The Bellows campaign was like no other. Working for a candidate as enthusiastic and committed as Shenna, along with a staff equally as passionate, reinvigorated my belief in the political system. It also reminded me of the vital role all citizens play within it.
I learned so much from the people there—not only from the most incredible field team to ever grace that great state, but also from the everyday Mainers of the community: volunteers, store owners, hosts, neighbors, you name it. In the theme of grassroots organizing, my work also made me greatly appreciate the importance of local and state politicians, as well as their impacts on the community. The capstone of my campaign experience was organizing Shenna’s Walk Across Maine, in which she trekked 350 miles through towns and cities, big and small, to talk to Mainers where they live and work. It was incredible work leading up to it and throughout: an insane amount of logistics and complications went into organizing what was basically a nonstop, three-week event that spanned an entire state. What was more incredible than the workload, however, was the way people — from the senior staff and the field team to volunteers and community members — stepped in and stepped up to help make possible the entire operation. Most notably, the amount of work Shenna put into the walk was mind boggling. She walked, on average, over 14 miles a day. In addition to the walking itself, she usually had a community or fundraising event (if not both) every day. On top of that, she always had to make time for fundraising calls—her days seemed too full for rest, let alone any sleep. Even if I never take the path to public office, Shenna’s determination and her drive to win will forever inspire me.