What the women who worked to elect Hillary Clinton are doing now.

When Clara Spera says she has looked up to Hillary Clinton her entire life, she’s not exaggerating: Clinton visited Spera’s day care when she was a toddler.

Although she didn’t know it at the time, that chance encounter was the start of something for Spera.

Clara Spera and Hillary Clinton. Photo via Clara Spera, used with permission.


Now a student at Harvard Law School, Spera says she knew she had to be a part of Clinton’s campaign last summer. She was working in Paris and was stunned by the Brexit vote result. Her first thought the next morning was “If they can do this ... President Trump.”

Spera got involved through a friend who was working on the campaign and rearranged her schedule so she’d only take classes two days a week. She spent the rest of her week commuting to Brooklyn and working as an intern on the campaign’s voter protection team.  

“I felt like it was my duty to do anything I could to try to prevent a Trump presidency,” she says.

Spera is just one of many women who joined the effort to elect Clinton. But who were these women? And why were they so invested in Clinton’s presidential bid?  

After sharing a “particularly passionate Facebook rant,” Dayli Vazquez was encouraged to “take it a step further and get involved in the campaign’s grassroots efforts” by friends who were already involved with the Florida Democratic Party. The party eventually offered Vazquez a job as a field organizer.

“I had a theatrical ‘aha!’ moment in which everything was placed in perspective for me and I knew I wouldn’t forgive myself if I turned it down,” she recalls.

LaDavia Drane, who worked as the Clinton campaign’s director of African-American outreach and later as the deputy director of congressional affairs, knew a friend who “was playing a significant role” and “decided to reach out.”

LaDavia Drane walks with Hillary Clinton. Photo by Elliot Powell, Powell Photography, Inc., (Chicago).

Shola Farber applied for a role at the campaign’s headquarters in Brooklyn. She believes the campaign passed her information along because soon “senior staffers in states across the country” started to recruit her. She eventually served as the regional organizing director for the Michigan Democratic Party.

“When the opportunity arose in Michigan, I knew I could not — in good conscience — decline the offer," Farber says. "Too much was at stake in this election; I felt an obligation to do whatever I could to help Secretary Clinton reach the People’s House. I took on the role with a deep sense of purpose.”

Zerlina Maxwell, on the other hand, randomly received a phone call with a job offer while she was writing for Essence magazine. Maxwell served as the campaign's director of progressive media.

Zerlina Maxwell shakes hands with Hillary Clinton. Photo via Barbara Kinney/Hillary for America.

“It didn’t take me a lot of time to say yes. ... I didn’t want to not do everything I could possibly do to help,” she explains.

Although these women's responsibilities varied, their goal was singular: help Clinton become our country’s first female president.

Their efforts, however, were not rewarded. As the electoral map slowly turned red Nov. 8, their shared dream fell apart.

“The outcome of the election came as a total shock. We were blindsided. It was as though a dear friend or family member had died unexpectedly,” recalls Farber, who was in the conference room of a law office in Southfield, Michigan, on election night.

Vazquez was with a group of volunteers and paid staff at the Ybor, Florida, campaign office for what she thought was going to be a victory party. “None of us were prepared for the outcome,” she says.

Drane, watching from home, says she "felt deeply empty by the end of the night.”

Spera took what she calls “the most expensive cab” of her life back to her parents’ apartment, crying the entire time. She says she went to bed wrapped in a Hillary for America Legal Team sweatshirt, just hoping for a miracle.

The election was over, but the fight was not. Soon after, they got to work.

Vazquez says she has jumped right back into the local political scene, getting involved with numerous Democratic organizations. Drane also picked up another job in politics: She’s working as the chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-New York).  

Maxwell, a political analyst, speaker, and writer, is continuing the work she did before joining the campaign: giving speeches on college campuses about sexual assault and rape culture. Farber co-founded a political consultancy that “brings the best practices of political organizing to the digital world” and is working as a freelance writer.

As for Spera, she’ll clerk for two federal judges in New York once she graduates. “I am mostly angry for now, but I plan to fuel that anger into action,” she says.

Vazquez echoed her sentiments. When asked what advice she’d give to others who have faced a similarly crushing defeat, she says to take the time to grieve, “then get back up and fight like hell.”

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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