I don’t have a lot on my resumé when it comes to community. I don’t belong to any high-profile community organizations that you might see in the local newspaper. I’ve never organized a community event. There are no photos of me at a grand opening, or a volunteer recognition dinner, or a committee meeting.
I do think the work done by these community organizations is important. I love attending Lansing Autumn Fest, and participating in Clean-Up Day, and riding with L.O.O.P., and cheering throughout the entire Good Neighbor Day parade. I’m glad Lansing has hundreds of people who help plan, organize, lead, and clean up after these events. Events are a nice way to celebrate community.
But a lot of community is what happens between events. Community is all the little kindnesses we ordinary people show each other just because we’re neighbors:
- Checking in on a senior during the dark winter months
- Buying a magazine subscription from the high schooler who wants to go on a class trip
- Smiling and making small talk to ease tension in a long checkout line
- Helping shovel a neighbor’s driveway after a blizzard
- Walking across the street to offer a Tupperware of leftovers
- Picking up the mail for someone who’s out of town
These kinds of “community events” never make the news or win any awards—but I see them all the time in Lansing. They don’t show up on anyone’s resumé—but without these little community events in our neighborhoods, the big community events don’t have much to celebrate!
Lansing is full of ordinary people with ordinary lives, who manage to be good neighbors and good citizens day in and day out. I’m one of those ordinary people. I want to serve as Trustee not because I believe I have special skills and not because I think government can solve all our problems. I want to serve because I believe we can solve them together.
Good government creates a culture that makes it easier for ordinary people like you and me to build a community we’re proud of.