I am one of those people who has spent a lifetime studying societal trends, working within the system, and trying to effect change. I did this in my career and my community involvements. I come from a long line of involved people. I suppose that their lanterns lit my path, and that gave me great confidence. Certainly at least as far back as my great-grandmothers and great grandfathers– my relatives effected change. When we see a need, we try to do something about it. This fine group — my very own extended family — truly affirms each other. I don’t mean occasionally. I mean ALL the time; they do it without fail. We are the wind beneath each other’s wings. We always have been, and I am 100% certain we always will be. You see, they are never joy takers, they are “affirm-ers”.
Through the hand wringing and screeching of the past few years on the internet, in the media, and in DC, there has been a lack of inspiration and cooperation. Instead we see tearing apart. In the rare instances when someone accomplishes something, ten others rush in to either minimize it, criticize it, or take credit for it. We can all see the bitter fruits that harvest has wrought. I see the behavior on both sides of the aisle.
Last Wednesday, October 16th, the legislative branch of the federal government agreed to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling for a few months. Hopefully they will work things out and make some progress. The president said ” “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it” .
As a matter of fact, I had decided quite a while ago to get to work here in my town, at the local level. My town is a wonderful town, and I am eager to help our uptown area continue to be a beacon and shining example. I am eager to help people have a voice; note that I say have a voice, not feel like they have a voice. There are some who prefer to minimize the presence of “new blood” or “new ideas”. There are some who want change for change’s sake.
What do I want? I want to try to help some of my views and ideas get implemented. I want people who have been minimized and undervalued to have their day, and to do everything I can to make my little corner of the world better. I have a passion for this.
I have watched EVERY presidential inauguration since JFK’s when I was really little. I sat on the floor, and my mom and one of her sister’s were on the couch. I was only 6, so I couldn’t really understand the significance of what I saw. But, ah, the words…. the words of the oath matter SO much to me.
As a bit of counterpoint to Mr. Obama’s point, I am involved. I will do my best to help my ideas move forward. Why is it counter point? Well, in the views of many (or even most) people, my life has been relatively insignificant by the world’s standards. But the world’s standards will never be my motivation. Some may have thought they would have no reason to select me based on my ideas and experience.
Yet, on Wednesday, October 16th, I was sworn in as a commissioner on the Redevelopment Commission. It is a non-elected position. I applied, was interviewed and chosen from a small pool of 5 applicants. But on Wednesday, I was sworn in. I stood in Town Council chambers, and took my oath of office. Me. Sworn in. Hand upheld and sworn in. It blew my mind. (I wanted to do a Snoopy happy dance). Here it is!
“I, Kate Kresse, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution and Laws of the State of Arizona, and the laws of the Town of Gilbert, that I will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies foreign and domestic; and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of Commissioner for the Redevelopment Commission, according to the best of my ability, so help me God”.
I have to say that I almost wept with joy when I said it….to be given this honor is a hope and dream come to life. To be entrusted with this small task, and valued sufficiently to be given a chance is restorative on more levels than I can go into here. I do not share ANY of this to show off. I share it to encourage you to find a way to help a secret wish come true.
I hope to help light up my little corner of the world. Those of you who have befriended me continue to give me strength. I hope today brings you buckets of joy, and an outlet for your gifts and ideas. Thanks for reading.