#ImWithHer

I have thought about blogging about the presidential election potentially 150 million times since April, 2015.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t because of the death threats.
I didn’t because of the harassment.
I didn’t because I just didn’t want to deal with the drama that inevitably would ensue.

I found my secret “We Love Hillary” FB groups and I voiced my fears and excitements, my joys and my hurts there. I got saucy on Twitter and took the trolls vicious attacks because it was only Twitter.

Today there are 3 days until the election and Hillary Clinton has released a really amazing video about the last year.

And it made me cry.
And it solidified why I love her and her campaign.
And it reminded me that the level of harassment I have received is nothing compared to what she has endured.

It reminded me that I have volunteered for her in Kemmerrer, Wyoming (2008) and all over Utah (2008), Las Vegas, Nevada (2016) and San Diego, California (2016).

I have grieved her losses and celebrated her wins.

I have called my best Hillary friend Brenda on 200,000 occasions to scream in joy and anger.

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I have gotten my formal portrait…

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And my selfie…

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I love Hillary Clinton because of her fierce advocacy on behalf of women and children. I love her because she understands motherhood, partnership, and friendship. I love her because we share a fond love of Eleanor Roosevelt whose signature I have tattooed on my arm.

I love her because no other presidential candidate in the history of this nation has ever served in EVERY branch of government. She has lived in the White House. She has been a civil servant. She has served in the Senate. She has worked in the Judiciary.

I love Hillary Clinton because when I look at her I see what I can become. Because when she walks into a room I am so overwhelmed by her that I spontaneously burst into fits of ugly crying because she inspires me to strive for a level of greatness I didn’t even know I was capable of.

I have met her. I have read her books. I have grieved with her and celebrated with her. I have been overjoyed at her successes as if they were my own. I have seen her humanity and realized that we aren’t that much different, we have both been hurt by those we loved the most.

My husband is a veteran who has benefited from her fierce advocacy on behalf of the women and men who have served our country.

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My children have lived in poverty and benefited from her fierce advocacy that they enjoy the same level of health care and early childhood education as the rich children.

I have been so poor I needed free women’s health care. I have worked for Planned Parenthood and watched her fight tirelessly for our right to control our bodies.

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I am queer…and I have watched her evolve into someone who is inspired by our fight towards equality.

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Hillary Clinton represents me more than any other presidential candidate ever has. And I love her for it. She is my president. And I am fiercely devoted to her.

For all of these reasons and a thousand, million more – I.AM.WITH.HER.

 

 

 

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About Melissa Bird

Melissa Bird is a passionate feminist who has turned her education in social work into a career advocating for children, women and their families. She is a fierce believer in preparing women for leadership roles in politics and has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. In 2006, Melissa became the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Utah where she quickly took a struggling political organization from mediocre to powerhouse in just a few years. Melissa has written and passed into law six pieces of legislation that aim to help disadvantaged homeless youth find shelter and women and their families obtain unfettered access to reproductive health care. A spirited public speaker, Melissa derives great joy from speaking to groups of all sizes about social justice advocacy, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and fundraising. Melissa has presented workshops at many conferences throughout the country such as: Planned Parenthood Federation of America-State Public Affairs Network: New Public Affairs Staff Orientation—Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Innovations & Generations Conference—Seattle, Washington Troubled Youth Conference—Snowbird, Utah Child Welfare League of America National Conference—Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center of Mental Health Services Conference-Collaborative Approaches to Successful Transition for Children, Youth, and Families within System of Care—Dallas, Texas Melissa has played many roles throughout her life including preschool teacher, professional lobbyist, university professor, non-profit executive, wife and mother. Throughout her life and her career, Melissa has always held a deep conviction that she is here to empower others in order to improve the lives of women and children throughout the world.
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