Participated in my first-ever public forum tonight as a candidate. I was so nervous – I think we all were – the other school board candidates and I were laughing about that before it started – I don’t think any of the other candidates had done one of these before, either. But we all survived and came out smiling and shaking hands and nobody threw tomatoes at us or anything.
Also – the Seahawks won.
It was a good night.
The League of Women Voters hosted the event at our local public library. All the school board candidates gave opening and closing speeches and in-between we were asked questions from the audience.
Here’s my opening speech:
It’s great to be here tonight with my teammates on this adventure. All of us – Bill, Holly, Rich and I – are running because we genuinely want to help our community. What I can bring to the board are my years of teaching experience – right now the board doesn’t have anyone with a teaching background on it. I have a Bachelor’s in Education and History from Washington State University, and a Master’s in Literacy from Walden University. I was a teacher for more than 30 years – for 20 of those years i was in the Burlington-Edison school district and taught at three of the schools there – Allen, Edison, and West View, the district’s dual language school. And for the last seven years I’ve taught at Emerson High School, the alternative high school in Mount Vernon. I think my teaching experience would add something positive to the board.
And here’s my closing bit:
I have a passion for teaching and learning. As I contemplated my retirement from teaching last spring I realized I still wanted to be a part of education – and it occurred to me that I could bring my experience and love for teaching to service on the school board.
My mom passed on two years ago. She was the youngest of ten children – eight of them daughters – and she was the only female in her family to get a university degree. Education was very important to her. My brothers and I knew growing up that there was an expectation we would go on to college. My mom worked as a teacher’s aide for many years and impacted a lot of young lives – she knew how to reach the struggling students. I still hear from some of her old students about how much my mom meant to them. I think Mom would be proud of me for running for school board – win or lose – I think she’d be proud that I put my name into the race.
I think I could bring a lot of good to the school board.
Thank you for inviting us all here tonight to share our visions with you.
No, no, no, no, no. An American president does not ask a foreign president to investigate a fellow American. American investigations of Americans stay in America. And to offer weapons to a foreign president in exchange for investigating an American citizen is also a no-no. I feel weird having to say this. I mean. Duh, right?
“coup: a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.”
“impeachment: a charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office.”
Let’s be clear: The impeachment process is not a “coup.” It is a legal process – written into the US Constitution – for putting on trial a person holding public office. Donald Trump is NOT our government. Our government does not exist of Trump, by Trump, or for Trump anymore than it does for any of the rest of us. Donald Trump is a person elected to serve the people in a government that belongs to THEM. Our government is “of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE.” If Donald Trump has used American weapons, paid for by our tax dollars, as a means of bargaining with a foreign power to help him find dirt on a rival in the 2020 election – as Donald Trump has publicly admitted doing – then he needs to be put on trial. And no, that is not a coup. That is a necessary step taken to keep our nation secure and working as a democratic-republic.
Ahem. So. Yeah. All my talk about kindness. I feel the need to confess at this time that I ain’t perfect. Yet. 🙂 I get angry sometimes. I have flaws and foibles and nonsense. But I am trying – and I think I’ve made some progress. And that’s got to count for something, right?
Who? I’m thinking I need to be showing kindness to everyone, without distinction. Kindness shouldn’t just be shown to people who belong to the right political party, or religion, or ethnicity, or gender, or whatever. Kindness should be shown to everyone, regardless of (fill in the blank). And yes, it should even be shown to (fill in the blank).
What does kindness look like? I’m thinking it’s mostly seen in the little things – in a smile, in a word of encouragement and appreciation, holding the door open for the person behind you, slowing down so a car can merge in front of you, buying someone a cocoa or a coffee on a cold day, saying hi to a stranger who looks in need of a friendly greeting.
Why should we be kind? Because, really, kindness is the basis for whatever is moral and ethical, isn’t it? You’re not going to cheat, steal, or murder when you’re kind.
When should we be kind? Well. Always, right? Kindness shouldn’t be withheld until it’s been “earned.” Kindness shouldn’t come with any expectation or agenda at all.
So. That’s what I’m thinking about this morning.
“God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love. Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it most; most of all upon your equals, where it is very difficult, and for whom perhaps we each do least of all. There is a difference between trying to please and giving pleasure. Give pleasure. Lose no chance of giving pleasure.”
– Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World
Dear Legislators –
We are at a crossroads here, and if we don’t take the right path we could lose our republic. This goes beyond partisan politics – this goes beyond Republican and Democrat; rich and poor; young and old. We are in danger of losing our country.
If we don’t put a check on this president now – when it is obvious that he has acted against our Constitution and against our nation – then we have lost all power as a people. We will have become a fascist state with a dictator who is outside the law and accountable to no one.
Please step up, take a stand, and do the right thing. For the people you were elected to represent. For our future. For America.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell