When you are in local government, you are on the ground, and you are looking into the eyes and hearts of the people you are there to serve. It teaches you to listen; it teaches you to be expansive in the people with whom you talk to, and I think that that engagement gives you political judgment.
Equal pay, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare - everywhere I go around the United States, as I talk to working families, these are the issues they raise... We have over 43 million Americans who don't have a single day of sick leave, but everybody gets sick. Everybody's children get sick.
When you're a member of a team, when I was member of a team, whether I ultimately agreed or disagreed, once a president makes a decision, everybody, in my opinion, has to go with that decision, or you shouldn't be a member of the team. Your reputation rises and falls with the person who's the leader of the team.
By 30, I was separated from my husband, and I clearly remember sitting in my lovely office with a magnificent view, staring at a very lucrative pay stub, and bursting into tears because I was just miserable. So I had to make a decision: Keep following my plan, or be honest with myself and search for my true passion.
I had a very good friend who was two years older than I was, and she was in law school, and she said, 'It's a great thing to do when you have no idea what you want to do.' And she was right. I learned a lot, I practiced law for 10 years. I've never looked back once I stopped practicing law, but it was a really good experience.
I know it may be hard to imagine given how broken and gridlocked our politics truly are, but from the White House to, yes, Congress, the government is filled with hard-working, idealistic public servants working incredibly hard on tough issues, trying to make people's lives better and move the country, and our world, forward.
My theory is this: Rather than having commentaries from the cheap seats, get involved and see what you can do. What can you do around your own community, within your own family, to try to improve race relations in our country? I think this is a responsibility that we all have as citizens.