Last week, well…last Friday to be exact…I submitted my application to run for a seat on City Council.
It was a little rash, and a bit impulsive, but it was the right thing to do. Lemme ‘splain:
There was a vacancy on my local City Council because a member was moving on in his career to bigger and better things. A number of older men applied for the position, and someone noted that there are like, zero women running. “Come on!”
Well, that is all I needed to go print out my resume, type up my vision for Bainbridge Island, and fill out an application!
Here is my vision statement for Bainbridge Island:
I am interested in serving as a Bainbridge Island City Councilmember because I believe the Council serves a vital role in governing the future of the island, and I would love to be a part of the process.
The City Council’s greatest asset is its diversity, for which I would bring a crucial perspective. As the island continues to struggle with the issue of growth vs. preservation, it is important to have viewpoints from many sectors. My work history is singularly focused on the preservation of the family, as well as the future of my community. I have enjoyed being a part of many communities within our island during the short time my family has lived here, and already I see countless areas in which the island is more than proficient in serving our children and families; but at the same time, there are underlying forces which are keeping more families from living here. The quality of life on Bainbridge Island is high, undoubtedly, and an appealing environment in which to raise children. Unfortunately, the cost of living is a rising factor in our community, and it is imperative that a voice be placed on the council to address families, and specifically young families, who have the amazing opportunity to live on the island.
The three highest priorities I believe the City needs to address are 1) The rapidly increasing cost of living and how it affects families on the island, 2) The health and well being of our forests and environment, 3) The continued sustaining of Bainbridge island culture through outreach, Parks&Rec, community building activities and inclusiveness of diversity within the island. I would address these issues through proposals which are already in discussion, particularly the aquifer situation, as well as bringing in local companies, organizations and groups to participate with the Council in order to strengthen our community.
I have had the pleasure of living on the island with my family for the past 3 years and have also enjoyed being the President of the PTO for Mosaic Home Education Partnership for a brief period. I am eager to participate in communities with my family, and am particularly interested in making sure the future of the island is prosperous and flourishing.
During my time as a Bainbridge Island City Councilmember I would like to see a greater voice from the public be heard. I believe our island has a great collective voice with many perspectives. It is imperative that the voices of those who have lived here for 40 years are just as heard as those who have lived here for 1 year: Bainbridge Island will only prosper with both. As a City Councilmember, I will ensure that the primary focus of the Council will be to establish a relationship of transparency and trust between both the government as well as the citizens.
My vision for the city and community is to continue to establish a strong relationship between the people, the city, the environment and the businesses on the island. The only way a community can survive and thrive is by networking the strengths of all sectors, public and private. I would like to see the City Council look towards the future of the island with a broader lens, rather than try to consecrate our community in a period of stagnant time. Together with this vision, however, must be the balance of maintaining the unique culture of Bainbridge Island. It is a delicate balance, surely, and one which should not be taken lightly.
I have had the priviledge of being able to leave work and raise my and my husband’s 5 children for the past 14 years. During that time I have served as Coordinator for groups for young mothers, explore freelance writing, and have thoroughly enjoyed homeschooling. I have homeschooling blogs, as well as blogs for my writing. Recently I have also had the pleasure of returning to college to finish my Masters at Harvard Extension School with a degree in Literature and Creative Writing. I think this opening on the Bainbridge Island City Councl is an exciting opportunity to both serve my community, as well as to bridge the voices between the visions of established cultures and emerging cultures which bring new and different hope to the future of our island.
I came up with very serious campaign slogans such as, “Progress soothes the nerves,” “Now with 50% more Progress!” “Tonight, let it be Progress,” “The curiously strong Progress,” and finally “Ho Ho Ho Green Progress.”
When suddenly I got some bad news:
“City Council Campaign Update! I have bad news, and then I have worse news! Okay, the bad news first. Since the elected official stepped down (he got a better offer elsewhere), the seat will not be voted upon by the general public, but rather only by the council itself. So, I would be able to present my campaign speech (which I have written and will post on my blog) on Thursday, and the council would vote. Now the worse news-the council let me know today that I am not in the correct ward to run. So, I revoked my application to city council. NEVERTHELESS, here is my awesome banner I made for myself…and thank you all for your incredible support during my extremely short campaign into government! “
Which is a darn shame, because I had already written my campaign speech I was going to present to the council!
My name is Tamarah Rockwood and I am delighted to be here tonight. My husband Ben and I moved here about 3 years ago in order to raise our 5 kids in a safe, unique and progressive community, which Bainbridge Island has fulfilled tenfold. I have a work history ranging from substitute teaching to assistant art curator to real estate agent to my much longer and more impassioned focus of writing. My children have been homeschooled for the past 9 years, and the number 1 thing I teach them is: always look for opportunities to improve. This sentiment extends beyond improving our selves. I encourage them to always find ways to improve their outlook, their perspective and the environment around them. Needless to say, when I saw the opportunity to serve our community, it was my pleasure to extend my hand. There are many strengths of Bainbridge Island which go unchallenged: our special character of the island, our fierce devotion to protecting both our land and our water health, as well as sustaining our local community through events and outreach. However, as the council is well aware, there are tough decisions which must be made in order to preserve these strengths. I was delighted to apply for this open position on Bainbridge Island city council because I not only share the love for our island home, but I was excited to participate in this opportunity to share my own strengths. I believe my patience, endurance, creativity and proclivity towards positive and progressive decisions will make me a logical choice for a councilmember. I thank the council for this opportunity to present my candidacy, and for their time.
Well, it was a short run…but it was a good run.
What I always say: it doesn’t matter if you win. It matters that you participate and contribute in positive ways.