Week In Review May 12, 2017

Confess ions of A Political Newbie
About 11 p.m. on election night, as red state after red state covered the t.v. screen, a wave of anxiety spread over me. My daughters looked at me and mirrored my disbelief. "But Mom, you said she (Hillary) was going to win..." 

I had no frame of reference for this. I did not know what to say. I had never followed politics before. But I knew it was time to finally get informed and get involved. I noticed that online groups were forming and national marches were being planned. I started to make charts to learn who was in office, and joined JAC's research committee. My assignment: to follow the special election races in Kansas' 4th, Atlanta's 6th and Montana's at-large districts. I got right to work. 

But I wanted to do even more, so I decided it was to travel with JAC to its Washington, D.C. conference. When I returned home, I was filled with exuberance and energy from my meetings with representatives and senators. This was exactly the antidote I needed. 

After briefings and lunch meetings with some of my new favorite Senators: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); and private appointments with over 70 Members on the Hill, my friendship circle is wider, and my faith in democracy is restored. 

Another one of JAC's friends, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), shook my hand that day and said, "Montana is grateful for your hard work. Your presence in Washington is making a difference". 

I am indebted to JAC's leadership team for this first time and first-hand political experience and grateful for JAC's impact on and off the Hill. I cannot believe how lucky I am. My involvement with JAC is making a difference and I hope even more people will chose to get involved with JAC. We can not afford to sit on the sidelines.  

Diane Halivni 
Deerfield, IL