Catherine Bracy is the Director of Community Organizing at Code for America. Until November 2012, she ran the Obama campaign's technology office in San Francisco where she recruited technology volunteers to build software for the campaign. She also worked on outreach for Tech4Obama, the campaign's technology affinity group. Previously: Knight Foundation, Berkman Center.
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Caveat: this post is stream of consciousness, 36 hours after we won the election. There’s high likelihood it won’t make any sense at all. It is also 100% my personal reaction; I don’t claim to speak for anyone else, and others’ reactions are likely wildly different from mine.

Whoa, winning an election feels really awesome. It’s like I leveled up on life. Everything is just better up here. The coffee tastes better on this level. The sleep is better. Pretty sure that most of the consequences for what just happened have not come close to sinking in yet. But damn, the coffee tastes so good.

Today is the 513th day after I joined the campaign. In that time, I got to do some very awesome things with some very awesome people. I’m immensely proud of the work Angus Durocher and I did with some amazing volunteers (I’ll probably write something more about how awesome they are at some point) at the tech field office in San Francisco. I’m so happy to have gotten to work with Jim Green and Rusty Rueff on Tech4Obama. And working in the campaign headquarters of the President of the United States is something I don’t think I’ll ever top, even if that place did resemble a refugee camp most of the time. Thank you so much, Harper, for giving me the chance.

Maybe because it’s so fresh in my mind, but I have a feeling the most lasting thing I’ll take from this campaign was the time I got to spend in Colorado these last two weeks working in the field. I’ve spent most of the last ~15 years of my life tucked away in reliably liberal/cosmopolitan/intellectual corners of the country, which I found seriously warped my understanding of the US.  Walking neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and talking to voters in the exurbs was a pretty humbling experience. I’m also humbled by the breathtaking talent and skill of the organizers I met and worked with. You’re going to read a lot of stories over the next months about how good our ground game was. Whatever you read, multiply by a factor of three. The kicked ass and they deserve even more credit than they will get.

I’m really looking forward to what’s next, in all kinds of ways.  First, and most importantly, I’m absolutely giddy about what the President is going to do with the next four years and two months.  I predict big things.

Second, I’m in awe of the talent we’re about to unleash on the world. There are some superstars coming off this campaign, and I can’t wait to see what they do. Aside from the organizers I mentioned, there are some kick-ass engineers and other technologists who are going to change the way we think about democracy. It maybe wasn’t as perfect as all these articles that are getting written make it out to seem, but there are now a lot more techies who understand organizing and a lot more organizers who understand tech. I’m looking forward to them coming up with some awesome ideas to improve civic engagement.

Third, I get my own life back. Crazy. Lots of travel over the coming months, and I start a new job pretty soon (more on that to come, but I’m beyond excited about it and hope it’s a place where that organizing-meets-tech thing can play out). The plan, such as it is, is to settle in San Francisco in early 2013. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to catching up with friends in Chicago, Michigan, the east coast, and Paris. And I’m taking suggestions for amazing/relaxing New Years destinations.

Last thing: I want to thank everyone who sent some form of congratulations over the last couple days. Most of this great feeling I’m experiencing right now comes from the love I’ve been receiving from all kinds of awesome people in my life. It really made it all worth it. I imagine this is what it must feel like when people get married. There’s just so much good. I want it to last forever.

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