Like many others around the country, I went into mourning on Nov. 9, 2016. I closed all my social media accounts and stopped reading the news. I felt as if my country had betrayed all of the ideals that I thought we held dear.
The election was devastating to many, but I later found out that my reaction was not untypical among women, who realized that the election of the candidate who bragged about sexually assaulting women, was in turn leaving women across the nation to think about the horrific memory of their own assaults.
By innauguration Day and the Women’s March the day after, I was back reading the news but still had no social media presence. Then came the first Muslim ban. I found out about it the Monday morning after it was issued and I knew that I had to get involved; I could no longer sit on the sidelines and feel sorry for myself or wait for someone to come alone and fix things.
I found a Facebook group called Liberal Women United and I found the Indivisible Guide. I joined a group of women forming a “huddle,” at the suggestion of the creators of Women’s March. Before I knew it, I was planning and facilitating the huddle group meetings. I also became part of Moveon.org’s field network, and I became part of the leadership team for the Meetup.com #Resist network of local groups. I marched for immigrants, for Planned Parenthood and for the LGBTQIA community. I made phone calls and emailed my senators and U.S. Rep. I made so many new friends and found myself a like-minded community, something which I had believed impossible in bright red St. Charles County, MO. And yet, everything was still on fire.
Continuously pointing out things that were racist, misogynist, immoral, and un-American made no difference to the people in charge. That was when I realized that the best way for me to make a difference was to try to become one of the people in charge. Running for a statewide office was not practical, so I started looking at the local level.
As it turns out, St. Charles County Council currently consists of seven white men aged 55-78. Needless to say, that is not representative of the community they are charged with governing. I started attending the County Council meetings and taking notes. I started paying attention to how my tax money was -and wasn’t- being used to benefit my fellow county residents and I. And I realized that I needed to bring a new perspective and a different set of life experiences to council than they are used to. I intend to bring some transparency and some openness to this particular branch of local government.
In my professional life, I’m a Business Analyst and an IT Project Manager. What’s made me successful in this field is my ability to analyze and then communicate the issues, to leverage the knowledge of experts, and to create a team of people moving forward toward a shared goal. I’m under no illusion that this will be any easier with country government than it has ever been with a team of developers on one side and business stakeholders on the other. But I’m also confident that the skills that have brought me to positions of trust and respect in just about every organiztion for which I’ve worked will continue to benefit me as a public servant.
Finally, in my personal life, I have spent 7 years on the Advisory Board and 3-1/2 years as Mother Advisor for the Rainbow Girls, a Masonic youth group whose goal is to give young ladies age 11-20 the opportunity to learn leadership skills, to present themselves in a professional manner, and to commit themselves to a life of service. I was never a Rainbow Girl myself, but my work with this organization has become an important part of who I am.
I understand that we all have gifts and we all have a moral obligation to share our good fortune with those who have needs. I will continue to act as a mentor to these amazing ladies as long as they need me. And I also intend to commit myself to a life of public service, as an advocate for the people of St. Charles County.
Follow my campaign at: http://christineforscc.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/ChristineforSCC/. And please reach out to me with your thoughts at ChristineforSCC@gmail.com
1221 Bowers Street #2225
Birmingham, Michigan 48012-2225