Policy & Public Interest
Seeking success in the marketplace of ideas?
Advocating for a policy proposal or a political opinion is a lot like marketing a product or service. That's because we are, in effect, "selling" ideas. Just like marketing a business, a successful policy campaign needs to meet people where they are, explain the issues in a way they understand, and convince them to adopt a particular point of view. I can help out with all of the above.
As part of my work for the Wisconsin Business Alliance, I researched and wrote a series of one-page policy briefs on issues of concern to small business owners around Wisconsin. I collaborated with a graphic designer to present the ideas in a clear and compelling visual format.
We used these briefs to present progressive views from a perspective that would be understandable and appealing not only to Madison-based businesses owners, many of whom were already on our side, but also to small-town business owners throughout the state who had the potential to create real change.
Reclaim Wisconsin Rally
In March 2012 I spoke to a crowd estimated at 50,000+ on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol. The craziest thing about the speech, aside from the fact that I was a political newcomer and a total novice? I had written it from scratch just a few hours earlier.
I'm so incredibly proud of this speech (the text is here). I would welcome the opportunity to write more speeches like this for candidates who are just as passionate as I am about progressive issues.
PERSONAL PROJECT: A PLACE TO CALL HOME
I firmy believe that policy is so much more than words on a page. Public policy affects every aspect of our lives, for better or for worse, and one of the best ways to illustrate this is to tell stories about real people and how policies impact them.
That's why I interviewed and photographed local residents for a special exhibition at our local museum. I worked in collaboration with the museum director, who pulled objects from the museum's collection to highlight immigrants' contributions to our community in the past.
“A Place to Call Home: Newcomers to Fort Atkinson" offered a unique opportunity to build connections through historic and current residents’ portraits and stories. Attendees learned why people have moved to Fort Atkinson over the years and why they stayed, from the desire to escape violence and the aftermath of war, to youthful curiosity, to the pursuit of the American Dream. They also learned about policy roadblocks that are standing in the way.
JUST FOR FUN
No way a woman could run her own campaign
Back when I ran for State Senate, my opponent was quoted as saying, "I don't for one minute believe she is the organizing force behind this whole thing."
Yeah. He actually said that.
The article ran on Mother's Day, and my family and I decided to have some fun with it. I borrowed an apron from a friend, ran over to Goodwill and bought a dress, and set up one of my DSLRs on a tripod.
The rest is history. I didn't have to make a single fundraising call after this video dropped.