Happy, Happy, Happy New Year!

20140102-095316.jpg

Goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

Hope everyone had a great New Year.

What a great year of personal and professional growth 2013 was. I never thought my 22nd year on Earth would be so eventful. From being featured in a headlining news story to being mentioned on Rush Limbaugh’s show to getting published in a book, I was blessed with many opportunities as a young conservative activist last year. I’m truly grateful for all that has happened to me. Thank you for the continual support!

While I’m proud to gloat in my accomplishments, they wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support from family and friends. 2013 reminded me to stay true to my roots, be diligent, and remain optimistic. I can’t thank my activist friends and friends from back home enough for making 2013 enjoyable and worthwhile.

A lot happened in 2013. I trained and met lots of right-minded students in the Northeast and started writing for notable publications like Townhall.com. (I’ll resume article writing shortly – stay tuned!) Moreover, I traveled to several states for work and fun including Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and most of the Northeast. Through networking and hobnobbing, I was able to meet more conservative activists and strengthen existing friendships. And most importantly, my family and I were back together again after splitting residence between the West and East Coasts. I’m happy we’re together in the same state again!

Where do I begin with New Year’s resolutions? I, like so many of you, want to start 2014 off on a clean slate. I write down the things I want to improve upon but never follow through with them. Maybe it’s lack of effort or maybe it’s sheer laziness that prevents most of us from fulfilling our goals. It’s time for a change.

Why not be bold in 2014?

Here’s what I plan to improve upon this year:

1) Read more books: I toil with this every single year. I love reading books but never find the time to tune out from social media or my busy work schedule to dig into a good book. With the help of Goodreads, which has become my go-to organizer for books, I plan to set a goal for myself and read at least 2-4 books every month. Put down the remote and iPhones – indulge yourselves and read some good books!

2) Less technology, more reality: My friend Ashley Crouch of Verily Magazine wrote about the excessive use of social media and how it’s stifling our interpersonal interactions:

“It’s no secret that we’re spending more and more time plugged into digital outlets. But all is not rosy according to researchers from the University of Gothenberg; out of the 4,100 young adults they studied for a year, those who used computers four or more hours per day reported high levels of stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.”

Like so many of you who are young and career-minded, I’m guilty of wasting time on social media. I’ve realized I could put my free time to better use. I want to relish the remainder of my youth by using social media more effectively and in smaller doses. Over the last three months, I’ve toned down the amount of Facebook posts and tweets by unplugging most evenings and weekends. It’s allowed me to be less distracted overall and more attentive to friends, family, and coworkers. Don’t be that person who spends every social gathering hooked on your phone. It’s really rude and off-putting. (Some people I know are guilty of this. Guys and gals: We want our friends back!) Tune out from social media and tune into reality!

3) Travel more: I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to make frequent trips to the Northeast. I love sight-seeing in NYC and Boston whenever I get downtime from student meetings or trainings. Sometimes I travel to blogger conferences and go on family vacations. I’d love to make a return to Europe; I haven’t been since I was 8! Whether near or far, explore your surroundings. Explore historical sites around you, visit a major city, or find your nearest beach. Get outside and breath some fresh air!

4) Spend more time outdoors: Last year, I spent many weekends at the gun range and our local lake to clear my head. (It’s a curse and a blessing to live in the D.C. area, so I use every chance I get to escape Washington and go to the Virginia countryside.) I’ve become more adept at shooting guns and am working on getting my CCW license soon. Also, I discovered how unique East Coast fishing is with freshwater fishing in Northern Virginia and saltwater fishing in Ponce Inlet, FL. My goal this year is to explore more freshwater fishing spots in Virginia and to go deep sea fishing in Virginia Beach, VA. Also, I hope to go hunting for the first time this year. (We’ll see if that materializes!) If you are craving excitement and time away from technology, I highly suggest you try the aforementioned outdoor sports.

5) Always exercise: Politics can be draining and all-consuming causing us to sit for 8+ hours each day. Thankfully I rediscovered how essential exercise is with gym membership and after running my first 5K in September. (I used to play tennis in high school, so I’ve always been one to value exercise.) A dear friend of mine even convinced me to join her in running longer distances. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Practice greater personal responsibility and get in shape this year!

6) Have fun in the kitchen: Contrary to popular belief, baking and cooking aren’t oppressive. They’re actually quite enjoyable. I plan to find more time to bake desserts and cook up some of my favorite food items. After reading several food blogs last year, I want to experiment with more recipes for food, desserts, and drinks. My family generally frowned upon junk food in the house, so this shouldn’t be difficult to pull off. Ladies, channel your inner domestic goddess this year! And fellas – don’t be afraid to cook up a storm.

7) Donate to private charity: I like to support causes I believe in without coercion from the government. Last year, I made a contribution to a local pregnancy crisis center in Leesburg, VA. (I hope to contribute to more charities this year.) I wholeheartedly frown upon benefits and welfare that foster cradle to grave paternalistic government. Private charity best uplifts people. Find a charity you believe in and give back to your community!

