag Archives: AFP

Addendum: David Koch

Billionaire philanthropist David Koch died today and I just wanted to write a quick post in recognition. Though Charles Koch loomed larger in my AFP experience, it was always the “Koch Brothers” together that took the political flack and lead the way for the organization. Their generosity made it possible for people like me to run successful field offices and change the future of my state. The Koch Brothers’ political advocacy empowers people and I am a living testament to that. 

And despite all the headlines focusing on his political affiliation, it should not be forgotten that David Koch’s philanthropy centered on the medical field: he built hospitals and funded cancer research. He directly and indirectly touched countless lives. 

The world is a sadder place without him. He will be missed. 

Remembering I’m an Extrovet

Yesterday, my Mom kindly consented to join me at an AFP event and we headed into Milwaukee. I almost didn’t go. But I RSVPed and felt somewhat obliged to attend and there would be food.

I walked through the doors at the event, looked around the room, and saw people I knew. Moreover, people I liked. Former co-workers, bosses, and mentors. People I spent years fighting alongside. People I only know from Facebook. People I met once years ago. People I wanted to know. The AFP, grassroots world. In the flesh. 

I guess I just didn’t realize how much I missed that world. 

It was like a light flickered on in my head. ‘I know this situation. I am trained for this situation. I can go work the room. I can catch up on all the changes. Network.’

I often feel displaced in law school, to say nothing of the five months I spent in Thailand. But this was the opposite feeling of displacement. It was belonging. 

And I also realized, while I miss the people, I don’t necessarily miss the job. That is, given the chance to go back to my old position, I probably wouldn’t. I like the law. I like the extra layer of understanding I possess when I talk about policies impacting our state. 

I’m not sure where that leaves me, except with a strong reminder that I’m still becoming. No matter how stressful this past year, no matter how stressful the coming one, it is not the last chapter. I’ve got people rooting for me. People who trained me, mentored me, and pushed me forward. And right now a new batch of people train, mentor, and push me. But that doesn’t mean the last bunch forgot about me. They’re still my people. I’m just also getting more people. 

More than anything, the evening reminded me that I’m an extrovert and need to spend more time with people who fill me up. 

Which leads me to a major thank you to my introverted mother for sticking around much later than she wanted while I caught up with people. She also had to deal with my giddy rambling on the drive back. My Mom is the real MVP.

Three Years

Three years ago today, I graduated from Bryan College with my bachelor’s degree. I then chose to take a gap year (er, two) before attending law school. In an alternative universe, I would have gone straight to law school. Instead of ending of my 1L year, this week would culminate in my graduation from legal education. That was the plan. 

I am so glad it did not happen that way. 

It strikes me as funny when I talk about the past two years. I murmur offhandedly, “Oh, I worked for a few years before coming to law school.” As if two of the most formative years of my life were just NBD…no big deal. 

I suppose in the big picture they might prove just that: a mere blip in time between college and my “real” career as a lawyer. 

But even if that is the case, I wouldn’t trade those years with AFP for anything. My work there developed so much of who I am and how I see myself. I can’t imagine who I would be if I went straight from my undergraduate to the pressure cooker that is law school. That vision holds no appeal for me.

From an academic standpoint, straight-from-undergraduate-me might have embraced law school better. Independence would mean little to her, so a life of student loans and borrowed rides to church would feel natural. I would still be a perfectionist with an angsty desire to go go go so I imagine I would have joined just as many clubs (if not more) and still jumped into an internship as soon as possible. From a practical standpoint, I doubt my legal career so far would look very different. 

Yet that isn’t quite true. I landed both my legal internships to date because of my connection with AFP. I’ve prioritized certain activities and de-emphasized others because I know the sort of people I want to be around. I’ve approached projects and people and ideas with the confidence of someone who has achieved something difficult, and failed multiple times while doing it. 

I am so much more me because I waited two years. Also, I owe a heck of a lot less loans because I paid off those undergraduate ones. 

