There are lots of ways to support a candidate. It can be something very visible, like putting out a yard sign. It can be a large commitment, like canvassing the neighborhood every weekend for six weeks. It can mean putting up with paper cuts and envelope glue for a few hours one evening.
Sometimes we can only support a candidate in a small way; chipping in a few dollars to offset the cost of campaign materials, giving the candidate a few words of encouragement, or letting our neighbors know why we feel our candidate is worth voting for. Sometimes we feel so strongly about a candidate that we devote hours and hours of our time to work toward their victory. There are so many ways to help a campaign… but only one really matters.
Seems pretty simple, but it is the only thing that truly matters and it takes motivation and planning to make sure that it happens. How are you going to make sure that your candidate gets your vote? You can vote early, vote by mail if necessary, give someone a ride who needs to get to the rec center to vote. At the end of May 7, no matter who has raised the most money or put up the biggest signs, the only thing will matter is that the people who want to see her in office have come out to cast a vote.
When it’s ajar! (Get it? A JAR? I know, that’s an oldie…)
But no, really, when is a missing gate not just about the gate being gone? It’s when that gate is located at a park where preschool children play every day. It’s when that park is on a busy street that police cars race down every time there is an emergency call. It’s when the gate not being there could allow for tragedy.
That’s what several parents were concerned about this fall when school was back in session and the gate was inexplicably missing. You can read about the details of restoring the gate in this article from the Hyattsville Life & Times, but the reason I bring it up is this: sometimes solving issues takes persistence and reaching out to the right person for help. In this case, the right person wasn’t a council member, but city staff. Sometimes, as a citizen of this city, we can’t take “no” for an answer.
It’s not that I think that the city needs to bend to our will just because we are tax payers. We are all responsible for stewardship for our city. As a community, that gate is the responsibility of every single one of us because we owe it to each other and we owe it to our children.
Sometimes a small issue like a gate can mean a great deal to a community. I think part of me knew that when staring at the gap in the fence irked me every day. What I didn’t realize is just how big a deal it meant to people who had felt defeated at the word “no.” It was natural for me to work at this problem from another angle when the first result was not satisfactory and I’m glad for our community that I didn’t quit. On May 7th, 2019, please allow me to continue to be a problem solver for Ward 2 and a steward for the city of Hyattsville by electing me to the city council.
Hyattsville has been fortunate to be in a development boom over the past few years. When we bought our house in 2006, Hyattsville looked very different than it does now, and in 2007 when the housing bubble crashed, we wondered if we had made a mistake buying a house- and not just any house- a fixer-upper. Twelve years later, Hyattsville has grown into a city that is known for its art and opportunities and while we’re still fixing up, we know for sure we made the right choice buying a house in Hyattsville. We’ve been lucky.
What about those who haven’t been so fortunate? We’ve been able to do much of the work on our house on our own, but there are many retirees who do not have the means to pay for their rising property taxes and maintaining their homes. We as a community often help these neighbors; helping out by raking leaves, shoveling snow, or putting away trash barrels. What can the city do to ensure that those who choose to age in place in Hyattsville can continue to do so?
This is a question that seems to have gained no traction on the council. How do we ensure that Hyattsville isn’t just for the rich or the young? How can we maintain our culture and our history if we price diversity out of the neighborhood? A city council member dedicated to serving her community needs to do more than adopt a piece of legislation for show; she needs to be doing real work to find a solution to that problem in coordination with city staff, the county, the state, and federal granting agencies. That means putting in more time than two meetings a month requires. To ensure my neighbors, the people who make Hyattsville home, can afford to stay here- that’s work I am willing to put in.
Four years ago, I ran for city council in Ward 2 and lost. (Ouch, that is still hard to write!) In many ways, it was a blessing in disguise. So much good came out of my loss, even though it may have taken a while to realize it after the sting of losing. However, that loss has prepared me for the role of council member much more than winning could have ever done. Much has changed over the past four years; I’ve changed and Hyattsville has changed. My family and I have gone through loss, grief, new life, and joy. I doubled-down on my efforts to make a difference in this community that I love and I have come to love it more.
So now, today as I stood “on top of Hyattsville” I reflected on what brought me here, filing for candidacy again, and two words stood out to me: Hope and Love. I am hopeful that I will be allowed to serve Hyattsville and represent the neighbors I love. I have Hope that our city will stand above the partisan politics that create ugliness in our newsfeeds. I carry a deep love for everything that Hyattsville has given me over the past 12 years, not just a place to live or work, but a HOME; a place I feel I belong, although we are all so different from one another; a place where we as neighbors lift each other up in times of need; a place where my children will grow, cared for by the village that surrounds them. Hyattsville is my home, and I feel much like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz- there’s no place like it. I have never experienced the strength of love and solidarity that I have felt here.
In a world that seems so divided, please come together to support me so that we can celebrate Our Home, Our Hyattsville, One Hyattsville.