by Kelly Fowler
“When we are deciding who to vote for, the question we should ask ourselves is not who would we share a beer with. The question we should ask ourselves is who would we hire to teach in our kid’s school? Who would we ask to check in on our parents who live far away? Who would we give our dog to if we died? Who would we send in our place to an important meeting? Who would we trust to make a big purchase in our best interest? Because these are literally the things our elected officials are doing. We are not even remotely sharing a beer with them.”
I wholeheartedly agree with these thoughts on deciding who earns my vote. I feel strongly that you are who you truly are, when nobody is looking. Platform and promises are great, but how do we know someone is trustworthy and deserves your vote?
I have been passionately fighting for fairness, and advocating for people, for a long time. My battles may have been small, but I never give up on a fight if there is something unfair or wrong going on.
Last year, my daughter came home with a flyer for a Father/Daughter Dance. She asked me why “Amy” (in her class) wasn’t invited, since she didn’t have a Dad. She also asked why it wasn’t the Mother/Daughter dance, explaining that everyone has a mother. I tried explaining that the term “Father” could mean anyone who is a parent and that the spirit of the dance was to celebrate families and parents.
What about the families that have no father figure, like a single mother, or a family with 2 mothers, or foster parent, or parent deployed in the military, or any number of non-traditional families? It isn’t inclusive of all family types to call the dance Father/Daughter.
I am proud to say that I was the driving force in getting the name of the dance to to be changed to the Parent/Daughter Dance.
I spoke up and insisted.
This past January, the weekend after the Women’s March, we attended the Parent/Daughter Dance as a family.
The Republican Incumbent in my district has a daughter in the same grade as my older daughter, and I was expecting him to be at the dance. I had not yet decided to run for Delegate- I was just an angry constituent. I came in with my pink Pussy Hat and was ready to talk to him about how he has been voting, particularly how he voted to pass The Days of Tears Resolution, which is designed to shame women, who have had abortions, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He did not attend, so I was not able to speak to him. I could not ever seem to communicate with him, either by running into him in the community, getting him to respond via email, or call me back on the phone.
My daughters and I still had an amazing night! We took the lead, danced, led the Congo Line, and showed those Dads what Parents are supposed to do at a dance-have fun!
I strongly feel that we must actively encourage inclusiveness to all types of families.
I believe that we have become accustomed to “that’s the way it always has been” mentality. In order to change and become a more inclusive community, we must make an effort to speak up on something if it is not right. Was anyone feeling excluded because of the title of the dance? I do not know. But, I do know now, that we have worded the dance in a way that does not exclude anyone. One more step towards inclusiveness.
I will always speak up for inclusiveness.
I look forward to serving my community.