This week we are devoted to bringing you guys content surrounding the election and we are super excited to introduce you guys to De’Ara Balenger, our #WCW for this week. De’Ara is the Director of Engagement for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and we were lucky enough to ask her all about her unbelievable role. We can’t wait for you guys to hear all about De’Ara’s incredible story and her exciting experience with the campaign. Women like De’Ara remind us how big of an impact we have the potential to make in this election, so make sure to get out there and vote!
Tell us about yourself! What do you do for the Hillary campaign?
I’m the Director of Engagement for Hillary for America and LOVE my role on the campaign. I make sure that the most special Clinton friends are plugged into the campaign and get specific instruction how they can help. This includes the folks who have been down for the Clintons from literally day one, like Hillary’s best friend, Betsey Ebeling, who has known Hillary since the sixth grade. I’m also a sounding board for ideas and suggestions, as most of these people have been the political game for generations.
What’s one thing you love about your role in the campaign?
My role is so uniquely amazing because I also support the campaign’s engagement with creatives, social influencers, artists and celebrities, and so often times I’m bringing multiple worlds together. The result is magic! There are so many diverse ideas, but the common thread is the love and progress that has led hundreds of volunteers to get out there, knock on doors, and create social content. Actually, some of that content can be found on wetrumphate.com. This role has really led to me optimize relationships and like Hillary, create a space for listening.
What are some of your own goals?
My goals lie in bringing people to the table, using innovation and creatives to solve real world problems, and continuing to be a bridge for people and communities to HRC. My goal is also to get people to see that Hillary is everything people don’t think she is…honest, warm, kind, hilarious and dope! She is someone who makes talking to DJ Khaled a priority during debate prep and makes sure that we always include Alethea Williams at events.
We’d love to hear a bit about how you first got into politics. How did you end up on the campaign trail?
I got into the game years ago when my girl was running for President in 2007. I was fortunate enough to be a part of that election and then work at the US Department of State, where I worked a ton of issues from the response to the earthquake in Haiti to criminal justice development in Bangladesh, Yemen, Kenya, Liberia and more. From the State Department, I moved to New York to help HRC in her life as a private citizen before she announced her Presidential run.
You must be insanely busy everyday trying to get Hillary elected. How do you take care of #1? Are you active? Is it a healthy diet?
Before this campaign, I usually ate clean and worked out five days a week. However, working 24/7 has impacted my workouts and eating pretty drastically. SoulCycle graciously lets us campaigners go to classes for free at the Brooklyn Heights location. God bless them, because without Rachel W or Sabila, we would not only be unfit, but also just unhappy. Exercise now means so much more than being fit. It means giving your mind and spirit the space to recover and glow. However, after this election, I plan to take all of my direction and instruction on where to work out and what to eat from HBFIT!
What advice would you give for #HBFITgirls that want to get involved in local political organizations or f have their eyes set on something more presidential?
For the #HBFITgirls who want to get involved politically, I would tell them to start with local races. Find out what badass women are running for City Council or the State Assembly. You can volunteer on their campaigns and also very important piece, raise money for them. Strong women have to support strong women going into politics, even with HRC becoming President (knock on wood), we still need more women to be elected officials. Rise up ladies! Get involved.
Getting to talk to De’Ara about her experience on the campaign was incredible! If you want to learn more about De’Ara, follow her on Instagram.