Policy is better when more voices of people with different lived experiences are involved in the process. Before I ran for office I met with a lot of people who held elected positions. Each time I would ask them a handful of questions, one of them being, “What is the hardest part of being an elected official?” The former Mayor of Monona, Bob Miller, told me it was engagement — getting people to consistently engage in the process was the biggest struggle. This idea has been consuming a lot of my mind as I work on EngageDane with my colleagues, and picked up the book Bowling Alone after a recommendation during a Madison Mayoral Forum from Candidate Raj Shukla.
Which is all to say, join me! You don’t have to run for office — or maybe you could think about it! In the meantime, you could choose to sign up for a lot of different committees, non-profits, or volunteer opportunities. My path into elected office began with service to the Bridge LakePoint Waunona Community Center, but before that I was a Big Sister. One of the things I’ve done with each role is figured out how I can fit my life into the new role. “Where will my kids be welcome to participate with me?” is an important question. Volunteering or serving isn’t something that I do outside of my family life — it is integrated in it. There are a lot of ways you can get involved, which one is right for you? Monona has opportunities for you to join, and so does Dane County. Another opportunity is to be active with your elected officials — call me, get regular updates, give me your opinion! I can do this job so much better when I hear from you.
I’d love to know about more opportunities to serve in our community. Are you looking for volunteers? Do you have a favorite place or cause where you give your time?
Better and stronger policy through inclusive engagement