Tuesday, I was excited that People for Liberty announced my position as President of the Board of Directors. If you weren’t able to watch the live announcement, I hope you’ll watch it here.

I love spreading the message of liberty. It’s one of the things in my life that I hold most sacred. During my campaign for President, my calendar looked like a colorful mosaic with hardly any room to breathe. It was rigorous and high pressure, but I honestly view running for office as an act of self defense that demands that level of energy and dedication. I’m proud I was able to serve Libertarians and fight for freedom in the public eye.

One of the most common questions I received after the election is “Where have you been?” and honestly, the months after the election have been challenging. During the campaign, my mother unfortunately passed away. This tragic event comes with its own set of distinct burdens to bear.

Me and mom at the beach

I am fortunate that my sister was able to shoulder so much of the burden while I was still campaigning. After the election, I knew I needed to do my part and help take care of family matters. This meant months traveling and communicating across multiple states and time zones to close out my mom’s affairs. 

The most time consuming hardship was situating my mother’s house for sale on the market. A woman in her mid 80s, my mom wasn’t able to roll up her sleeves and get to work in a way that I could. I did everything possible from replacing a tiled soap dish to painting and landscaping. For bigger tasks, like getting the roof replaced, there were constant phone calls and meetings with contractors. 

The most complicated aspect of closing out my mother’s affairs was something that should have been simple – the transfer of a vehicle title. My mother, my sister, and I all lived in different states hundreds of miles apart. This meant three DMVs, run by the state government, who had government systems and legal frameworks that didn’t cooperate with each other. Hours were wasted standing in line and filling out forms for just this task. After finishing my campaign and working with my family, it somehow was still the government that was proving to be the biggest barrier.

All while managing the physical affairs of my mother’s house, vehicle, and other possessions, there was an emotional component. There were endless photo albums, favorite dishes, and other mementos that needed to be sorted. Deciding which memories to keep, who keeps them, and what goes in the donate bin is an emotional period of closure. My mother’s hobby of being an avid family historian with her camera did not make this task easier.

In tandem with closing out my mother’s affairs, I still have to close out campaign affairs. Our donors who supported the campaign deserve my time and gratitude. This means many phone calls, individual hand-written thank you notes, and tokens of appreciation. This work consumed hours of my day and there are still many hours to go until all notes of appreciation are done and the campaign books can be closed. The amount of work that goes into the behind-the-scenes success of a campaign is daunting and unfortunately, doesn’t end in November.

I wish I could say that I had time to step away from my life to take care of everything I mentioned, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. I still have a full-time job teaching at a university. I had to file my 2019 personal income taxes which, thanks to the government again, are incredibly cumbersome and difficult when you are running for office. Fortunately, continuing my daily life routine has also included the small indulgence of starting a garden and speaking at all but one Libertarian event I was invited to. I love spreading the message of liberty and plan to continue for years to come.

It has been an eventful time after the election in my life. Through all of this, I am very grateful and appreciate all of the time my fans and supporters allowed me to heal and appropriately manage campaign business. I’m excited to be back and look forward to the next chapter of the liberty movement in my new role as the President of the Board of Directors for People for Liberty. Stay tuned as you’ll be hearing a lot more from me and from us!

– Jo

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