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Political Junkie Makes Modified YOLO Her Mantra

Only living once might be motivation enough for some people. But for C-SPAN aficionado Zainab Javed, lawmaking remains the ultimate rush.

The Mercyhurst University student first popped up on HOH’s radar during the 52nd Annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

(Courtesy Zainab Javed)
(Courtesy Zainab Javed)

That’s where she scored big laughs from the Capitol Hill-centric crowd after her cheeky jab at government surveillance efforts got splashed across the Jumbotron.  But it was her response to all the adulation that really piqued our interest.

“Just got on the screen with my I’d Wiretap That sign! #Congresstude #YouOnlyLegislateOnce” she blasted out on one of her two Twitter accounts.

Turns out Javed picked up the politicized proverb last spring while enrolled in her “American Congress” course. And she’s made it her own ever since.

“It’s become a bit of a motto,” Javed told HOH of the play on the better known “You Only Live Once.”

The unabashed policy geek — “’I’m actually just a congressional enthusiast,” is how she hedged it — is so smitten with the saying, she’s tweeted it at other political reporters and, last summer, per a friend’s tumblr, she couldn’t contain herself from spreading her personal gospel all across Washington whilst the duo raced around town stalking the cast of “Parks and Recreation”:

“#you only legislate once #zainab was this u,” one acquaintance inquired online.

“yes that was her. i legit spent a whole afternoon running around dc with her where she yelled this phrase repeatedly,” the co-show stalker, identified only as “norrington,” corroborated via social media.

It’s even crept into her schoolwork.

(Courtesy Zainab Javed)
(Courtesy Zainab Javed)

Javed used it as the title for a term paper on Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. — a politician whom she described as “ridiculously awesome.”


Javed has worked for Obama for America and will spend this summer interning for Pennsylvania state Sen. Sean Wiley. Might we one day see her on Capitol Hill?

Confidence is high she’ll make her mark one way or another.

So, as others pile atop the “You Only Legislate Once” bandwagon, just remember that Javed led the original charge.

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