Interview with Patty Hughes
Patty Hughes is a single mother of two sons, ages 16 and 19 and has been a party of community organization, and social/civic duty since her childhood. Born into a family of democrats that always stressed the importance of civic duty and giving back to the community, Ms. Hughes instilled these values in both of her sons. Her youngest son is active in the school class elections at his high school, while her oldest son attends college and is running for the State Assembly for California. If elected, he will become the youngest assemblyman in the history of the State of California. She owns a legal services business, in Riverbank, CA and raises horses while volunteering her time. She wears many hats within the Central valley democratic community, one of which is the Obama for America Stanislaus County Coordinator.
Question: What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
Having two sons and how involved they are and how they want to help others through civic duty.
Question: How has your involvement in the campaign affected your friends and family?
It has affected them positively. My friends and family get involved in the cause.
Question: How did you first get involved?
As a young teenager, I became involved during Carter's '76 election campaign. I walked the precincts to help get out the vote. My neighbor was involved in the election and convinced me that it was a worthy cause. I also come from a long line of democratic supporters. My grandmother did spaghetti dinners supporting local democratic leaders. My family is very passionate about doing good things for people.
Question: What do your friends/family think of all this?
Everyone is very supportive, and my friends are just as impassioned about voting for Sen. Obama. Most of my friends & family are involved in this campaign.
Question: How has the election changed you?
It has brought to light the importance of our reputation in the world and our current economic situation. I have also volunteered for women's issues.
Question: How do you feel about the democratic ticket as a single mom?
As a woman I am concerned about Roe vs. Wade and the supreme court. As a mom I am concerned about the war, as both of my sons are of age to enlist. As an American, I am worried about the economy.
Question: How does the relationship that the candidates have with their wives impact your decision to vote and campaign for them?
It is important that they have strong relationships with their wives, as I want good men who are committed to their wives and family. It shows that they care deeply about those closest to them, and will care deeply about the issues that are important to those that they serve.
Question: As a single parent, how do you view Joe Biden?
Children come first, and my work and my life is scheduled around them. It is important for single parents to see that they have a person in the white house that understand how hard it is to be a single parent.
Question: Is it nice to see Sen. Obama as a candidate that is so similar to your family structure?
It is wonderful to hear Sen. Obama relate to the same trials that my sons went through, thing felt like they came full-circle. He is a role model to my sons. It reaffirms that young men without fathers can achieve anything. Sen. Obama is a perfect example of what young men can achieve without a father.
Question: What about the business - do you feel Sen. Obama has your best interests?
He will offer a tax break to 95% of the working class, which is great. I feel confident that he will do everything he can for small businesses, whether they are making $250,000 or not. I feel that the future of small business will be protected.
Question: What was the highlight of the year? Lowlight?
My highlights for the year have been seeing my son filing to run for state assembly, and while working as the fundraising chair of the central valley Democratic Club I was able to have the Democratic Secretary of State for California in Modesto at one of our events.
The lowlight of the year for me was seeing the dirty politics, and hearing all the lies and spin on the truth of good people.
Question: Will you be able to sleep the night before Nov. 4?
(laughing) I'll have many catnaps. We're all exhausted. We've brought 3,000 signs into the valley, from Fresno to Sonora and covering Merced and Modesto. All the Obama signs I've been able to bring into this region.
Question: How do you feel now with one week left before the election?
I am loking forward to get out the vote, and looking forward to the world hearing us. We'll bring the change we need.
Question: What is going through your head?
I have a lot of work to do. Making sure the organization runs smoothly. It takes an incredible amount of people to do the organzation.
Question: What do you plan on doing on election day?
Election day, I may or may not work as a legal representative at the polls to makee sure the polls are running smoothly.
Ms. Hughes has four different positions she fills for the democratic party - which are
1)Obama for America Stanislaus County Coordinator, 2) Central Valley Democratic Club Fundraising Chairperson, 3) Stanislaus County Democratic Central Committee candidate liason, 4) Taylor White for Assembly director of Operations. While under her direction the Obama for America Campaign has made approximately 1000 calls per week for the campaign to swing states, and about 1000 calls per week for national and local democratic candidates. Their volunteers span all age groups, but the enthusiasm is universal.