I received this email from one of the candidates for Tantasqua School Committee. Since he does such a great job of speaking for himself, I am not going to add anything more.
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: It’s A Race! Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:04:56 -0500 From: Jacob Ryan <email@example.com> To: Steve Greenberg
I wanted to take a moment to message you all and talk about why I got so involved in Politics and why I am running for the Tantasqua School Committee.
I first got involved in politics at the age of 13. I had grown up until that time with a conservative point of view due to the church I attended, and it wasn’t till Hillary Clinton ran for president that I started to identify as a Democrat. After that loss and Barack Obama’s win in 2008, I began to get deeply involved in races. My first internship at a campaign was back in 2010 in Congressman Neal’s campaign office. I learned at that time how important it is to organize locally to help your candidates win elections and make sure the beliefs you hold deep in your core win as well.
With his re-election complete, I was eager to get involved in more campaigns. In 2011, I got involved with and interned for Elizabeth Warren. Never had there been a time that I had been more devoted to a candidate then when I interned for her. And the night that she won her election to represent the Commonwealth in the Senate, I bawled my eyes out. I continued to cry with Barack Obama’s re-election as well. By this time I knew how to campaign, but I still had much to learn.
I got more involved in town politics in June of 2013. I went to my first town meeting and was very attentive to the issues at hand. One issue in particular caught my attention, Stipends. The BOS had tried to pass stipends for certain elected and appointed officials in the town at the last minute during the budgetary season and the folks at town meeting were deeply opposed. I at the time wasn’t sure about the issue and wanted to have more time to learn about it. So I voted no to the proposal. Then when the town moderator had brought up the idea of a study committee being formed to study the issue of stipends, I was proud to make the motion to create this committee.
With the creation of this committee, I had asked the town moderator to appoint me to be one of the two citizen appointees. When I got the letter from him stating that he was going to appoint me, I was very humbled that he was giving me the opportunity to serve my community. I had the honor of working with some great folks on that committee who really did have the community’s best interest at heart. I was chosen by the committee to be the chair, again a very humbling experience for me. As time had gone on I had grown more opposed to stipends but was able to put those beliefs aside to work with those who I may not agree with to come up with a plan for the voters at town meeting to decide. I found it easier to work with those I may not agree with when I really looked at them as fellow members of the community who cared about the town as well.
With the success of compromise and non-partisanship that this committee showed could happen I was saddened to see how much town politics had devolved to spiteful, hateful speech. And I couldn’t stand by and watch it happen anymore. With the Stipend Study Committee coming to a close and my belief that we needed someone in the community that could work with everyone (no matter their political stripes) I decided to run for local office.
I decided that I wanted to give back to the part of the community that had given so much to me, Tantasqua. I graduated in 2013 with my diploma and CNA certification in hand and was able to do something a lot of students coming out of high school have a had a hard time doing, get a job.
Thanks to Tantasqua’s wonderful vocational program I was able to get a job with good job security during a time of economic hardship. When I was in high school I had the opportunity to serve as the Technical Student Representative on the School committee and really loved praising our vocational program to the committee. My brother is currently enrolled in the computer tech program at the high school and is ahead of his class in getting his certifications. I couldn’t be more proud of him. I want to work with those on the committee and in town to help preserve this great asset to our children. These programs give such a valuable opportunity to our students and should be protected.
I also want to serve as a bridge-builder on the committee. As proved by my time on the stipend study committee, compromise and non-partisanship can be reached but it requires patience and the understanding that those you agree and disagree with are only doing what they think is best for the school and community. With that in mind, I promise to work with my fellow committee members to do what is best for our community and to build bridges not only for us to work with each other on but to allow our next generation to cross those bridges into the next part of their lives.
I am proud to welcome Patricia Barnicle and Ms. Tichy to the race and wish them the best of luck.
I ask for your support because I care deeply about our community and school system and want to make sure the same opportunities that were presented to me are still there for upcoming generation.
Jacob J. Ryan