[Image via Facebook]
For many of you in the election world, opening up your browser and checking out electionline.org is probably a daily habit. Starting the site in 2001 is still a career highlight for me, and I’m proud to be associated with it even today.
But if I’m being honest, the person who really deserves the credit for electionline’s continued success is someone who is celebrating 10 years on the project this week: my friend and colleague Mindy Moretti.
Mindy joined the project right around Election Day 2005 and instantly became a valued part of the team: building the daily news roundup, writing newsletter stories and contributing to the other research work that seemed never-ending. She stayed with the project in 2007 when we moved under The Pew Charitable Trusts’ umbrella – and more significantly, came along when electionline left Pew in 2011 to operate at the University of Minnesota. At the beginning of 2014, she found funding from the Democracy Fund and has run the site pretty much by herself (with the occasional pitch-in from alums like me) ever since.
What many of you may not realize is that Mindy is up in the wee hours of the morning searching for stories, making sure that those of us in the election world can get our daily fix with our coffee. She has also kept the electionlineWeekly newsletter thriving, adding regular features like the First Person Singular chats with election officials and profiles of unusual polling places across the nation. The site LITERALLY wouldn’t exist today but for her hard work and dedication.
Even better, she’s done all this while remaining an active and committed part of her beloved Adams Morgan community in Washington, DC. She served a few terms as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and continues to be active in DC politics and community affairs. Nearest and dearest to her heart is the Hoops Sagrado project, which every summer takes students from DC to play and coach basketball in rural Guatemala – providing guests and hosts alike with an opportunity to learn more than just about the game from one another. [She always goes along – and somehow finds enough signal to continue posting the site every day!]
To know Mindy is to see how much of herself she pours into her community and her work: the neighborhood kids whose successes she celebrates and whose tragedies she grieves, the local businesses where friends and residents gather and the close circle of friends, young and old, who are part of her extended family.
So, as you open up electionline.org today, raise your cup/mug/Big Gulp/whatever to Mindy Moretti, who for ten years has been dedicated to the election community and committed to the value of a nonpartisan news site that serves it.
Congratulations, Mindy – thank you for all you do … here’s to your first ten years and to many more!