Economic Justice Policy Advocate, Futures Without Violence
What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
Learning the practical aspects of campaigning, mainly fundraising, was so helpful. A few speakers and our class project highlighted the importance of fundraising and how challenging it can be for first-time or non-traditional candidates. They also did a great job of highlighting local politics, which is especially important in DC as our legislature is composed so differently from other states.
What was your favorite part of the program?
Meeting so many great folks. My WeLead fundraising group and I still keep in touch!
What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
There is a lot of energy that says "you should run regardless of obstacles in your way!" I think that's terrible advice. You should think over how running will impact your current life (ex. Will you have to take time off from work? Is your partner supportive?) and if you're ready to put the work in (ex. No free weekends for basically your whole campaign, calling people asking for money on a regular basis). WeLead helped me consider a lot of practical aspects related to running for office (fundraising, time off work, family support, savings) that I think many people tend to ignore. It's great to be fueled by passion, that's what fuels me! But, I also don't want to go broke and burn myself out running for office. Getting involved on a more local level is what's feasible for me right now so that's the direction I moved in after the WeLead program.
How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
Regular application. I didn't use any WeLead connections, but it was helpful that I had done the program and showed I had a commitment to furthering women in politics! Also, many WeLead classmates were helpful to me during my job search and would send me job postings or networking events.
Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
There was not a lot of built-in networking time so make an effort outside of sessions to get to know folks. I really bonded with my fundraising group but I wish I had gotten to know a few more people in my class. Also, it would be cool to do an alumni event with WeLead folks from many different classes!
Miceli uses her legal training to promote social justice causes in her work and volunteer efforts, including voter protection, LGBTQ advocacy and poverty alleviation. Miceli earned a law degree from the University of Richmond and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington.