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My first job out of college was as a reporter for MTV News. I was an earnest and eager political science major who was passionate about MTV’s new brand of civic education. (Remember “Choose or Lose”?) I will never forget that feeling of pride when I changed my voter registration to “independent.” Political reporters were not supposed to have party affiliations. I took my new role seriously and began subscribing to the National Review and other conservative publications to ensure I was fully informed.

Years later, as a U.S. citizen working for the United Nations overseas, I was mindful to keep my political views close to my chest. It didn’t matter that many of my coworkers participated in protests against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, or that I caucused for Democrats in my free time. At work – in a highly political intergovernmental agency – it was important for me to not say anything to openly discredit my president and his administration.

Conventional wisdom has long held that politics are best left out of the office. As a small business owner, my clients have likely come from across the political spectrum. What matters to me is that we are collaborating on work that is important and positive and treating each other and our teams with respect – not who we voted for.

That priority has not changed – but my willingness to take a stand has. The stakes are too high in the U.S. right now. Our democracy is under grave attack. The peaceful transition of power in this country is now in question. Our national security is at significant risk.

Trump must go.

The most powerful tool at our disposal is our right to vote. But nearly half of all eligible voters in the U.S. did not vote in 2016. We can no longer afford such low levels of voter participation.

I am proud to be working with The Vote Mask this year to help encourage people to vote – especially young people, who are less likely to vote (or wear a mask) – and raise funds for organizations that inform and uphold the election process.

Check out their online store to see the five different color designs, with each face mask carrying the same important message: VOTE.


The Vote Mask was created by Liz Linder, a Boston-based photographer who has photographed such iconic personalities as Lou Reed (RIP), Carly Simon, and yes, Dr. Anthony Fauci!

“I wanted to amplify people’s voices at a time when our mouths are covered by masks,” Linder says. “Our vote is our voice and affects everything: jobs, family, education, equality, justice, health, climate, safety, freedom, and so much more. Our vote is our future.”

It is critical that we get out the vote this fall. This is a use-it-or-lose-it moment for American democracy.

(I will never forsake my country…but I’m also really glad I have significant experience working overseas.)

Five weeks from today is Election Day. The deadline to register online to vote is Monday, October 26. If you miss this deadline, you will not receive a ballot by mail but can still vote in person at a voter service and polling center.

Remember, wear your Vote Mask!