Cahill for Congress

The Book

The remarkable true story of a teacher who ran a grassroots campaign for Congress . . . from her sixth grade classroom

“You can’t run for office in this country unless you’re a millionaire or unless you know a lot of millionaires.” The offhand remark from one of her sixth-grade students dismayed public school teacher Tierney Cahill. When she told the kids that in a democracy, anyone can hold office, they dared her to prove it. She accepted their challenge on one condition: that they, her students, run the campaign.

A single mom with three kids and more than one job to make ends meet, Cahill was in for a decidedly uphill battle, especially as a Democrat in largely Republican Reno, Nevada. But with her eager students leading the way, and with a total war chest of just $7,000 (against opponents with one hundred times the funds), Cahill not only got her name on the ballot, she won the Democratic primary.

Ms. Cahill for Congress is the inspiring story of an exceptional teacher who proved that anyone really can run for office—and, with no money and no connections, make a difference in a great many lives.

Swimming in the Deep End

I’ve always wanted to make a difference. A bit of an odd child at nine or ten, I tried to teach myself Russian with the help of library books. I felt sorry for the Soviet Union because of all the negative press it was getting at the time.

Maybe I could be an ambassador and help relations there and elsewhere in the world, I thought. In the meantime, I made my stuffed cheetah, whose name was Anwar Sadat, and my
lion, named Menachem Begin, sit next to each other every day after I made my bed. Side by side, they leaned against my pillows guarding my other stuffed animals and in my mind were dear friends. The solutions seemed so simple then. They seemed less so now. [ Read More ]