It’s been a minute since I posted a blog. Not because things haven’t been busy, quite the opposite, things have been really heating up. In good and not so good ways. An example of the good can be seen in the picture which was at the Jackson Blacksmith Shop annual event a few weeks ago. I met great people and listened to what concerns them and I learned a lot. I LOVE this part of “campaigning”. The not so good? Well, I’m realizing that even at the most local of levels, politics is hard. Ya know why? Because it’s political.
I read a letter to the editor in the Goochland Gazette this week where the author said “…it is laughable to claim not to be a politician when you are running for political office. It is kidding yourself and the citizens to say otherwise.” I have been thinking about this since the article came out and wondering to myself “am I just fooling myself? Am I really just a politician and afraid to admit it?” I think we have to look at the word “politician.” I found these two definitions from Google:
· “a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.”
· “a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization.”
Being a “politician” alone isn’t itself derogatory, but it has become that.
I’ve studied every Board of Supervisors meeting since 2018 and am currently studying all of the Planning Commission meetings within the same time period. The last two BOS meetings I’ve attended in person have gone into the early morning hours. Why? The issues being presented are at the heart of the ongoing debate of how to grow the county and still keep it rural. (Side note, as I write this, there is a doe about 30 feet from me snorting loudly at me…#lovetheruralwayoflife )
Wednesday night I was at a very spirited meeting of the Goochland GOP where people were passionate about what was happening not only in the party but in Goochland. Inevitably someone in one of these meetings will see me, quietly taking it all in and then ask me, “Are you sure you really want to get into this?” My response is always a nod of acknowledgement for what they are saying, and then a resounding “YES.”
This county is thriving, growing, and turning into a beacon for the rest of the state and actually the country. I want to see that move forward. I believe I can help navigate through the healthy tension of growth vs. our rural heritage. I don’t believe in doing that in a vacuum. I want to create more opportunity for citizens to have not only their voices heard but to equip them to move from idea to action! For us to learn together what the roadblocks we have in front of are, in regard to the things we care about like - internet access, affordable housing, resources for the western end of the county, etc.
Here’s the thing. I am so excited to witness the passion for local government that I’ve been seeing over the last few months. Our county has been rising to the top BECAUSE our citizens are so involved in what’s going on. We show up at meetings. We attend rallies. We believe that our voice matters, and we do make a difference. That’s why I want to be a part of this. I want to represent you and continue to see Goochland be the best it can be. To do that I need to hear from you. I never have or ever will claim to have all the answers and am smart/dumb enough to know that.
So, the question remains, am I a politician? I suppose in the strictest sense of the word I’d have to say yes. That does not mean however that I have to be “political”. I love how Ken Peterson BOS from District 5 says it. “I don’t see it as much as Democrat vs. Republican, I see it as Good Government vs. Bad Government.” I think that sums it up pretty well for me. Where the rubber hits the road is how do you define good vs. bad?
I believe the less the government is involved in my life the better I am. I believe we are a better society when citizens and private industry works together to find solutions. I believe I know how best to be charitable with my money and don’t need the government to tell me how I should be helping my fellow man. I also believe there are times when citizens can’t get it done or come to agreement or that the minority may not be heard and it’s then that the government may need to get involved. I’m optimistic that the latter can be the exception and NOT the rule.
Hey, if you disagree with me let me know. If you have something you’re curious about hit me up. If you have ideas, goodness gracious I would love to hear them.
I hope to see you around this summer. If you’d like to talk let me know and I’ll make that happen. If you can support me, I really need to make that happen and there are lots of ways to do that.
Great catching up…Spoon for Supe.