Moving Forward With Fellow LEE Members Behind Me
LEE Member Christine Lloyd, on right, participates in LEE’s Women’s Political Leadership Program in Washington, DC.
When I received the invitation to apply for LEE’s Women’s Political Leadership Program, I had just left a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting for my oldest son’s school in Auburn, Massachusetts.
We had been attempting to decide on a model for the new PTO’s when the district embarks on an effort to unite two of the elementary schools from separate sides of town. It was brought to my attention that some members of this group and the town believed that the wealth of a parent should determine the educational opportunities of the child and were planning on running for school committee.
This served as the catalyst for me to apply for the Women’s Political Leadership Program, or WPLP. I have worked in the public education system for 11 years and know how harmful some policy decisions can be on the classroom. I wanted this weekend workshop to guide me in making the right decision for my future involvement in policy making within my own community.
While at the workshop, I was inspired by the other member’s stories and passion. Having been out of Teach For America for 9 years, I had forgotten how powerful and energizing it can be to be surrounded by such dynamic, passionate and talented people. With this energy in tow, I researched my town’s current elections and found that there were 8 openings for town meeting members that no one was running for. Using the action steps put forth in the workshop, I went home and planned to make phone calls to ask people to write my name in on the ballot on Tuesday.
However, when I got home, reality hit me. I am a mom, teacher, and wife and I felt overwhelmed at all that I had on my plate Sunday evening. I did not make any phone calls. On Monday morning, a fellow workshop participant I had become friends contacted me and asked how my phone calls were coming. I realized that although I was busy, this past weekend had shown me that my involvement in this community would be meaningful, and worth the time commitment (thank you Andrea!). I made phone calls, and was elected a Town Meeting Member for Precinct 4 on Tuesday May 20th.
In the future, I honestly don’t know exactly where my career or conscience will take me. What I do know is that I plan to be actively involved in my own community to ensure educational equality for all children. This may take the form of an elected position, an educator, administrator, or district leader. Whatever path leads me, I feel more confident knowing that I have the support of the Women’s Political Leadership Program and its members behind me.
About the Diversity in Elected Leadership Series
The Diversity in Elected Leadership series is designed to inspire, develop, and support LEE members from communities historically underrepresented in political leadership who are considering (or already committed to) advocating for educational equity as elected officials. The program begins with a weekend workshop featuring guest speakers and trainers who bring expertise as elected officials, candidates, campaign staffers, and political consultants. Over the course of the three month program, participants gain first-hand experience volunteering on local campaigns and develop their leadership through peer coaching and completing a leadership plan.
Want to learn more about our Diversity in Elected Leadership Series? Visit our workshop page for more info and how to apply for upcomming workshops.