The Newest Pursuit: Public Office
Long-time readers of The New Pursuit will have undoubtedly noticed that posts here have been fewer and farther between over the last couple of months. This has been for a variety of reasons: Our kids are getting older and are involved in more things as they explore what interests them; work continues to grow in scope and responsibility; and I’ve launched my campaign for public office.
Yes, public office.
After years of trying to drive change from outside the system, I’ve decided to try my hand at driving change from the inside. I am running for one of seven seats on what is know here in Tiverton as the “Town Council”. Similar to a Board of Selectmen, this is the governing body of our local municipal government, having responsibility for all Town affairs, policy, etc. It is a two-year position.
The decision to run has taken a long time. I considered it both in 2008 and 2010 but for various personal and professional reasons the timing wasn’t right. Now that the kids are older and a bit more autonomous, and I can take a step back from other volunteer activities, the bandwidth to take this on should be there. Couple that with a growing contingency of what I would characterize as anti-community, overly-tax-focused, new-to-town transplants taking over more and more elected positions in town — it has created a strong impetus to get involved and try and change the course of things. I’ve written about community many times here on this blog and I see this move as another way of rolling up my sleeves and continuing to foster it.
Truth be told: I’m a bit nervous about what winning in the November election could do to our family life and my personal quest of ‘deep living’ — simplicity, sustainability, spirituality. My wife has been and continues to be incredibly supportive. But I have always had a tendency to max out my volunteer bandwidth, doing lots of things for different organizations and needs. Serving on our Town Council would be a huge bandwidth sucker so I’m taking steps now to lessen my commitments in other areas. Overload would do no one and no cause any good.
Truth be told (again): I’m also hopeful that by doing this I can help inspire others — especially those of similar age and family status — to get more involved in our community. There are so many needs and everyone (and I mean everyone) has some talent or knowledge or passion to give and pay forward. You can’t help change the world for the better if you don’t get involved.