Unlike our NAA Chairman who grew up following politics, I can’t ever recall discussing politics in my house. My parents watched the nightly news and read the paper but we never discussed the political climate of the country. My dad read the front page every morning and I read the Lifestyle section. I never wanted to be in politics. I didn’t even like politics.
My career in politics just fell in my lap. Or, rather, it was towed (more on that later). I needed a job and with the help of a friend, I interviewed for a position in the Senator’s office. I wasn’t sure if it was a good fit or not but, after the three-month trial period, I had to commit until the election, a year and a half away!
Looking back, it was one of the best things that could have happened and set me on my career trajectory. In my official capacity, I met with constituents at town halls, attended ribbon cuttings and openings, military deployments and welcome home ceremonies and walked the parades. I enjoyed meeting the men and women who just wanted the best for their business and their family.
After the campaign, I packed my 1986 red Jaguar, I mean 2004 Chevy Prizm with everything I could and made the trek halfway across the country. My dear friend, former state representative Sherman Parker, always said that if you want to see the “who’s who of D.C.” you have to go to the Capital Grille. Of course it would be my first stop in D.C.!
Sherman and I pull up and are amazed we found rock star parking! The parking gods were with me that day! After a night of introductions meeting the “who’s who,” we head back to the car. But wait… where’s the car? It was right here! We had rock star parking! Oh. Wait… what’s that sign say? “Tow Away Zone. No parking from 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.” Oh crap! Panic sets in. My car had everything I own in D.C.! Where’s my car?!
We circle the block thinking maybe we were mistaken on where we actually parked and OMG! There’s my car!! WOOHOO!
I’ve lived in D.C. for nine years and I have never known the city to miss revenue from parking or a tow. I imagine my saving grace was the big blue temporary parking tag in my windshield that said, “U.S. Senate Parking.”
That night I learned to always read the parking signs and that sometimes the details are important. Well, the details are always important. And sometimes there are unwritten exceptions to the rules, which is one reason I love politics. The rules to advocacy are loose but there are strict rules to fundraising; however, both start with becoming involved and being introduced.
“Hi. My name is Kathleen Gamble. I’m the Director of Political Affairs for the National Apartment Association. It’s so great to see you again”
Kathleen Gamble is the Director of Political Affairs for NAA. Is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and 49ers fan. A deal made with the hubby. When she’s not talking politics, she enjoys good eats. Let her know what you think of her blog.