A viral photo taken in 2017 shows a cyclist flipping off at Donald Trump’s presidential convoy. The image cost Juli Briskman, the cyclist, her job. Two years later, Briskman decided to join politics and run for local office.
She is going door-to-door, handing out leaflets ahead of the November 5 local elections in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The incident that brought change into her life dates back to a Saturday in October 2017, when the 52-year-old athlete showed Donald Trump exactly what she thought of him, as his imposing convoy of black SUVs passed her on the road outside the Trump National Golf Club.
After her picture went viral she lost her job as a marketing analyst for a United States government and military subcontractor.
Briskman’s gesture got the U.S. politically divided. While some viewed her defiant finger as a sign of resistance, the photo also brought her insults and threats. She also sued her former employer for unfair dismissal, accusing it of violating her freedom of speech.
A single mother of two teens, Briskman quickly found a new job. Soon after, she was asked to run for county supervisor, a local office, on the Democratic ticket. It didn’t take long for her to decide. Political engagement felt obvious to her, since she has been involved in her community for a long time.