by ZOE TREIBITZ
Pathway to Politics was an event put on by the staff and volunteers for Cory Booker’s campaign. The night went back and forth from being informative information about how and why someone might get involved in the politics business, and one long pitch for Cory Booker.
The panel of women speaking were from a variety of backgrounds. The group of VIP guests included Heather Matson, a representative for Iowa House district 38; Jennifer Konfrst, a representative of Iowa House district 43; Drake professor Lynn Winn, Cory Booker’s director of coalitions; and Tess Seger, Booker’s director of communications for Iowa.
The small audience got a chance to hear about all the parts of working on or for a campaign. Speakers discussed how they were able to fight for the underdog and feel like they could make real impacts in the community. Then they talked about how Cory Booker is someone who always fights for the underdog, and described in detail his background of doing just that.
The moderator, a Booker volunteer, asked the speakers about their low points in their work. The way that this work is an emotional roller coaster for people became evident in how easy it was for them to speak about their lows the same way they spoke of their highs.
Each woman had some story about how a lost race impacted them in a way work doesn’t typically reach people. Matson described a loss on a campaign she was working on that left her in tears.
Attendees of the event were able to hear firsthand that campaigns can be organized poorly and can take a lot out of you, and the commitment that you make every day makes the work emotionally demanding.
“It is important to draw boundaries,” Winn said. “Otherwise, the job can eat away at you.”
She also jumped in to point out that the Booker campaign is run in a way that makes her feel comfortable speaking up and speaking her mind.
One of the most impactful parts of the night was when the women were asked by a student what inspired them about politics today. They all pointed to the voices of people who once were not given one in politics, such as racial minority groups or young people.
Konfrst spoke about her time with students inspiring her. “To see all of you with the shit you have to deal with, right? All the stuff you face… to see that you stand up and fight