A year ago today I never thought I’d be running for City Council—I had a two-month old. I was nursing. I was watching a lot of “The Walking Dead” which I’d never seen before and which reminded me how we’re all just humans trying to survive day-by-day, seeking food, water, shelter, companionship. That’s our baseline.
Maintaining that baseline is so often the work of mothers. Goldfish crackers and milk-on-demand; laundry; cleaning; runny noses; crayons on the wall; hugs; just one more glass of water, please mommy, please.
This work on a larger scale is also the work of City Council. Task forces and police budgets; snow plowing bids; determining if a casino can open down the street from your church; launching recycling initiatives; coordinating with local leaders. ⠀
Local government often seems complicated, or inconsequential—what does it even matter? Who really cares? It’s easy to get bogged down by the nitty-gritty of TIFF districts and zoning restrictions—it’s all so much more complicated than slashing zombies—and forget why we have a local government in the first place. It’s to help protect our tribe. And by “tribe,” I mean our entire community—making sure everyone has food, water, shelter, and companionship. Keeping our friends safe.
Motherhood is not often counted as work experience, but I see it as the proving ground for so many of the skills we need in our public leaders. The experience of consistently putting someone else’s needs before your own; listening; the patience to accomplish routine or repetitive tasks; the ability to distill complicated subjects into answers easily understood. I didn’t know it until now, but I’ve been training for this run for the last 7 years—ever since the day daughter #1 wailed her way into my arms and I looked around and thought: “Is this the very best our world can be? No? Then we better get to work.”