I’m here to represent everyone; left, right and center.
My grandfather was a highly regarded city manager who was sought after by cities all around the United States. Later in life, when he interviewed for Undersecretary of HUD, he was asked for his political affiliation and he declined to answer. He stated that it wasn’t relevant because he was there to do what was best for ALL Americans, not just those from his party. He would answer questions about policy and important issues because those are what we should basing our decisions off of for elected officials.
I still struggle with the labels of party affiliation. My grandparents were very conservative Republicans. My parents were very liberal Democrats. Yet at the dinner table as a child, all I understood was that my parents and grandparents cared deeply about helping others and serving their communities. Together we discussed the issues that affected our community, our country and our world.
When I met my husband, I was a Democrat and he was a Republican. We tackled the tough issues on a daily basis. We didn’t always agree, but we learned to listen to one another and hold civil, respectful conversations.
As a country, we are extremely divided. We see each other as labels. We have stopped working together. We have forgotten how to listen. We no longer have the tough conversations.
Negative attack ads run all day and night on tv. Mailers are flooding my mailbox. My social media feed is filled with stories of why you SHOULDN’T vote for someone, not why you SHOULD.
I have grown to unfortunately expect this from national races, but not local ones. Yet day after day, I see the negative attack ads in our own community. I refuse to be that politician. I want to win on my own merit, from my own hard work and dedication, not by attacking my opponent.
If we want politics to change, WE MUST BE THAT CHANGE.
This won’t happen today, or tomorrow or next week. It will take each and every one of us investing in our own communities, holding difficult conversations together and seeking leadership that aims to unite us, not divide.
It will take a concerted effort to stop seeing one another as a simple label. These last eight months on the campaign trail, I have worked hard to have conversations that didn’t begin with my party affiliation. Instead I introduced myself, and then initiated a conversation based on issues or concerns or ideas or solutions. And I have found that we agree on much more than we disagree. When we set aside our labels, people hold real conversations.
I have spoken with Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Non-Affiliated Voters. I earned votes from people of all parties, not just my own. People are willing to cast their vote for me because they know I care, I will listen and I will represent everyone.
I will represent my entire constituency.
I will fight for results for our entire district.
I will listen to differing opinions, ideas and concerns.
I will work toward compromise.
Let’s get back to basics. Let’s treat others with civility and respect. Let’s work together toward the common goal.
It all reminds me of what I spent years teaching preschoolers. Work together. Learn to listen. Be honest. Be kind. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
On November 6th, you all have an important decision to make. You all have a voice in the direction our district moves. Use your voice. Vote.