I want to be of use, and I have the time, energy and skills that the job requires. I'm convinced that we should all participate in local government. I plan to live here for the rest of my life, so I want to help shape Montpelier for the next thirty years and beyond. And I honestly like meetings.
I see a class division between people who feel well-connected and represented in local government, and others who don't-- who feel overlooked and unheard. I think Montpelier has an opportunity to practice a more direct democracy, with city council more actively seeking out conversations with residents in between elections.
I listen well, and I'm good at helping people hear each other and make decisions that everyone's happy about. I've spent the past fifteen years in customer-service sorts of jobs: cooking at retreat centers and in a residential community, running a cash register and making coffee drinks at Rhapsody Cafe and the Skinny Pancake, and currently at the picture frame shop in The Drawing Board. All those jobs centered around making people comfortable and happy, through listening, talking and making things (or by making things happen). I've enjoyed my jobs because I enjoy listening, talking, and making things happen, and I think I've gotten better at those activities. If elected, I'll set aside time every week to seek out and listen to different residents in person-- for example, one week at a downtown cafe, the next week on a walk around one of the neighborhoods. I am an expert coffee drinker and walker.
My persistent creative attention could also benefit the city. I love spending time with attractive but impractical ideas, imagining ways to make them less impractical, and finding people who can help. The Front, my downtown project for the past five years, feels to me like an example of an originally impractical idea that has stabilized itself in a way that I'm really proud of. Everyone who comes to our receptions and artist talks, and the 16 members (plus regular guest artists) have pulled together to make a viable art gallery in a space that had been vacant for a long time. It's certainly something I couldn't have done on my own, but I think it wouldn't have happened without my persistence. I'd like to devote more of that energy to Montpelier as part of city council.