Tracy Zeluff is a longtime Los Angeles political and labor operative who is currently senior partner at GroundWorks Campaigns. Before participating in a panel exploring why Angelenos won’t vote, she talked about why she’d love a dog’s life, explained how she came to argue Catholic doctrine at the age of 8, and copped to a love of shopping catalogs in the Zócalo green room.
If you could be any animal, which would you choose?
A dog. I’m a dog person. I love dogs. They’re fun-loving and friendly. A dog that gets a good life has a genuinely good life. And they’re still wild enough to run free in the security of their own backyard.
How did you get into trouble as a child?
In third grade, I wanted be a priest. I was told, “You can’t be a priest because you’re a girl.” It seemed silly to me. So at the tender age of 8, I was arguing Catholic doctrine.
What’s the biggest thing you think Americans don’t understand about unions?
Americans don’t understand that unions are made up of working people joined together for joint betterment. Many people don’t know someone in a union … so they have a negative stereotype of what they’re about.
Where do you get your news?
The first thing that I do in the morning is go to my computer and go to Rough and Tumble. Honestly, I watch The Daily Show pretty regularly. Those are probably my two biggest sources.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I have one. I love to get catalogs from clothing stores and other stores. I know it’s so bad. Millions of trees are felled on my behalf. Sometimes I buy, but mostly I just look. It’s a nice, frivolous pastime.
Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?
A nightmare that’s regular is being unable to communicate something to someone. I call and they never pick up … I lose my voice … I’m running after a car.
What animal fills you with terror?
Bugs with more than eight legs. Those silverfish with antennae that run across the bathroom floor.
What food are you most likely to binge on?
Chocolate. And ice cream.
Where would we find you at 9:00 on a typical Saturday night?
I would probably be at home. The last few months, I’d be knitting, watching some British detective thing, and potentially checking my computer if we are on a job—watching to see what’s happened with an election.