If this week of my New Bedford School Committee campaign had a theme, it would be family. This week featured Father’s Day and Nick’s first birthday (?!?), for one. The other big event of my week was a two-part training for local women running for office, presented by the Women’s Fund of Southeastern MA and Leadership SouthCoast. The training featured area women who have run for (and in some cases, hold) elected office, and each one emphasized the importance of one’s family in a campaign. According to their collective experience, family members can be more than boots on the ground; they can serve as check writers, coaches who can offer critical feedback (for better or worse), and most importantly, cheerleaders when the going gets tough.
Hearing local officeholders emphasize this point was a great reminder that the role family will play in my campaign can’t be taken for granted. That goes for Jeremy in particular, who holds the title of campaign treasurer–a necessity because sitting on two appointed (and effectively unpaid) city boards qualifies me as a “public employee” who cannot directly solicit or handle contributions. But over the next months, he’ll do much more than process and track funds: he’ll join me in door-knocking, hosting events, shaking hands at events, listening to me practice my spiel, proof-reading blog posts like this, and reminding me to stop writing posts like this and go to bed. And he’s likely to do more than his fair share of parenting, whether that means picking up Nick after daycare (which he mostly does anyway) so I can fit in a post-work campaign meeting or doing the dinner/bath/bedtime routine alone so I can attend an event.
Last week, I was telling my neighbor about some surprising feedback I’ve gotten from a few people I told about my plans to run leading up to the announcement. On at least three occasions, it was suggested I wait, because it would be too hard to balance campaigning with motherhood. Hearing this kind of thing in 2017 was a bit jarring, not to mention discouraging (and perhaps the topic of a future blog post). But my neighbor was spot-on in her reply: “Have they met Jeremy?!” Hear, hear.
In other news, keep an eye out for my buttons, which will be appearing on lapels and bags around town thanks to the quick turnaround of Glenn and Carol Grimes. Also coming soon are business cards with my logo, contact info, and links to my website and Facebook page. I’ll be working on something postcard-sized next, but this seemed like an inexpensive way to fill the need for information I can put in someone’s hand. After all, any day now, I’ll find the gumption to try my hand at door-knocking!
This week’s stats:
Time spent: 10-11 hours (attended a fundraiser, designed/ordered business cards, three meetings, email correspondence, Women’s Fund/LSC 6-hour training)
Amount spent: $138 ($106 for buttons, and $32 for business cards)
Amount raised: $0. Time for my treasurer to start asking! 🙂
Events attended: 1 (fundraiser for City Councilor Ian Abreu)
New people I’ve met: too many to count this week! Probably 8-10 is a good estimate.