I’m glad you asked. I never thought we’d be living in a world where there are such things as “alternative facts.” But here we are, you and me. So it’s important that you know who the heck I am, so that you know whether you can trust what I have to say.
My name is Michele. I’m a copywriter for impactful nonprofits and thoughtful businesses. But that’s not where I started. I actually graduated from law school in 2001, and went on to practice law for over a decade. During my career I was an appellate judge’s clerk, a big law firm litigator, a mediator, an arbitrator, and a government lawyer. (I continue to train mediators for the Chicago Center for Conflict Resolution, which is an amazing place that you should definitely check out.) When my son was born I decided to take a break from the practice of law; that was four years ago. On November 9 I realized that my legal experience and my flexible schedule made me well suited to help people navigate this crazy new world.
So here I am.
And while I have you here, let me explain to you how I create my action items, because that’s just as important as who I am.
Most importantly, I start with the original source. I actually go to www.congress.gov to see what’s on tap for the week, and what happened over the past day that might not have been reported yet. I then backtrack to see if a major paper or other news source has reported on it, so I can link to that as well. I check websites of senators and congressmen/women, and then I go through the same exercise of checking those original sources. Every day I read the papers, the major websites, and I’m totally addicted to watching Rachel Maddow, who is my personal heroine and one of the best storytellers out there. And then, at the end of the week, I step back and review the most actionable and urgent items that I’ve collected. I give you what’s going on, as well as links to support for what I’m talking about. That is crucial. Why on earth should you trust what someone on the internet says just because they claim to know what they’re talking about? (Because between you and me, when someone acts like they know everything, they usually know nothing at all.)
And then I try to give you a script that’s more than just “I oppose X.” I try to provide a script that ties in something that your representative has done or said in the past. For example, Ann Wagner (congresswoman from Missouri) recently sent out an e-mail touting her support of the First Amendment. You can bet that will land in a script that I write for readers. I also try to provide a script that frames the issue and your opposition (or support) in a way that gets through to the GOP. Framing is really important, and will be a topic of a full post someday, but for right now I’ll just direct you to the Frameworks Institute and let you know that when I give you something to say I’m thinking about how it’s said just as much as I am the content. You might see that my action items often have framing that’s specific to Missouri voters; that’s just because I live in Missouri. In general the action items are easily translatable to your own state. I don’t have the time to go through all 50 states – or trust me, I would.
And yes, for now it’s just me. That might change, I suppose. But for now, it’s just a singular person who is doing the sifting and the searching and the scripting because I know that not everyone has the time to do it.
I really hope that what I do is helpful for you. Frankly, it’s the thing that has kept me sane.
p.s. – have other questions? I’m always available at email@example.com.