Equity and Access

As the library board race comes to a close, I’m thinking about what comes next. Win or lose, I plan to run again — a friend told me yesterday that she’d read that men generally run three times before they stop running, and women stop after the first defeat.
That lines up with what I’ve seen as an editor, what studies have shown — men persist more than women do, and that results in more publications. There are good reasons why women, why anyone from a marginalized group, might decide to cut their losses — when resources are already scarce, it might not feel like it makes sense to keep pouring energy in a direction that offers no guarantee of success. But the consequence is fewer women, fewer people of color, fewer marginalized voices in the field.
So I’ll run again — I’m not sure yet for what. I was talking to an organizer last night, and I said that I didn’t know what I could realistically run for next. She said that wasn’t the right question — that the question was, what problem do I want to solve, and what is the job that solves them? The honest answer is that I want to solve all the problems; I’m not a single issue candidate.
I can’t run for president, but I could run for Congress, or Governor, or a state house position. That feels…distant, right now. I don’t know how many steps there are between here and there. I think I need to have conversations with people wise in Democratic politics, to map out a reasonable approach for the next few years.
But in the meantime, I’m figuring out what my core positions really are. For library board, I’m running on a platform of equity and access. Our libraries are fantastic, and they do a great job of serving the people who use them. I want to make sure that people who have difficulties getting to our libraries (for financial, physical, cultural, or other reasons) have help getting there. Libraries for everyone.
I think the same platform applies at a larger level. I want our schools to serve all students, not just the wealthiest or the brightest. I want our public buildings and spaces to be physically accessible to all. I want every American to enjoy the same ability to access healthcare as other economically developed countries experience.
If America is to be as great as it imagines itself, as it promises, we need to ensure that we make pursuing life, liberty, and happiness possible for ALL our people.
Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.
(And yes, I’m quoting a Disney film.)

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