As we enter the final days before election day on May 8th, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the journey that began almost exactly a year ago today. On May 1, 2017, I made the decision that I needed to do this, that the way I could be most impactful was to run to represent my community in our state government. I often tell people the stars aligned in strange ways to bring me to this point, however, I have had no doubts that this was the path I was meant to take.
This year has had countless highs and lows. I have transitioned from being something people love (everyone feels positively towards pediatricians) into something people tend to hate (the vitriol towards politicians is palpable). I am judged quickly and summarily, in some ways as a caricature of who I really am. I have been shouted at, hung up on, and have had the door slammed in my face – many times. People operate on an assumption that I am doing this for some sort of perceived power, rather than my sincere and overwhelming desire to help elevate the voice of each individual so that we may truly work together.
I have also met some of the most amazing people – people who have been fighting and working hard to make this world a better place in a thankless environment. I have made true connections with like-minded individuals, as well as those whose perspectives are very different than mine, but clearly have important value. I have found welcome and support in unexpected places. I have cried with people on their doorsteps, as we talked about our current world and the world we want to see.
On my journey this year, I have been helped along by thousands of people – through donations of money or time, positive messages, words of encouragement and an absolute feeling of community that has reminded me that ‘you are not alone, we are all human together.’
I am filled with gratitude for these experiences, and humbled by each person I have met with a unique story to share.
So, as we move towards what I hope will be my first election victory, I need to say thank you. Regardless of where this path ends, I am in this fight – for smarter, healthier communities – and a positive future for us all.