Local mom urges others to get involved

Local mom urges others to get involved

Letter to the Editor:

Moms do hard and uncomfortable things. For example, on my last vacation a couple of my kids got sick including the baby. It was the middle of the night, and I was sitting outside on the deck, rocking a sick baby for two hours while it felt like everyone else in the world was asleep.

It was just me and my sick, (yet ultimately perfect) fussy baby. It was hard, frustrating, uncomfortable and tiring to keep rocking, but it was necessary and the right thing to do.

I am a mom of five kiddos, and while I have spent the last 10 years pregnant, breastfeeding and raising babies, there are other things to my life other than just motherhood.  

I have always been interested in and followed politics and public policy; however, I have always taken the approach that you never talk politics with friends or neighbors because it’s impolite.

After all, reasonable people can disagree, and why take the risk of alienating your neighbor? It’s hard, uncomfortable and just not worth it. Until now.

Kids in cages put me over the edge. The defense, justification, lies and political games while children were used as political pawns were just too much for me. 

Is our nation working toward a better future for everyone? Is work getting done that makes our world a better place? 

I see our country behaving in ways that betray our shared values of decency and compassion. I see people we elected scoring political points instead doing the job of governing. Politicians and citizens alike stay inside their preference bubble of ideas, policies and news sources.

We can, we must, do better. It’s time for us to move past our feelings of uncomfortableness and get involved. We need to start talking with our friends and neighbors. It is hard, but as moms we know the stakes are too high for us to not take action.

We live in the 7th Congressional District, and Ken Harbaugh is running to be our representative. I have meet Ken on two separate occasions, and I have been impressed with his background and approach to governance.

Ken is a veteran, and he believes in country over party. As a helicopter pilot he never thought to ask if his co-pilot was a Democrat or Republican. They had a job to do, shared goals, and labels didn’t matter.

Wait, isn’t that the same idea in governing? Ken founded Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that sends veterans to disaster areas to provide front-line aid. There was a problem — a hard problem — and they worked together helping people.

We have tough problems here. Is our government addressing those problems or playing politics to all of our detriment?

I have decided to take my own risk, and I am asking you to join me. I will host Ken Harbaugh at my house on Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. Ken will be there to answer your questions. This sounds like a pretty straightforward idea, but not really.

Many politicians never answer an unscripted, unscreened question. Bring your kids. Show them what it means to work toward a change you want to happen. Hosting Ken is outside my usual comfort zone, and I have already seen positive dividends such as providing me with an opportunity to reach out to friends I haven’t had much contact with recently because, you know, babies.

And you know what? I found we had a lot more in common than I originally thought. Now it’s your turn. Showing up is the first step toward making your voice heard.  

Getting involved in politics can be scary or make you feel uncomfortable. But this election year the stakes are too high. We all need representatives that govern with our values and best interests.   

Show up. Listen. Be informed. Get involved. Take that first step. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Do the tough job. Can you make phone calls? Great! Can you knock on doors? Perfect.

If that sounds scary, that’s OK.

Come meet Ken in person at my home. He’s a candidate I believe in. It can start with a single conversation, and it has to start. If it sounds scary, remember you’re a mom and you do hard stuff all the time.

For information and directions, log on to www.kenharbaughforcongress.com/events/ and scroll down to Koffee with Ken in Tuscarawas on Aug. 11 at 1 p.m.

Rose Tipka

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