It gives me hope for the next three years. I never saw myself here three years ago, and yet here I am. Who knows what will come next? The only thing I know for certain is that  whatever it is, I’ve been equipped and mentored and well prepared for it. And if I fail? I’ve got an amazing community that will cheer me on anyway.

(Plus, I can always peace back to the mountains of Idaho and live the rest of my life in chacos, right?) 

12 hours

I left the house at 8:30 this morning…and returned at 8:30 at night. I’m beat. However, today went really well and was lots of fun! I was hoping to post a link straight to the Facebook Live video but it doesn’t look like I can do that….so check it out at the AFP Wisconsin page and go down a little – https://www.facebook.com/wisconsinafp/?fref=ts 

It was really great to have some of my activists get a chance to tell the story of why they get involved. It really was a fun, productive day! Anyway, that is all from me tonight. 

Facebook Live

‘Ello Everyone! Tomorrow I will be doing a Facebook Live video from the AFP Delafield office! All you have to do is check the Americans For Prosperity Wisconsin Facebook page at 1:30 pm central tomorrow. Yayyyy!!!!!!!!!!! this should be exciting and a fun way to see what we do on a Day of Action. 

In other news, the office got reorganized today and it looks really cool. 

Anyway, that is my plug. I’m going to drink some tea and head to bed. Maybe see you tomorrowwww! 

Right Wisconsin Awards Gala

One of my favorite parts of attending the Right Wisconsin Awards ceremony was the chance to see Congressman Reid Ribble receive the Conservative of the  Year award. In 2010, I was part of a team of teenagers sent up to Green Bay, WI to help get him elected. 

It was a wonderful experience and definitely one of the highlights of my senior year. 

Seeing him recieve the award was an encouraging reminder that elections are important and sometimes we get it right and elect a really great guy.  

I also had the awesome opportunity to see my friend and co-worker, Melissa Moss, recive the Right Women To Watch Award. She is fighting a true battle in La Crosse and definitely deserves the recognition. She remains a firm reminder that as important as elections are, they don’t define our direction. Concerned, active, aware citizens can and will change the course of a country. 

#Dream16 – Thoughts on the Keynote Speakers

Well, folks, I know you have all been waiting with baited breath to find out what I thought of the speakers at the Defending the American Dream Summit…

AEI President Arthur Brooks stays #1. His speech really set the tone for the conference and was truly inspiring. 

Senator Marco Rubio and British Conservative Politician Daniel Hannan probably tie for second. I appreciate Rubio’s engagement with the idea of the American Dream and Hannan offered a great perspective, not to mention the amazing accent. 

Third goes to Governor Scott Walker and former CEO Carly Fiorina who were both terrific. I’m proud of everything Governor Walker has done for Wisconsin and Carly Fiorina is always inspiring.  

Florida State University Coach Bobby Bowden was awesome but needed more time to tie things together. 

The other speakers were good but no one stood out. 

Overall, I would say the only person I didn’t enjoy was Senator David Perdue, who used every cliche in the book during his speech. The only reason I applauded when he finished was because of how happy I was that he was done

Work Vacation

I enjoy my job so much that when I finally take vacation, I use it to go to a work conference. It is both sad and awesome. However, I got to travel with this crew and they make it pretty awesome:

DAD Summit

Guess where I am going tomorrow…*drum droll please*

For the next few days I will be in Florida attending the Defending the American Dream Summit! http://www.defendingthedream.com/

I am going to get to hear some of my favorite speakers, including Arthur Brooks, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker. There will be breakout sessions, policy discussions, and pools. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends. Basically, I’m pumped! 

This will be my 3rd year attending the Defending the American Dream Summit and I’m looking forward to getting energized for a busy next few months. It is always inspiring to see just how many people are part of the AFP family. 

A sort of road trip

Today Anna and I drove up to Oshkosh to celebrate the grand opening of the new AFP Fox Valley Field Office! It was a lot of fun, the building is adorable. Alicia did a terrific job decorating! 

We swung by the American Girl outlet mall on our way home. Alas! Yet another place that turned out to be not nearly as exciting as I remembered.

The sky was GORGEOUS on our drive back, so I snapped a few pictures.  What a fun day!