There’s one thing most of us in the District C race have in common right now. We are very, very sleepy people.
This past Sunday was when I got to see a lot of humanity in my fellow candidates. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all working our butts off and are underslept and overworked, but I had this sense of peace about the fact that there are so many of us just getting out there and doing the proverbial “Lord’s Work.” Even though I am going to see this through to November 5 and beyond, I’ve already won a victory because I’ve helped drive the conversation, and I’m not the only one doing so. I never thought I’d make it this far, but I’ve had a lot of people believing in me when I didn’t believe in mySELF early on. (I’m grateful for them.)
13 people in one race. 13. That’s a whole lot of people. It becomes especially apparent when you’re in forum after forum and every one of the 13 people in your race gets the same amount of time to talk. These things went on for up to four hours, and even though I’m glad they’re (mostly) done, I’m starting to miss them. And that’s okay, because that’s true democracy. (On a different note, one of my personal heroines, Sue Lovell, is running for mayor in an equally crowded race, and keeps getting shut out of mayoral debates and I keep getting disgusted with that fact, but anyway…).
If you look at the list of people running in each district (apparently District B had a “hold my beer” moment, yikes), it’s just bananabawls.
Here is why this is good, though:
- People from all walks of life are stepping up to run, just like I did months ago, because politics belong to ALL of us. That is what my mama taught me, and I’m finally making her proud. We each bring different ideas and experiences to the table, and the things we’re talking about are different than they were six months ago. Because…
- The conversation has changed and refined itself. I feel like each one of us has really found our voice, and what we stand for. We’ve also come together on the things that are most important, and we have the smarts to solve those issues. We have the determination, and the vast majority of us are running clean campaigns to boot. I am genuinely freakin’ impressed by how well just about everyone is conducting themselves in a fierce campaign in the largest district in the fourth- (let’s be honest, we’re third-) largest city in the country. I’m honored to be a part of this.
- I hope I am inspiring others to participate in government. You don’t HAVE to give up. You don’t HAVE to run for office to have a say, either. If I win, I’m gonna remain an activist. If I don’t win, I’m gonna remain an activist. And you can do any or all of the above. All it requires is passion and detailed knowledge, which you can gain on your own. I’ll be around to guide you through the process of how to fight really, really hard for things you believe in.
- If we’re going to be the world-class city we keep telling magazines like Forbes we are, it’s going to take people like us to make it so. I used to gripe all the time that my birth town of Toledo, Ohio would always talk about how great it was, as if saying that would somehow make it the greatest city on earth without anyone actually doing anything. Houston has been suffering from the same syndrome, though. And when I visited Toledo in August, I was impressed by how citizens have stepped up and started putting in the elbow grease to make it a good place to live. I did my tour, and I took copious notes. They’ve stopped hitting that snooze button, and it’s Houston’s time to wake up too. I feel like we’re at least awake and brushing our teeth now. Time to find some clean pants and go to work, Houston – the bus is arriving in 15 minutes, and you know how Metro is.
I really would like to thank my “competitors” (I laugh at that word, because most are becoming friends now), and fellow candidates from other races, who I know will be my comrades in the near future. When I see the humanity in you, beyond the yard signs and mailers, on a sleepy and languorous Sunday afternoon when everyone just really needs a nap, I see the human beings I’ll be working with. I see and love the fire in your soul.
You, and I, will be shaping the future of this city we love so much.