Reason 5498 that I love my current job is that I get to have countless valuable experiences in a whole slew of categories. This month’s theme was me growing in my understanding of advocacy in political settings.
(I also grew in my understanding of the difference between nylons and stockings, but that’s a different story for another blog post)
I have a dear friend of mine that I’ve always looked up to that recently joined the Nevada State Legislative world as an Assemblywoman. When I realized I was going to be at her current place of work, I sent her a quick text and joked “Hey can I sit next to you on the assembly floor?”.
I followed up that text with, “Just kidding. I have no idea how these things [assembly floor meetings] work, but I’m pretty sure that’s not it.”
Minutes later my phone rings with her secretary on the other line “Assemblywoman Tolles was wondering if you wanted to join her on the floor for the upcoming meeting.”
My Brain: “Um heck to the yes!”
What I actually said: “Why that would be so lovely, as long as it’s not too much trouble.”
Lucky for me, it wasn’t!
As I sat among Assembly people from across the entire state of Nevada, I was struck by their humanity. These are people who I picture in my mind being far too busy for people like lil’ ol’ me.
But really, they are simply passionate Nevadans striving to make it an even better place to call home. I watched a warm interaction between two people from opposite ends of the political spectrum. There was mutual respect across Liberal and Conservative lines, friendly handshakes and casual chatter of weekend plans (most of which included researching more bills).
It was refreshing, comforting, inspiring even. Amidst the sea of custom tailored suits and perfectly hemmed skirts I found some profoundly down to earth individuals.
I became increasingly aware that this is not the scene painted by some media when talking about politicians and their agendas. This short-but-sweet experience gave me confidence that what I currently see on my newsfeed isn’t the whole story. I have refreshed hope that there are still many grounded leaders that we can trust with our governmental decisions.
And that, my friends, is good news. So feel free to pass it on, give your representatives a call, and play nice. You could be pleasantly surprised at how well they listen.
In this tense political climate, from one passionate activist to another:
Don’t forget, politicians are people too.