I remember that my mom, my dad and I would play different roles in mock debates, where one of us would be the moderator, one of us would be my dad - frequently not my dad - and then one of us would play his opponent.
That's who my mom is. She's a listener and a doer. She's a woman driven by compassion, by faith, by a fierce sense of justice and a heart full of love. So, this November, I'm voting for a woman who is my role model, as a mother, and as an advocate. A woman who has spent her entire life fighting for families and children.
There's something else that my mother taught me, public service is about service. And, as her daughter, I've had a special window into how she serves. I've seen her holding the hands of mothers, worried about how they'll feed their kids, worried about how they'll get them the healthcare they need.
I hope that young people will also look to politics as a vehicle to not only have their voices heard, but actually to be the change makers that they want to see. They are disaffected, understandably, but I hope that young people will not only turn out to vote but also run for office.
The first sort of big present I remember getting from Santa Claus was quite a small telescope that I remember going into our backyard with my parents and figuring out how to assemble, and staring at the night sky, just for hours, with both of my parents.
I hope that my children will someday be as proud of me as I am of my mom. I am so grateful to be her daughter. I'm so grateful that she is Charlotte's and Aiden's grandmother. She makes me proud every single day.
I never once doubted that my parents cared about my thoughts and my ideas. And I always, always knew how deeply they loved me. That feeling of being valued and loved, that's what my mom wants for every child.
Millennials regularly draw ire for their cell phone usage. They're mobile natives, having come of age when landlines were well on their way out and payphones had gone the way of dinosaurs. Because of their native fluency, Millennials recognize mobile phones can do a whole lot more than make calls, enable texting between friends or tweeting.
Changing laws and changing the political dialogue, while necessary, is insufficient to ensure that bullying stops; to ensure that every young person is supported by their parents and their teachers as they question who they are and they discover who they are regardless of the sexuality.
My mother has often said that the issue of women is the unfinished business of the 21st century. That is certainly true. But so, too, are the issues of LGBTQ rights the unfinished business of the 21st century.
My earliest memory is my mom picking me up after I had fallen down, giving me a big hug and reading me 'Goodnight Moon.' From that moment, to this one, every single memory I have of my mom is that regardless of what was happening in her life, she was always, always there for me.
My grandmother, who passed away at the beginning of November, had a core adage in her life that 'life is not about what happens to you but about what you do with what happens to you.' She recently had been cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life. To lead more of a purposefully public life.