And last but not least, this is a goal we on the Right must fulfill this year:

8) Promote and help elect constitutional conservatives in the 2014 election cycle: Ralph Waldo Emerson once opined:

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

Democrats are very vulnerable this year. The president and his administration boast high unavailability ratings, especially with the failed Obamacare roll out. We must use this to our advantage and provide a contrast to the Left’s failed policies. Alas, this won’t be easy with GOP elites and cronies like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce undermining constitutional conservative candidates in primaries. I’ll do my part as a blogger and activist – column writing, tweeting, and grassroots organizing – to help elect sound conservatives to office this year. Please do yours!

What are your New Year’s resolutions? What do you want to improve upon? Craft a list and follow through with your goals.

Happy New Year, everyone!

-Gabriella

Earth to Generation Y: You’ve Been Cheated By Obama’s Administration

555306_4466860913583_1041459048_n

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking at Maryland Conservative Action Network’s “Turning the Tides” conference in Annapolis, MD alongside three other young panelists – Brandon Cooper, Brian Meshkin, and Trae Lewis.

Our generation will be hardest hit by Obama’s disastrous economic policies. Therefore, it’s imperative that conservatives bolster their numbers with more young people. Conservatism, not a diluted version of it, will entice people to our side. Any attempts to abandon conservatism will lead to more elections lost and less voter turnout.

Those in attendance enjoyed hearing from us on the panel. Everyone gave wonderful speeches.

My speech beings at the 19:28 mark.  Let me know what you think!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan

MDCAN 006

The Day Rush Limbaugh Said My Name On His Show

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Today I went to work expecting to have a normal day at the office. You could say I lead  an ordinary life. I’m a recent college graduate and nonprofit employee. I’m young, curious about the world, and am a tireless champion of American exceptionalism.  I’m a recent refugee from California taking up residency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And more importantly, I’m the proud daughter of Lithuanian immigrants who’s grateful to have been born in the greatest country in the world.

How do I stand out from my Generation Y peers?  I just happen to be politically active and aware of national/international issues. I also enjoy hunting and fishing. Moreover, I have great disdain for collectivism, tyranny, anti-Semitism, and communism. I reject big government, moral relativism, and appeasenik foreign policy. My activism consists of blogging, working with students, tweeting, and plotting with friends to reclaim this country. It pains me to see this country embrace elements of socialism…

Around 1pm ET today, I started receiving tweets and Facebook posts reading “You’ve been mentioned by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show!” Rush Limbaugh mentioning ME on HIS radio show? I was in disbelief. I’m not famous at all, nor do I aspire to be famous. Yes, I’m well-known in many conservative circles but I tout myself as a humble person. I’m honored by all the media attention I’ve received these past 72 hours on this interview I did for Fox News. Your kind messages, tweets, and words are greatly appreciated. Most of all, I made both of my parents very proud today – that’s what counts the most!

Admittedly, I became giddy after hearing Rush mention my name on his program today. My sister and I grew  up with Rush Limbaugh,  and yes – we’re “Rush-babies.” My dad started listening to Limbaugh when his show first aired in the late ’80s right after he and my mom came to this country in January 1986. Without a doubt, being mentioned by one of my political heroes is truly an honor. I’m blessed and thankful for it.

Here’s the transcript from The Rush Limbaugh Show today:

RUSH: Gabriella Hoffman. “Gabriella Hoffman, a 21-year-old Virginian who works at a nonprofit, her paycheck is a little lighter today thanks to a payroll tax increase that is forcing millions of Americans to make the kind of tough budget cuts their representatives in Washington lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle.” Well, see, Obama explained in his press conference the debt limit isn’t about new spending. Raising the debt limit isn’t about spending at all. It’s just about paying bills.

He’s gonna raise the debt limit to pay for what we’ve already spent, but there’s no new spending in the debt limit. (Well, it’s what he said.) Gabriella Hoffman is 21 years old. As I say, she works at a nonprofit. She “estimates her paycheck will be roughly $30 less this biweekly pay period, or about $780 annually, thanks to the end of a two-year cut on payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The tax has risen back up to 6.2% from 4.2%, costing someone making $50,000 annually about $1,000 per year and a household with two high-paid workers up to $4,500.”

The Right Scoop generously provided a clip from today’s show.

I will do my best to multiply the fruits of my labor and inspire other young conservatives to speak boldly. Hope you continue to follow my musings!

Happy 2011!

Cropped from a photo of predominantly Glenn Be...

Image via Wikipedia

Happy New Year, everyone!

Now that 2010 is over, we can look forward to 2011.

I hope you have your New Year’s Resolutions ready! Here are several of mine in terms of advancing the conservative message:

Connect as many young conservatives one another.

Write more articles and expose liberals/RINOs while I’m at it. Send suggestions or news tips my way! ;)

Transplant myself to more conservative causes [i.e. StopTaxingUs, Eagle Forum, TEA Parties].

To meet several notable conservatives. Long shot, but who knows? Maybe Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh…

Host a charity event or drive for the troops in terms of collecting and assembling care packages.

Share my family history with Americans and educate them about the threat of Marxists-Leninists to America. [Yes, this is a true fact. You can dismiss me as a "crazy, divisive hack" but hear me out. They are NOT mere socialists.]

Break a news story/expose injustices.

Get more listeners to The Rick Amato Show and expand our audience.

Bring sanity to California. Boy, do we need it…

Expand my blog and have a website up-and-running. I’d like to get more views, granted I do something right and worth reading.

Whatever holds for you in 2011, I sincerely hope you have a terrific year!