A Guest Post From Lisa Brown
It’s all in a name.
The name Lisa Brown appears to have quite the stronghold in American government. There is a democratic Senator named Lisa Brown in the state of Washington who is also their majority speaker. Most recently in the news, you may have heard of another Lisa Brown, a state representative from Michigan who was banned from speaking on the floor for saying the word “vagina.” I must admit, I am partial to women in politics named Lisa Brown, perhaps because I am one of them.
As a former occupier of the Wisconsin Capitol, I have taken my frustration in Gov. Walker’s wrongful legislation over the last year, my knowledge of state politics and my passion for community and decided to run for the 18th Assembly District of Wisconsin to replace retiring Rep. Tamara Grigsby. I am a full-time employee of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, a full-time student at UW-Milwaukee, and only 21 years of age.
After Rep. Lisa Brown became the hot topic in national media last week, I began to recognize an increase in my campaign page activity. More people “liked” my page, but they all seemed to understand I was a democrat running for assembly in Wisconsin. Some people were local, while others were from far away. Since my campaign page clearly specifies what state and district I’m seeking office in, I thought everyone had a clear understanding of who I am.
This however, did not hold true in regards to my ActBlue account. Like many other Democrats seeking office across the country, I use ActBlue as a safe, secure way for donors to contribute to my campaign. There are two methods of donating to me on ActBlue. One is by accessing it through being linked to a committee page I initiated and the other is by looking up “Lisa Brown” in the general directory. Upon searching for Lisa Brown, one will learn that there are three of us: In Washington, Michigan and Wisconsin. It states very clearly where we all represent or seek to represent.
Last week I began to receive donations through ActBlue, for the first time! I must admit, I was confused as to why they were rolling in from Canoga, Calistoga and San Francisco, all of which are in California. I thought perhaps someone picked up an interest in a 21 year old running for office, and perhaps posted it on their Facebook, thus encouraging others to donate. I had raised $400 in less than 24 hours and I was excited! I had only received a $50 donation at this point and this was just the money I needed to print literature!
I pulled the donor information from ActBlue to an Excel spreadsheet so I could get the contact information of these individuals and personally thank each one of them. Of course in these emails, I linked them to my website, campaign page and gave a brief bio of myself. This is when donor information began leaving ActBlue. Upon contact with ActBlue the next day, I had learned that ALL of these individuals had requested refunds as they intended to donate to Rep. Lisa Brown of Michigan for her boldness on the floor and not the 21 year old college student from Wisconsin.
While I was frustrated at first, of course I was okay with the money going to the individual that these people had intended to donate to. Lisa Brown deserves all the support she can get. At the end of the day, all I can do is laugh at the mix-up and continue to promote my own campaign and ActBlue account in hopes of becoming as awesome as the Lisa Brown who decided to boldly point out that if you can’t say vagina, you probably shouldn’t be legislating it.