See the PDF version at Developing Trust Part 3.
Government today has become crowded with career politicians that more often than not tell us one thing during an election cycle only to do another once in office. This familiar story is in part responsible for much of the political indifference and apathy experienced across the nation. Our democratic form of government was never meant for career politicians as we know them today. Political experience, viewed through the lens of history and the intentions of our founding fathers, can be an asset as much as a liability depending on whether those who hold office stay true to the voters who elected them.
As a first-time candidate for Borough Council, I want to share some of my experiences that I hope will resonate with you regarding who I am as a person and how I will represent you as your elected representative.
Shortly after graduating college I joined AmeriCorps, which for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a domestic version of the Peace Corps. I worked full-time for Habitat for Humanity in Northeast Washington DC training volunteers to build houses for individuals and families that despite working full-time jobs could not afford homes in the traditional real estate marketplace. I learned from this experience what it’s like to earn $12,000 a year, to live on subsidized housing, and to eat meals purchased with food stamps. I also better understand what it’s like to live in our Borough as part of a white majority after living for a year as a white minority. These experiences inform not only how I see myself in my community but how I see my community in myself.
After completing my year of service I went on to pursue two master’s degrees before entering into my current role as a public school science and special education teacher. Having achieved certifications in both science and special education my role is unique amongst most educators. I have worked with students from diverse backgrounds and ability levels including students with Down Syndrome and autism who need assistance learning basic life skills. In many ways, I consider myself lucky because as the years accumulate I feel as though I have come to learn more from my students than they have from me.
I continue to live a life devoted to public service because I believe in the public good. And this is my primary motivation as a candidate for Borough council. Unlike many career politicians of today beholden to special interests, I am not in this for what I can get out of it, but rather, what I can put into it. My personal and professional experiences have influenced who I am as a person, how I will govern as your elected official, and what I can give to this community. I hope that on election day you cast a ballot not for those with more political experience but for those with experience you can trust.
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