I am a (proud) Millersville University English Major grad turned political wonk both by trade and on the side. I currently serve as Creative Director for the PA Senate Democratic caucus so I get to oversee all visual communications for the 21 Democratic Senators in PA. I absolutely love my job because it’s the perfect blend of writing, creativity, strategy, emotion, politics and persuasion.
But before I landed this dream job, I started in the ad agency industry and side hustled in politics. I became interested in politics during the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential election. I was a newly-registered voter who grew up in a mostly republican area and happened to be majoring in English and surrounded by smart, critically thinking and compassionate students and professors. I felt like my world was still being shaped and I was taking it all in. I was so fascinated by everyone’s passion as I hadn’t felt the direct impact of legislation and politics in my life (or hadn’t recognized it yet). So I started having uncomfortable conversations about things I wasn’t too familiar with and tried to soak it all in. I quickly learned which side the aisle I was on regarding many issues that were important to me – access to education and healthcare, women’s rights, voting access, preserving our environment and solving the world’s social injustices.
So as I finished school, I dove deeper into candidates, supporting people running for office and learning the issues. I then studied abroad in London where I fell in love with the protest and ‘resist’ culture. I felt so at home – even thousands of miles away. I was able to bring that energy back to the states and after college decided to volunteer for OFA (Obama For America) 2008. That experience changed me forever! I haven’t looked back since.
Once I got familiar with the political landscape, I quickly realized that I had an interest in running for office. The fact that a woman’s presence was lacking in many races and on many boards and committees bothered me. I knew I could do a job just as well as a man. And I knew I had the skills to run a good campaign so I ran for Township Commissioner in 2015, unsuccessfully. I have no regrets and learned so much from that experience. I then started working for the PA Senate where the desire to be a public servant is only ignited even more on a daily basis. I took some “political” time off when I had my second son and am now diving back in to the campaign world and taking another crack at the Township Commissioner position.
In addition, I serve as a Committeewoman for my township for the Dauphin County Democratic Committee. That’s a great way to get involved initially. I have also been very active with campaign volunteering and am emotionally gearing up for a Democratic Primary and ultimately the most important election of my lifetime – 2020 Presidential. I am so grateful for my time at Millersville – I can genuinely say that I often use the skills and tools from MU in my daily life. The confidence I have comes from public speaking classes. My writing experience helps me tremendously. My British Lit classes help me stay cool with the young kids (kidding!) and my study abroad experience is one of the greatest memories that I have and helped me become a fearless and independent person!
My advice to anyone interested in getting involved in politics is to begin with volunteering. Learn about candidates and issues and reach out to their campaign offices. No one will turn away a volunteer. You will meet people, learn and the opportunities will naturally come. If you have a desire to run for office, start with your County party. They will be able to walk you through the process start to finish and can also offer guidance and training.
“But I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is,
that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright…”
–Danielle Floyd Prokopchak