I have been writing about what we are doing at the County Council. It occurred to me that maybe I should share with you who I am.
I came to political office somewhat reluctantly. My husband John, at 33 was elected to office. My involvement in “politics” at the time was working on his campaigns and eventually managing a number of his runs for office throughout his career as an elected official. But what really kept me busy was raising our five children. Through penny pinching I was able to be a stay-at-home mom. It was a full time job. I was busy with the care, games, interests and the school activities of five kids. In addition to the cooking, cleaning and THE LAUNDRY! A lot of laundry.
As the kids got a little older I became active in the PTA, Tacoma School District Committees and community activities. I started Southend Neighbors for Family Safety, a non-profit which organized our neighborhood to help prevent crime and drug activity. At age 45, I went back to college and received a degree in Social Work from Pacific Lutheran University, then attended the University of Washington for my Masters. At this point I started working outside our home. Our youngest was 17 so I felt that it was time for me to move into the next stage of my life.
A number of people started approaching me about running for office. I resisted for a few years saying, “that was for my husband not me”. I came to the realization that being in office was a continuation of the work I had been doing in the community and way a way that I could advocate and set policy for the issues that I had been working for as a Social Worker. So here I am many years later, trying to be a voice for those that are often not heard.
All of our children are married and we have 11 fabulous and adorable grandchildren and three grand-dogs. John is no longer in elected office but is back to practicing law with our two oldest sons. We are not quite ready for retirement even though many of our friends have moved into that stage of life. There is still service to my community that I want to see come to fruition. It is said that social work is the helping profession; we serve individuals, families and communities to ensure their welfare and well-being. We often work toward social justice and human/civil rights. I have taken that with me in my work as a representative of those that I serve. So even as I continue to serve as your councilmember, know that service is from the heart of a social worker.