Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For the past few months, I’ve been on the receiving end of aggressive negative attacks. I am very proud of my volunteers and team for upholding a higher standard and staying above the negative fray. We are working to not just change the demographics of Congress, but the political culture. This starts with a campaign committed to inspire rather than divide. We are working to create an environment where the best ideas rise to the top and service-oriented leaders run campaigns with the integrity and respect our community deserves.  

This document is designed to set the record straight, so we can maintain our focus on advocating for and serving our neighbors in the 4th District.  I hope you will join us on this journey.  

-Jessica

If you have any additional questions, please contact Jessica Morse’s campaign manager, Teddy Smyth, at hello@morse4congress.com.

 

PERSONAL LIFE

Where does Jessica live?

Jessica lives in Pollock Pines. She is five generations from the foothills where she and her family still own and manage 200 hundred acres of forest land near Auburn. She grew up in Carmichael, CA, not far from the American River. A graduate of Mira Loma High School, Jessica completed the International Baccalaureate program. She organized community service events through her youth group, was president of the Key Club (Kiwanis), was the regional champion in Moot Court, and played on the tennis, cross-country, soccer and basketball teams.

An avid outdoors woman, Jessica spent many family vacations hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and skiing throughout the Sierra. Every summer, her family spent a week camping in Yosemite Valley. Jessica was shaped by this community and understands and loves it in ways that New York Native and Southern California representative, Tom McClintock never will.  

How old is Jessica?

Jessica is 35 years old – she is the oldest of the three Democratic challengers in CA-4 and five years older than Joe Biden when he became Senator. Jessica is part of a new generation of leadership that’s interested in solving problems for our community and country, not playing political games.

How will Jessica’s faith and upbringing influence her approach to governing?

Like many in the 4th District, Jessica was raised in a faith tradition - Christian Science. Like JFK, Jessica doesn’t think religion should dictate policy. On the issues, she is unequivocal - she supports women’s reproductive rights, is a fierce advocate for defending LGBTQ rights, and she believes that every American should have affordable access to high quality medical care throughout their lives.

Being raised as a Christian Scientist did influence her character. Jessica values forgiveness, patience and tolerance, and she finds purpose and meaning in serving others. Jessica is grateful for her faith tradition because it gives her a strong foundation to find common ground with many people of faith throughout the district.  

Jessica believes firmly in the protection of religious freedom and religious tolerance in this country, regardless of denomination or faith tradition.

 

CAREER

You can view Jessica's full resume on her LinkedIn, here.

What does Jessica mean when she says she’s a national security strategist?

Jessica worked for a decade in all three pillars of the US national security strategy -- defense, development, and diplomacy. At age 23, she worked as a civilian in Iraq with USAID. Her job was to help rebuild and restaff Iraq’s gutted government. In Iraq, Jessica learned a deep empathy for others. Jessica saw people who had suffered — from refugees to soldiers — and lived the real-world consequences of US foreign policy. After a year and a half in Iraq, Jessica returned to the US and joined the State Department as their Iraq Country Coordinator, managing the Iraq reconstruction budget. Jessica worked directly with the appropriations committee staff to negotiate the budget and move Iraq aid efforts away from big infrastructures programs toward job creation and economic development. Jessica later earned her masters in public affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she focused on national security and nuclear non-proliferation. She served as the advisor to the four-star admiral at US Pacific Command, working on the US-India defense relationship. Later, she rejoined USAID, managing a $2 billion dollar budget that included USAID’s global food programs and Middle East aid programs. Read what Jessica’s former boss says about her here and see her LinkedIn profile here.

What did Jessica do in Iraq, and how did she get there?

In college, Jessica gained international aid experience with internships in Nepal and Ethiopia. Upon graduating, she was immediately hired by the US Agency for International Development. She started as an Information Officer in DC, where she wrote weekly memos on Iraq reconstruction for Condoleezza Rice and President George Bush. Six months later, her counterpart in Iraq was injured, and she stepped up to serve. In her first six months in Iraq, she served as an election monitor in Iraq’s election, traveled the country and documented the impact aid dollars were having on Iraqis, and wrote a series of success stories on how US aid dollars were saving lives and protecting civilians.

After being on the ground for six months, USAID asked Jessica to coordinate a program designed to re-staff Iraq’s government after the de-Baathification policy gutted Iraq’s government. Jessica set up a partnership with Iraq’s Minister of Planning and USAID that led to a decade-long coordinated program that was later purchased by the Iraqi government.  

Did Jessica take time off from working?

Jessica left USAID in May of 2015, after her mom passed away, to pursue their shared dream of researching and writing a book on her suffragette great-great grandmother. She spent a year traveling to find her ancestor’s letters, photos, and records in archives across the country. She even kept a blog for her friends and family about the experience. In the summer of 2016, Jessica recognized the stakes of the impending election and put her passion project on hold to join the Presidential campaign as a field organizer. It was after the 2016 campaign that Jessica began exploring a run for Congress in her beloved Sierra.

 

POLICY

Did Jessica support the war in Iraq?

No. But when the house is on fire, you don’t ask who started it, you grab a hose. Seeing the consequence of the Iraq war on civilians, Jessica answered the call to service and, at the height of the war, went to work as a civilian to help get our troops home.

Does Jessica subscribe to libertarian economic theory?

No. (She once referenced classical economic theorists on her personal blog, in what she aimed to be a joking nod to her undergraduate professor). You can view her policy positions here. As an undergraduate student, Jessica studied classical economics. As a graduate student at Princeton she studied liberal economic theory. Having read and studied the full spectrum of economic thought, Jessica is able to speak to a wide array of thinkers. But Jessica is a doer, not a theorist. While Jessica enjoys academic thought exercises, she always approaches every problem with the question of “How will this impact the community and country?” Keeping her policy ideas grounded in real-life outcomes allows her to maintain a practical and sustainable approach to problems.

Does Jessica have a history with the Republican Party?

Like many people in the 4th District, Jessica grew up in a Republican family. She started voting independently in 2004 and later formally registered as a Democrat. Jessica has devoted her life to finding lasting solutions to the world’s toughest problems. She is unequivocal on Democratic issues, but her upbringing in a Republican family helps her to speak to all residents of the 4th District, regardless of party affiliation. Jessica is committed to dissolving partisan barriers and encouraging everyone to see themselves as members of a community working together to solve shared challenges. What her neighbors want, at the end of the day, is good water management, relief from deadly fires, high quality public education, action on climate change, and access to affordable healthcare.

 

CAMPAIGN

Who is on Team Jess?

Team Jessica has been, and always will be, volunteer-driven. Jessica is supported by an incredible core volunteer team of experts and enthusiasts, and thousands of people have joined the team. You can join us too - just sign up here!

At the beginning of January, Jessica hired three new full-time staff. Teddy Smyth is her new Campaign Manager. He just finished as the campaign manager for Jennifer Carroll Foy for Delegate in Virginia, where they flipped the seat and won by over 26 points. Allie Boyer is Jessica’s Field Director. She is from the 4th District in Coarsegold, and she recently served as the field director for Wendy Gooditis in Virginia, where she flipped a district by a field margin of four points. Megan Miraglia is Jessica’s Finance Director. She previously worked in development for a number of national environmental organizations. Sam Maciel is Jessica's assistant and scheduler. She is from Truckee, CA and previously interned in Senator Dianne Feinstein's office.