AMA: Elizabeth Edwards-Appell, former State Representative

Edit 16 Jan: I answered a few more questions and will try to get to the rest tomorrow! Also, here’s my Ballotpedia link if you want a list of the bills I sponsored. Note that a bill which legalized syringe service programs isn’t listed because of the way bills with more than 10 sponsors are processed on the back end of our legislative services office’s software.

Edit 11 Jan: I see that I got some more questions after I signed off at the end of the day on Saturday; I can’t answer them right now, but I’m going to try to get them all answered by the end of this week.

Hi everyone! Aaron Gertler asked me to come do an AMA, and today is the day!

When I decided to run for New Hampshire state office in 2014, I was an ideological anarchist. I moved to a different part of my city, filed to run as a Democrat, campaigned, and won my primary.

My election to the State House became virtually assured at that point, and I decided it was finally time to read a series of blog posts I’d heard about called the Sequences. It suddenly felt real to me, that I’d have a tiny bit of power over other people’s lives, and I wanted to be sure my head was on straight: that good arguments convinced me and bad arguments failed to convince me.

Reading and internalizing the material caused me to realize none of my confidence was justified and that I’d have to start over from scratch to build a new world view and new political beliefs. When I was sworn into office that December, I didn’t have much except lots of confusion, a desire to do the best I could with the small opportunity I had in front of me, and knowledge of a community centered around something called “effective altruism.”

My first term ended in 2016 and I won my re-election campaign on the same day Trump defeated Clinton. I spoke at EA Global in 2017 and 2018, the recordings of which are available upon request.

I decided not to run for a third term in 2018 for many reasons, one of them that I was earning a yearly salary of $100 as a State Rep!

Ask Me Anything!