PaperCity Magazine

March 2018- Houston

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Page 42 of 115

"THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL CAN BE EXHAUSTING, BUT EVERY SINGLE DAY, WHEN I KNOCK ON PEOPLE'S DOORS, I HAVE AT LEAST ONE UPLIFTING MOMENT." — Laura Moser 41 Most challenging moment. When my daughter asked me why I had missed her winter carnival. I had been on a plane to New York for a 24-hour fund- raising trip, and I thought she wouldn't even notice my absence. But then a few days later she said, "All the mommies were there except you." In that moment, if I could have turned back time and canceled that New York event, I would have. Uplifting anecdote from the campaign trail. The campaign trail can be exhausting, but every single day, when I knock on people's doors, I have at least one uplifting moment. Maybe it was when I met a 101-year-old woman who said she hoped she lived long enough to see a woman replace the incumbent. That was a good conversation. What you've learned about your future possible constituents. It's almost a cliché to say that Houston is the most diverse city in the country, but when I actually go door to door, you see the truth of that. Even in a district that has been gerrymandered, I meet people from dozens of countries, with vastly different cultural and religious backgrounds, every single day. How has domestic life has changed. My domestic role has altered a lot. I once said to my husband, "Do you realize that I do 97 percent of the child-rearing around here?" To his credit, he did not disagree. But now the balance has shifted dramatically, in ways that have been wonderful for our kids. My husband has taken the lead on the day-to-day domestic circuit. Before, I would bike my kids to school, work from 9 to 4, then pick them up and schlep them around to their various afternoon activities before heading home to prepare a well-balanced dinner. These days, while I am calling donors or knocking on doors in the district, my husband and mother take turns on the after-school activities circuit. I still try to have dinner with my kids most nights, though I never, ever have time to cook that dinner. Then I am usually darting off to some meet-and-greet or political gathering before I collapse into bed to start it all over the next day. A writer's perspective. My background as a professional writer has been, to my surprise, incredibly useful in this process, even if I sometimes annoy my staff by insisting on copy-editing every single comma in every single invitation. As I always say, the Democrats are losing the communications war — we have majority support on so many issues, but we don't know how to articulate in a way that attracts voters. So my willingness to write it all down — whether it's an explanation of partisan gerrymandering or a story about my great- aunt's necklace that she smuggled out of Nazi Berlin — has proven a huge asset on this campaign. I think a lot of people have lost interest or hope in politics because the people who run are too often triangulators who speak in indecipherable code. What I've found is that you can attract a lot of support from people across the political spectrum if you are honest, say where you really stand, and have an honest conversation about the important issues. I have never heard of any other writer running for Congress, unless you count the Senate bid of Barack Obama, who was an accomplished memoirist and actually considered a career as a writer before he launched his political career. Your biggest cheerleader. Probably my husband, whose own life has certainly gotten much harder since I took this leap. Also my best friend Kristen's kids, who are such enthusiastic campaigners that they won't even walk into Randall's without door-hangers to distribute to customers. Role model for running for office. Ann Richards. She was brilliant, hilarious, and tough like only a Texas woman can be. U.S. President you most admire for bipartisanship and wisdom. Barack Obama. Texas politics is legendary. Which U.S. congressman or congresswoman from our state has most admirably represented his or her district. No one will expect to hear this from me, but the current Texas 7th's first-ever congressman, George H.W. Bush! Which do you think: 'I am a woman running for office' or 'I am a candidate running for office'? We've had a lot of Year of the Woman moments before, but I truly believe that 2018 is the real thing. My experiences as a woman are exactly what led me to run for office. It's impossible to separate it from my candidacy. And being a mother was the determinative factor in running — I want my children to grow up in a country that is moving towards progress, towards living the values of decency, inclusion, and respect.

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