Laura Moser ’99
She founded Daily
Action in 2016.
“It’s very useful if you can tell your own story,” Laura Moser ’99 said during a Reunion panel in Stirn Auditorium in May. She was describing how she was able to connect with voters during her 2018 run for Congress.
As a book author and journalist, Moser is skilled at telling stories. The story of her own foray into politics started around 2015, when she began writing articles about education for Slate. Reporting on issues like teachers’ pay and racial bias in schools, she says, drove home to her “how unequal the world is” and set her on “a more activist path.”
After the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, Moser, like many of her progressive peers, was distraught about the country’s trajectory. “I come from a background of people who didn’t do enough, and their lives were threatened,” she says: she thought of her Jewish grandfather, who stayed in Berlin until 1938 and then fled to Houston just in time to escape the Nazis. It occurred to her that “if somehow people’s political angst could be streamlined into one thing a day, then we could have more of a collective impact.”
With help from the media agency where her husband, former White House videographer Arun Chaudhary, is a partner, Moser launched Daily Action, a service that texts subscribers each day with a simple, strategic political action they can take, such as calling their senator or sharing an informative video. Moser wrote an article for Vogue about Daily Action in December 2016, expecting maybe “three or four thousand people” to sign up. The actual number of subscribers when the service reached peak popularity? More than a quarter of a million.
Daily Action’s success prompted Moser to ponder a path she had never considered before: running for Congress. Texas’ 7th district, in which she was born and raised, had gone to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, so there appeared an opportunity to flip its seat in the House from red to blue in the midterms.
Moser withdrew from involvement with Daily Action, and she, Chaudhary and their two children moved from Washington, D.C., to Texas in 2017. She threw her hat in the ring against six other Democratic hopefuls. She quickly had to “become an expert on everything,” she says, from Pell grants to the Federal Reserve, and because politics is “not designed for mothers,” her husband and nearby parents took on more childcare duties.