After three hours, the brown field next to the decommissioned missile silo at the White Point Nature Preserve in Palos Verdes has been completely cleared of tumbleweeds. They sit in two huge piles on the service road, where the 20 volunteers have gathered to hear a few remarks from Cook.
She compliments her fellow volunteers on their weed-pulling tenacity. “We did the same thing when I worked with the Bolsa Chica Land Trust,” she says. “We cleared out the invasive weeds and planted some really beautiful sage on the mesa, and I know this is going to be just as beautiful.”
One of the volunteers, a middle-aged woman, asks Cook what they can do to help her defeat Rohrabacher. “Well, I’m sure all of you know at least one person who lives in this district,” she says. “It would be really helpful if you could talk to them and see if they might be interested in walking door-to-door, or working the phone banks, or making a small contribution.”
The sun is hot now, although there’s still a merciful breeze coming off the ocean. Cook is in no mood to give a stump speech.
“I really don’t want to talk about politics right now,” she says. “It’s a beautiful day. Why ruin it?”