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After 20 years as a paralegal, I'm starting a new life in progressive politics with an emphasis on outreach to Spanish-speaking communities.

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My political story

After spending 20 years as an insurance defense paralegal, watching the profession go from helping insureds against unreasonable lawsuits to bullying injured people out of their needed reimbursement (due to changes in the law caused by insurance industry lobbying), I decided to get a BA in Spanish and turn my passion for helping people and progressive politics into a new livelihood. I have been active in the GLBTQi community, voting rights and reform, worked to protect our public lands (particularly from people like Cliven Bundy and Michele Fiore), volunteered in several Democratic campaigns and more recently become deeply involved with the Fight for $15 movement in the course of preparing an extensive paper for an upper-division independent study course. I'm obsessive about equality, which means basically every progressive cause out there!

Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship

My story sounds like every Democratic hardship story told - they should copyright my life! ;o) Extensive student loans (capped out at $72K) mostly due to a for-profit school which was closed for fraud soon after I had to leave to return to work, lost my home (& $100K downpayment) in the real estate crash, terminated "at will" with no explanation the day before my pension would have started vesting - after a hostile work environment (Kenya, anyone?) & rampant wage theft - ran out of unemployment, Obamacare saved my life and now living off my parents & disabled husband - turning 50 this year, so our dreams of raising a family are completely out of reach. I'd love to celebrate my graduation & new beginning at NN15, but simply can't afford the hotel.

What first inspired me to get involved

In high school, I was a raving Born Again Christian (not quite as bad as Westboro Baptist Church, but...) I saw the error of my ways when I stumbled across my college GLBT club, & soon after became their first honorary (i.e., straight) member. Since then, I've really enjoyed political discussion, particularly in asking people questions that help them examine and reevaluate their beliefs, as I constantly question and refine my own. I've always thrived on helping people & I'm the one most of my friends and even acquaintances come to when they need help or just someone to talk to. For a while, insurance defense provided this to me, as I was able to help our insureds who were confused and scared about being sued, but after the profession dramatically changed, I decided to return to school and try to center my life around all the things I'd done as a volunteer, instead of just being a hobby I never had enough time for. In 2007, Obama helped my mom FINALLY realize that Faux News lies & she became my progressive activism buddy. (Thanks, Obama!) Just this week, I had the very fulfilling experience of realizing how many people in my college food court really trust me when I was able to provide a liaison between them and the Fight for $15 campaign on 4/15.

The blog post I am most proud of

I'm hoping my first blog post will be my paper on Fight for $15 and/or about providing a link between Fight for $15 and the workers in the food court at my school. Due to chaos, the organizers started early & had already been thrown off campus by the time we were to start, but the workers tell me we would have shut down at least half of the vendors in the food court - & they're eager to try again in the next round of Fight for $15 rallies!

More about my political involvement

I've worked on both Obama campaigns & local campaigns, interned with OFA and Battle Born Progress & have testified in person and via e-mail on numerous issues to the Nevada Legislature, as well as 10-30 (inter)national activism e-mails a day, in addition to my work/obsession with Fight for $15. I've also been able to help a lot of people clarify and/or change their political views by simply asking questions that help them to reevaluate their beliefs, especially in the food court at college, and this is my true passion.

How I've gotten others involved

Most frequently, simply by asking them questions which cause them to think.

Why I think participation in the netroots is important

I went to NN11 with my mom and really enjoyed it, even though politics was only a hobby then. I'd be very excited to return as part of starting my new life and also believe it could be even more meaningful to me this time and actually help me in my new Work, since it's now going to be my life, not just an all-consuming hobby.

If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:

I already did: "Who would Jesus torture?"

My wild idea for a cool new action

Ask all Democratic candidates for POTUS to commit to nominating Elizabeth Warren as Secretary of the Treasury. (I'm seriously considering starting this - as soon as I decide whether she'd be more useful there or staying a strong voice in the Senate.)

I am a

Grassroots Activist