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This Is Me

Apr 23, 2018

And I’m not apologizing for it.

Since I announced my candidacy for Anoka County Commissioner, I have been told the same thing from both friend and foe: I lack the political chops to make it. Voters want a fighter. In all fairness, I can understand this sentiment.  If you know me, you know I am an outgoing, enthusiastic lover of life.  I am animated and friendly, positive and collaborative. All this paired with a diminutive female physique – I understand that this can equate to cute.  Cute is nice and welcomed in most places, but it doesn’t “get things done” in politics.

What this really tells me is, that in the world of politics, there seems to be little room for anything less than loud, aggressive tactics.  And if loud and aggressive is what “gets it done”, in order to keep this method working, we will continually have to turn up the volume.

I most definitely don’t fit into this political stereotype, and I make no apology.  In fact, I rebel outright in practice every day. My passionate belief and real-world experience shows me collaborative efforts will produce the best solutions for the most people and I have a decade of successful results to prove it.  I am affiliated with numerous projects and organizations, and I’ve been mentioned in the StarTribune on more than one occasion, leading my cause against opposition. Winning. There is another way to get “things done” that doesn’t lead with intimidation, aggression, or combative language.  My way leads with thoughtfulness, collaboration and creativity.  My way leads to future growth for long term, positive change.

To be absolutely clear, I am not opposed to conflict. Conflict isn’t the problem I’m talking about in politics. The resolution is.

How we solve our problems matters. It sets the stage for future outcomes, defines how we handle adversity, and shapes our character.  I am about building up, not tearing down.  Taking time and care to build strong relationships, recognizing and celebrating people’s strengths, and then strategically employing them for a common goal is the only way I operate.   Arm wrestling your way into position may win you the battle, but it will never win you the war.  When it comes to bettering my community, I have only been about winning the war.  I don’t expect this blog, alone, to convince you, but my history will, if you care to investigate.

And I encourage you to do your homework about all your options in this race. This seat hasn’t been open since 1954, and there will be a new County Commissioner who will serve us. I wholeheartedly believe I am the best person for the job.  So will every other candidate.  The good news is, you 100% get to decide. I invite you to meet me in person anytime you like.  I invite you to learn about my issues and read my testimonials. I invite you to be an active part of the process.

And I invite you to redefine what it means to be strong in politics.

Because the best fighters I know are rarely in the public eye, or in politics.  They are single moms working multiple jobs, they are small business owners keeping their doors open, they are non-profits battling for every cent to do good work. They don’t get a podium. They get a kitchen table. These are the real fighters in life I know.  They show me what true strength looks like and have inspired me to fight—not from an Ivory Tower, but right alongside them.

I am well aware of the political landscape we’ve set up for ourselves.  We often flock to the loudest, most aggressive candidate because we want to know someone will fight for us, and we think this is the best way to do it because it’s the way it’s always been done. I get it.  I just don’t buy it – that this is the only way to be in politics- and neither should you.  Because it’s bankrupting our ability to make long term, positive change and making us deaf.

But what do I know? I’m only cute.