Many of my friends and colleagues have recently engaged in a religious ceremony that includes reflection of the previous year. While I am not of that religion, I could not help but to be a bit reflective of my own activities of the past year.
I’ve been involved in local politics since 2011 when I engaged in my first run for office. I ran for Nassau County Legislature and ultimately lost by 106 votes after a recount. Since that time, I’ve often been asked to run for political office again. Indeed, in those six years, I’m sure I said I would never run again.
I’m the mother of two boys who works full-time. I’m a doctoral student of education. Yet I knew in my core that this year was my time to step up and run for office again. The 11.5% tax increase pushed me over the edge – I’ve got a family to raise, and it’s getting harder and harder to do that here in Oyster Bay. It was time to stop working behind the scenes for other candidates, and work to serve my own community directly.
Service. To one’s country. To one’s community. To one’s neighbors and one’s own family.
These things are true for me and my running mates. We are your neighbors, your school board members, your advocates. We are your friends and coaches. Your colleagues and caregivers. We are parents and grandparents and spouses. We are lawyers and doctors and small business owners and scholars. And we want to put our intelligence and expertise to work for our colleagues, friends and neighbors. For you.
We started this process in January. Actually, that’s not true. My running mate, Bob Freier, has been challenging the corrupt Town of Oyster Bay Supervisors (both elected and appointed) for THREE years now. He has been to nearly every board meeting in that time, recording, speaking, and questioning the unethical decisions that have been forced on the Town’s residents. As I stated, I’ve been working in the background of local politics for six years, advocating for candidates I believe in. My running mates have also been serving their communities for decades as school board members and legal advocates for “the little guy”.
My running mates are the best group of men I’ve had the pleasure to work along side of. I’ve often said I was a liberal, a feminist, and a democrat before I knew what any of those words meant. My running mates, many of whom are the fathers to daughters, are male feminist (“meninists”), environmental advocates, and community leaders. I’m the only veteran on both sides of the ticket, but there’s no one else I’d rather have in battle with me than these men. We are not perfect, but we genuinely care about each other, our communities and the Town of Oyster Bay.
Collectively, we’ve been endorsed by, and are on the ballot lines of, the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party, the Women’s Equality Party, and the Independence Party. We have two 2017 Working Families Party Progressive Champions on our slate. We’ve also (collectively) been endorsed by the Sierra Club and the Indian American community of Long Island.
Running for office does indeed feel sometimes as though one were actually running. Community events, meeting voters door-to-door, educating oneself on the issues, figuring out how to be in more than one place at one time…but we are a team. We work together, and together we get it done. Because we have decided to dedicate ourselves and our time to serving our town.
And once in awhile, we tire. But then we reread the letters written to us anonymously by workers from the Town, pleading with us to help them; pleading with us to get elected because they are desperate for change. And we remember why we’re doing this: We’re doing this for them. We’re doing this for you.
Many a great leader has spoken of service. The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind: “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
None of us need to run for office, we all have ‘day-jobs’ that we could easily and happily return to. But we want to create positive change in the Town of Oyster Bay because we care about our colleagues, our neighbors, our families. We care about the residents of this town; we care about you. That is why we developed a platform with real solutions. That is why we’ve been knocking on as many doors as possible these past 7 months. That is why we’ve sacrificed time with our families and loved ones. Because we are committed to you, the residents of the Town of Oyster Bay. We’ve had enough of having our tax money stolen by career politicians, and we know you have too.
(You can read our entire platform here: http://oysterbaydems.org/issues)
So join us! There’s less than 50 days until Election Day. We can win, but we can’t do it without you. Democracy is participatory – Invite us to your homes to meet your friends and neighbors. Go door-to-door with us. Make phone calls. Advocate for us. Donate. You have skills! Put them into service! We are stronger together. (Volunteer here: http://oysterbaydems.org/contact/)
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
The Town of Oyster Bay Democratic slate is eager to continue our history of devoted service to the community as your elected representatives. We have a big challenge ahead of us but if you join us- together we will “know victory”. Together we will win!
Vote Row A all the way on Election Day!