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In Vogue, Texas Congressional Candidate Talks Activism, Climate Change

In May, Laura Moser spoke to the Forward about her decision to run for Congress.

Now, two months into her campaign for Texas’s Seventh District, Moser — who, prior to deciding to run for office, founded the activist network Daily Action — has written about the challenges and triumphs of life on the campaign trail for Vogue.

The first challenge? Announcing her candidacy while beleaguered by a cold. (I spoke to Moser just after her announcement, and can testify that she was cheerful and focused, even when sniffly.)

Others of greater depth: Finding time to spend with her children, aged 4 and 8, while coping with “sixteen-hour days of fund-raising and endorsement calls and extemporaneous-speech rehearsals,” switching from a work uniform of leggings to one of high heels, and having faith in her own choice to run.

“In the spring I asked a local kingmaker if he considered me qualified,” she wrote. “‘Only a woman would ask that,’ he told me. ‘When men come here, they ask whether they should start with the Senate or go straight for the White House.’”

In other ways, she wrote, her campaign had changed her life for the better. She and her husband, a former member of President Obama’s White House staff, had previously struggled to find a distribution of household duties that was gender-equitable. Her campaign, she wrote, has forced a change — for the better. And the opportunity to make meaningful change in the district where she grew up has turned out to be exciting.

Concern for her daughter, she wrote, prompted her to speak about the need to defend women’s access to birth control. And an immediate issue of infrastructure in Houston gave her a natural platform to discuss climate change.

“As part of one of the fastest-growing metropolises in the country, our suburbs are proliferating on what used to be prairies, and concrete is now blanketing the grass that once absorbed the area’s severe rainfalls,” she wrote. “Climate change, combined with the city’s rapid growth and lax regulations on development, has led to the ever-more-frequent occurrence of what used to be once-in-a-generation storms and severe flooding.”

For a first-time political candidate, she commented, beginning a campaign “is like going to sleep childless and waking up at 3:00 a.m. with squalling eighteenth-month-old triplets trashing your kitchen.”

But her own kids have reminded her why she’s going through the trouble.

“‘Mommy,’” her daughter asked at her campaign’s launch, “‘when I grown up can I be in Congress, too?’”

“‘Of course you can,’ I told her,” Moser wrote.

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