Laura Capps gives thanks to the stars that aligned in 1963 when her Omaha native father, Walter, was offered one of the first teaching positions at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her parents packed up their car and settled in paradise, sight unseen, to raise their family. Upon arrival her mom shrieked with delight when she thought that lefse – the Swedish potato based pancake that they were both raised on – was sold in packages in the grocery stores. You say lefse, I say tortilla.
Laura went to DC for the first time as a 9 year old kid. She remembers marveling at the tall marbled buildings and being blown away when her dad told her she could work there someday if she set her mind to it. From that point onward Laura had a fire in the belly to make the world an even better place and a belief that our political system could do that.
After graduating from Cal, she landed her dream job of working in the White House, starting as an assistant to George Stephanopoulos and then a speechwriter for President. Clinton. She has gone on – with varying results — to help John Kerry become president, Senator Ted Kennedy to pass legislation, Al Gore to combat climate change, the progressive community to hold President Obama accountable, and both her parents be elected to Congress. She dipped her toe in politics across the pond by working for Tony Blair’s pollster while earning a masters degree at LSE. Even with all there is to detest about our political system, she still hangs out in the non-cynical camp, and it’s debatable which she loves more: The West Wing, Scandal, or The American President.
Somewhere in the Russell Building of the United States Senate, Laura met Carlos when he was covering politics. She jumped at the chance to help with OZY and feels lucky to be on the ground floor of a much different kind of campaign.
Today Laura has happily traded in her DC power suits for Santa Barbara flip flops, settling back in her hometown to raise her young son Oscar. They spend a lot of time with family, conquering a vast array of playgrounds, hanging at the beach with their two dogs, and discovering the beauty of ice cream cones. She runs her own consulting business and, in addition to OZY, works with non-profits on issues of immigration reform, climate change, childhood hunger, ocean conservation and interfaith education. Someday she’ll add paddle boarding to her daily routine. Along with Swedish meatballs and Elmo soup, Oscar is a huge fan of tortillas.