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A Thank You Note to Hillary Clinton

Dear Hillary,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your service to this country. In the face of your loss and the ensuing grief, I am inspired to stay optimistic because of you. From your work with the Children’s Defense Fund to your term as Secretary of State to now, as the first woman nominated by a major party in a U.S. Presidential Election, you have tirelessly prioritized equality and prosperity for women and families. Today, your words, “Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights,” ring as true as they did two decades ago. But the results from Tuesday’s election remind us that we are not finished. The glass ceiling is still intact. And so our campaign for equality continues. Thank you for leading the crusade.

You proved that a powerful woman is fearsome to behold. You reminded me that I should neither be ashamed of nor moved to suppress my ambition. You impassioned me to show the world that I am capable, valuable, and worth it. Thank you for the motivation that society could not provide me with.

From the beginning, you understood the weight of your candidacy, the path to “herstory” you were forging. You accepted this daunting responsibility with a pantsuit and a smile. Thank you for bearing the mantle of so many women’s aspirations over the last 100 years.

In the face of crushing disappointment and heartbreak, you displayed civility and dignity. Throughout your career in politics and life in the public eye, you’ve endured discrimination and disdain only a woman can know yet you remained the essence of class. Your resilience is inspiring. Thank you for your grace and candor in defeat.

On Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, I voted in my first presidential election for an incredibly inspiring, qualified, and dedicated woman. I did not vote for you because you are a woman. Rather, I voted for you because you deserved it. You put the work in. You remained poised and graceful. You never gave up. So much of America, a majority, in fact, is so proud of you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of “herstory.”

On Wednesday, November 9th, 2016, I cried. I cried because I was shocked and saddened by our nation’s lack of compassion and morality. I cried because I am a woman, and, for the first time, I felt truly marginalized. I cried because I thought it was our time. But I do not cry at the prospect of the work that is still to come. I do not cry for the small steps taken in Minnesota, where citizens elected the first Somali-American female legislator. I do not cry for California, who elected the first female senator of Indian descent. Thank you for reminding me that I am not any less deserving of success or greatness because I am a woman.

I look forward to chipping away at the glass ceiling that we nearly shattered last Tuesday. With your work and that of countless other women, it has begun to splinter. A few more taps and it will finally come crashing down, and each of the million shards will reflect its own rainbow in the light of progress and change. Thank you for providing me with my own weapon to take it down; my voice.

Sincerely,

Your friend and fellow patriot

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