I was nine months pregnant with my first child in November of 2016. Per our usual tradition in major election years, my husband and I went to vote for president and quickly browsed candidates in the rest of the races on our phones while waiting in line. I grabbed extra “I voted” stickers and a kid’s ballot thinking my daughter would be born with our first female president about to take the helm.
Things didn’t go as planned. Baffled, embarrassed and upset, I went to bed wishing I had done something — anything — to change the outcome for our nation.
When my daughter was born a few weeks later, the stakes were suddenly too high to watch from the sidelines and hope for the best. I wouldn’t do it again. I hadn’t been involved in politics in any meaningful way since phone banking for Wellstone in high school. It was time to jump back in, find a voice for my daughter, and cast my vote for her future. That journey started in our own backyard.
I knew that we had a state House seat up for grabs in District 61B. As a new participant in the local political scene, I had a lot to learn. I came to find that it wasn’t in November we’d select our next representative, it was instead about getting a candidate endorsed in March at our local convention. I couldn’t just show up at this convention and cast a vote, I had to first become a delegate. To become a delegate, I needed to attend caucus and raise my hand.
I was ready; I held my hand up high. Who to support?
While I have known Meggie-the-professional for years and worked alongside her as she built consensus and drove forward an agenda at General Mills, my first time meeting Meggie-the-representative was last summer. In my state rep, I was seeking someone who fit the title of “role model” for my daughter, someone who would make her future brighter. Meggie is that someone because she advocates for equity, she’s committed to restoring educational excellence in Minnesota and she will build a budget that prioritizes the best investments for our children’s future.
Meggie embodies the values of our community and our neighbors have rallied because of her vision. Meggie is also that someone because she is a fresh voice in politics; she goes to the Capitol with us and for us. Electing Meggie will demonstrate that our political system, and democracy, is accessible to the best candidates, not just the most connected.
Change starts locally. For my family and me, it starts with Meggie Wittorf.