Campaign Angst

Having a little campaigning angst. I keep feeling that with the nation in flames, if I have extra time, I should be pouring it into fighting things at the national level, or at least state, not just local.

Yes, running for anything is important, and important change happens at the local level, and yes, my library board race is meant in part to help me figure out whether it’s feasible for me to run for higher office down the road (in terms of how much voting and financial support I have, how much I like campaigning and whether I’m sufficiently good at it, etc.). There was a plan here.

And I absolutely believe our libraries are going to need serious defending in the next four years; there are already moves to defund them. While the other candidates seem generally solid too, I do think that I’m particularly suited to serve on library board — I have a ton of pertinent background, and I’m good at articulating the library’s mission and needs, as I’ve seen in a host of conversations over the last month.

I think I’ve convinced quite a few people that the moves to get rid of fines (as a barrier to access) and hire a social worker were good ones, and that it might also make a lot of sense to stop charging for meeting rooms (another barrier to access for small community groups that can’t afford $40 for three hours, esp given that those rooms are sitting empty 75% of the time). We don’t have a community center here, and it’s important that we support the libraries as hubs of the community — especially when things are going poorly at the national level.

But I do sometimes feel like the library would be basically fine in the hands of the other board members, and I should’ve run for something bigger. I think this is just frustration with the nation’s situation right now — it honestly wasn’t realistic for me to run for anything bigger, in terms of the time I currently have available, my unwillingness to quit my job right now to run for something else that would be a full-time position, etc.

If I win, four years just feels like an awfully long time before I think about running for something else. I am feeling such urgency to make huge change now.

2 thoughts on “Campaign Angst”

  1. This is an interesting dilemma. I can see how, having run for office on a certain set of premises and promises, you’d want to serve for the entire term. It would feel to me like a matter of personal integrity, and as you frame the job, you can do a lot of social good on the library board.

    However, sorry to invoke such an awful person, but Jeff Sessions has no angst about resigning his Senate seat to be (maybe) AG. If there’s a higher position that seems like a good fit for you, you can resign from the library board with no guilt. There are others who want that position and likely can fill it ably.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    I suppose that’s true, though I actually hadn’t considered leaving it early. Well, we’ll see how it goes!

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