In June 2016, I was approached at a local Greenwich, CT grocery store by two campaign workers. They asked if I was a registered Republican, I chuckled and walked into the store. “I will take that as a no,” the 20-something college kid hollered at my back.
His words taunted me as I shopped for milk, water, fruits, and veggies.
I had a problem with the 2016 election. I did not align myself with either of the candidates running for president. So what do I believe? Which of my government officials thinks like I do?
  • I believe that politicians are public servants, doing service and good will for his or her constituents, not one’s own self-interest.
  • I believe in fiscal conservancy, ensuring that all programs are running efficiently.
  • I believe that everyone should have access to high quality education, but don’t want to stop funding schools that are performing well in order to throw money at other schools that are on the brink of abysmal failure. If a school is doing good things, let us model that school in underperforming districts. Let us have measures to determine whether a school should be saved or closed.
  • I believe in God and believe “In God we trust.” However, I respect your right to disagree with me.
  • I believe that women should have the right to choose, but as a woman who chose, I wish I had thought twice. I wish I had more advice. I wish I knew I had other options.
  • I believe that if we want to be a symbol for freedom around the world, we need to figure out what freedom should look like.
  • I believe that taking away guns is not the way to stop gun violence.
  • I believe that there are people in this country that do not feel safe, that do not have enough to eat, that do not see a way out of their circumstances. I do not think that describes freedom.
  • I believe that everyone needs a cheerleader, someone that is telling them, “you can do it.” I believe it should be the job of our politicians to be those cheerleaders.
  • I believe freedom means that if you work hard, you can achieve anything you want.
  • I believe in innovation, that if you can imagine it, anything is possible.
  • I believe in dreaming. Sometimes my dreams scare me because they are so big.

I don’t need politicians telling me all the great things they did in the past. I want to know how they will help me improve my life in the future. I want you to tell every young child they can be the hero of their own story; to tell every adult, yes I know this life is hard, but it is through struggling that you will emerge victorious. Keep trying. Don’t ever give up.

I believe life is a journey. This is not our final destination. Keep reaching. Keep searching. We can always reinvent ourselves.