Julie Zebra, Director of Digital Strategy and Outreach (via the author)

Six years ago, I left the federal government to pursue my passion for politics. My enthusiasm was quickly tempered by horror on Election Night 2016. Like so many of us, I felt stunned, and crushed by a wave of powerlessness. As we entered the Donald Trump era, I pulled off the cloak of anonymity I’d worn as a career federal employee working in the top reaches of government. I garnered the courage to share my experiences and knowledge on Twitter. As a platform and community, Twitter helped me to realize that I could use my years of legal experience to teach and offer hope during a bleak period for the country. The responses and the who’s who of followers I gained proved that ordinary citizens, journalists, and major legal and political figures cared about fact-based information and wanted to hear what I had to say.

Thanks to Twitter, the Washington Monthly found me and, to my good fortune, asked me to write pieces longer than 280 characters. I tackled topics ranging from the dearth of Justice Department whistle-blowers under Trump to the former president’s impeachment. With encouragement from my new Monthly colleagues, my feeling of powerlessness evolved into a passion for solution-based journalism. Those warm coworkers allowed me to bring new authors to the Monthly, including the former prosecutor Kim Wehle, the historian Lindsay Chervinsky, and the best-selling author and white-collar-crime expert Jennifer Taub.

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Today, as Twitter devolves, the Washington Monthly persists, digging into how Washington really works and, just as importantly, what needs to be happening in the capital. There is so much to learn about the federal government, the Supreme Court, defending democracy, and protecting the little guy. Social media feeds may fulfill our need for fast and pithy connection, but to be citizens, we need the Washington Monthly. I invite you here to help our platform thrive. Please donate today so we won’t be powerless tomorrow. Unlike Twitter, the Monthly doesn’t have an egomaniacal billionaire paying our bills. That’s why we need you.

Julie Rodin Zebrak

Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieZebrak. Julie Rodin Zebrak is the Washington Monthly's director of digital strategy and outreach. She is a veteran attorney with nearly 20 years of experience at the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice, and the founder and CEO of Yes Moms Can.