Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Some politicians are just regular folks

31 Comments

Let me tell you a story about politics that makes me smile.

I know, I know. Politics and smiling haven’t seemed related in a very long time. But trust me, there are plenty of great people holding down policital jobs these days. We don’t hear about them often, but we should.

Those of you following this blog for the past few years know that in 2016 I stepped way out of my comfort zone to work on the campaign of a woman running to become my district’s Representative. You know that politics is not my thing and if I had my druthers I’d live in a little house in the woods or on a lake and not turn the television on at all.

But then my dad was killed by a tired trucker and my life changed. I tell new truck safety families all the time that they don’t know how strong they are until they have to be. That we can do anything that’s important to us, that we’re passionate about.

And changing the Representative for my district was important to me, because the incumbent, representing a party that had been in office for years, refused to meet with me to talk about truck safety issues, even though I was his constituent. And the challenger, Elissa Slotkin, was willing to hear me out at the very beginning of her campaign.

So in 2018 I canvased for her, which was much more scary to me then speaking in public about truck safety issues, scarier than meeting with the Secretary of Transportation, or testifying in front of a Senate subcommittee. And she won, by a slim margin, in a district that is primarly made up of people not in her party.

Katie was happy when Elissa won too.

Since she’s been in office she’s signed on to support one of our issues, trying to get automatic emergency brakes mandated in commercial trucks, and she’s always been willing to talk with us about whatever safety issues we’re fighting.

This year my husband and I have focused on getting people the yard signs they’ve requested. We live in a township that is very red, the roads are lined with signs of the opposing party. I take it as a personal victory when I can get one of Elissa’s signs into a yard that is surrounded by her opponent’s signs.

A couple weeks ago we were notified that one of her signs, a large one on a main road, had been defaced. We didn’t know how it was defaced, but we said we’d go out and see if we could salvage it. We hoped it was just kids having a crazy Saturday night.

Discouraging.

We were wrong.

Maybe we should have left it defaced, to make a point, but signs are expensive, and the defacing seemed malicious, so we went to work to try and clean it up. It took 3 hours and a whole lot of elbow grease. And even after all that, the sign was still disfigured.

But while we were working on it we had several cars honk in support, and a few people stopped by to offer ideas on supplies that might work, or to help clean it. We probably created more goodwill cleaning that sign than we would have if it had never been defaced. And no we didn’t deface it ourselves.

Working to clean it up.

But here’s the really cool thing. Today the Congresswoman called and left a long message on our landline, thanking us for cleaning up the sign, saying she had just driven by it and she wanted us to know that she appreciated the work.

At first, while I was listening to the message, I thought it was a robo call from her campaign — you know the kind where the candidate leaves a recorded message thanking you for support and asking for you to chip in a little more. But no, this wasn’t her office calling, wasn’t a recorded message, it was just a woman saying thanks, like any regular person would, directly and in person, sincerely, asking for nothing more.

As good as we could get it.

Just saying thanks.

And that’s the kind of person I am proud to vote for this November. A decent person who tries to make the best decisions at her job under stressful conditions every day. A person working for the betterment of all the people in her district – whether they voted for her or not. Someone who will listen to anybody’s issues, will give them all careful consideration, who doesn’t dismiss anyone. Someone who is always upfront and honest with her constituents.

She’s such a regular person that sometimes it’s hard for me to remember she’s actually a Congresswoman. I think of her as Elissa. I really need to work on giving her the respect and title she’s earned. She’s my Congresswoman and I’m proud of the work she’s doing while still being just regular folk. It’s such a relief to have someone like her representing me.

She makes me smile.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

31 thoughts on “Some politicians are just regular folks

  1. What an extraordinary district Representative you have, Dawn. And making her own phone call to thank you for your hard work. Good for her and good for you!

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    • I was impressed she calle us herself. Sort of confused, because she called our landline which is a # we didn’t give her campaign, but we’re listed so maybe she found it that way. Her staff has our cell #’s and that’s where all our communication has been with her office.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great story start to finish! I’m proud of you for supporting a candidate — I feel that I should do that more. But even more proud that you would take the time to clean up a defaced sign. We need more citizens like you, for sure.

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  3. How very coool that she called you herself! And–way to go–for you guys to help repair that sign. There are some good people all the way around here. (But, man, you’d think Michigan was totally Republican this year. I hope we can pull it off and get the “silent majority” to vote.)

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  4. She sounds like a great representative. Very cool that she called. I think a lot of politicians are decent people, but it is special when one goes out of their way like that.

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  5. Elissa Slotkin has been an outstanding representative! She had my vote last time for some of the very reasons you didn’t like her predecessor. But she has been so high profile, thoughtful, articulate, and always on the go. She works across the aisle to help her constituents and do what’s right for America. I keep up with her on Facebook and find myself cheering for her and correcting untruths that her opponents spread.

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  6. Well done you, and well done her. Your politicians generally get a bad press in our country, just as I’m sure ours do in yours. So it’s good to hear of both politicians, and activists like you striving to make a positive difference. Here’s hoping she’s re-elected! Together with very many from the party she represents.

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  7. Whoever defaced the sign wrote TRUMP because they have no clue who the Republican challenger is. A terrible sign of the ignorance of the most basic issues. It should be a voter’s responsibility to be better educated. Thank goodness for TRUMP, his name is easily spelled!

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  8. This post made me smile, despite the defacement of the sign. Glad you were able to clean it so that it looks pretty darned good, as my Yankee husband might say. Elissa Slotkin sounds like a fine person. I hope she is reelected. Also nice to see that Katie is endorsing her. Always good to get a paw of approval. 😉

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  9. What a sad thing to do to a sign. I cannot being so passionate about my *gang* that I’d deface the other gang’s sign. Of course the more cynical side of my nature wonders why that doesn’t happen more often. Stupid is as stupid does, I guess. Fingers crossed ES wins again.

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  10. The defacement is disgusting—and juvenile. This post also brought a smile to my face. Excellent work all around.

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  11. Stories like this give me a smidgen of hope, once I get over the anger, the dismay, that feeling of WTF at the disrespect and utter childishness shown by those who would deface anything. Thank you for sharing.

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    • I went out of my way and drove by that sign for 3 days after we cleaned it up, certain the same idiot would do it again. I knew we wouldn’t be able to clean it up a second time, the paint remover was also removing the lettering on the sign, so it’s all pretty messed up. But so far so good. No more attempts that I know of. I think it’s a chargeable offense to deface or steal a political sign.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m impressed! Great story! Thank you for all you do!

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  13. Your story is an allegory to a greater defamation happening in our country by Trump. Just like the rascals who defaced the sign with black paint, TRUMP is defacing our democracy with black acts of chaos and disrespect for our very nature. When you and your friends worked together to reclaim the Elissa Slotkin sign, you offer all of us the example that we need to work together to reclaim the clean goodness of our country. There are far more good people like Elissa across our neighborhoods than disrespectful and cowardly ruffians who would spray paint a sign to quiet our protected right of free speech. Let’s all remember your story as we work in positive ways to elect better people to government, for the good of our entire nation.

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  14. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 9/28 – 10/4/2020 | Trent's World (the Blog)

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