Issue No. 10: "I say it is."

“It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis.”

- Henry Miller

A few nights ago, I went to an event where Jennifer Palmieri—Hillary Clinton’s communications director for the 2016 campaign, communications director for the Obama White House, and alumni of the Clinton White House—was interviewed by Amy Sterner Nelson, CEO of The Riveter, a co-working space for women (and those who love them) in Seattle (and soon to be Los Angeles). The topic of the discussion: Palmieri’s new book Dear Madam President

The book is an open letter to our first female president. It includes stories and learnings from the grueling 2016 campaign and Hillary’s devastating loss to … Donald Trump. But despite the bleak status of U.S. leadership, Palmieri is hopeful. We will have a woman president, and hopefully sooner than we think. In the meantime, there are other actions we can take to promote and support women leaders.

In short, I left the event inspired and empowered but also feeling that I’m thinking too small. There is so much to be done and so much possibility. I tell myself, though, that you have to start somewhere. A million small steps can get you far. And although I haven’t yet finished the book, I know at least one way that I can be, and am, part of the change today: living and working my way, as a woman.

Palmieri writes, “I have always thought that I could do any job a man can do just as well as him. Only recently have I come to realize that I don’t want to. I want to do the job the best way I can do it, not the way he would. That’s what this letter is about—how women can lead in a new way. How we can create a new model of leadership in our own image, not a man’s.”

During her Obama White House years, Palmieri’s office was fondly known as the “Crying Room.” She admitted that she is easily moved, easily brought to tears, and she accepts that in others. When someone asked her whether displays of emotion were professional, she answered, “I say it is.”

I say it is. 



  1. I, for one, am relieved that you no longer have to do (or be) just one thing. You can be an interior designer and a blogger and a chef like Athena Calderone. You can be a designer, an editor, a film producer and a writer like Scott Dadich.

  2. National Geographic starts with some courageous introspection as it begins to explore the construct of race.

  3. In one way or another, we’ve all experienced the power of a story to change our lives in some way. That book you read when you were 21, that movie you saw when you were 12, that article you read yesterday, that Instagram post you saw 5 minutes ago. But do you know why? The Stanford Social Innovation Review breaks down the role that stories play in inspiring systemic change.

  4. “Most [social media] platforms encourage us to act against our values: less humbly, less honestly, less thoughtfully, and so on. Using these platforms while sticking to our values would mean constantly fighting their design.” How might we design social media systems that we feel good about?

  5. Trying to figure out how to make an untouchable day a weekly reality. (Note to self: Just do it.)

  6. The secret to eating to live longer and healthier lives? Plant-based pescatarian.(Okay, and a few other things.) Sign me up.

  7. Finally, all your questions about food, what to eat, and what not to eat—answered

  8. I'm still marveling at the beauty of Barack and Michelle Obama's official portraits. Of course, they would do things so beautifully different.

  9. Wondering how I've managed to avoid Reddit considering the fact that it is the 4th most visited site on the internet. The New Yorker details the platform's efforts to detoxify the internet.