Orange County Mothers A Major Force In California’s Midterm Elections

By Victoria Kim
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) It may be MOMS who make the most impact during next Tuesday’s election. As Victoria Kim reports, women “across the country, are going above and beyond, showing up at marches and protests and voting to show disapproval for the president.”

LOS ANGELES

Before 2016, the closest Katie Kalvoda got to political activism was paying $18 for a Barack Obama T-shirt.

Kalvoda, then a working mother living in tony Laguna Hills, Calif., believed she was doing her civic duty just by voting. She was an independent and in the 2016 election, she split her ballot: Democrat Hillary Clinton for president and Republican Mimi Walters for Congress.

But when President Donald Trump was elected, the stakes started to feel different. A mother from her daughter’s school emailed a couple of dozen women, including Kalvoda, proposing they get together to vent, drink wine and write letters to Congress.

That email planted the seeds of a movement. After dropping off their kids at school, about 12 moms met up at a San Juan Capistrano Mexican restaurant, a favorite of Richard Nixon’s, where they talked about turning their anger and frustration into action.

Most had never been politically active before, but with Trump, that had changed.

In a heated midterm election widely viewed as a referendum on Trump, some wealthy, educated suburban women in Orange County, like peers across the country, are going above and beyond, showing up at marches and protests and voting to show disapproval for the president. They are cutting their own political ads, organizing candidate forums and hosting fundraisers bringing in tens of thousands of dollars in a single night.

Like Kalvoda, 43, who retired in 2016 from running an investment management firm, many of the disaffected mothers were current or former working professional women with unparalleled organizational and multitasking skills. They were lawyers, professors, business owners and P.R. reps ready to roll up their sleeves and dive head-first into politics. The mothers formed a super PAC and went from one immaculately decorated Orange County living room to the next, recruiting a handful of women at a time to their cause.

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