On Christmas day, I anxiously retrieved the envelope waiting for me in my mailbox. My hands trembled with excitement as I immediately sent out my electronic tentacles in search of encouragement. A fellow teacher coached me through the opening of my letter from Emerge Wisconsin. The first word was enough to initiate my celebration, “Congratulations!”
Emerge USA is a Democratic training program for women pursuing a position in an elected, public office. Emerge Wisconsin’s Board of Advisors is a “who’s who” list of many of my own political heroes, such as U.S. Senator Elect Tammy Baldwin, State Senator Lena Taylor, and Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. This is a program that will set me on a course toward my own political candidacy, where it is my dream to widen the scope of my political impact. I am hoping that a few of my readers may be willing to support my future candidacy. While my blog makes my political idealogies fairly obvious, read on for a more complete view of my political platform.
I believe that my experiences with community outreach, education, and environmental issues make me a viable candidate for a future political office. My vision for the city of Madison and the state of Wisconsin includes residents working alongside volunteers, workers, Union, organizations, and businesses to make the city and state a better place for everyone. Teamwork and civic action are necessary to a thriving community. Too many of our residents have become disengaged and have turned away from politics. Because of this, we all lose out. As an active member of our community, I will reach out to everyday citizens and get their input on the issues. In doing so, I will not only gauge the needs and values of our community, but I will also open the lines of communication that will empower others to become involved.
As I’ve been out in the community, knocking on doors and listening to people, I have found many aspirations that we all share. People choose to live here, because they want a quality life for their families. Issues such as safety, equal rights, recreation, the environment, employment, and education are central areas of concern. This is where we can find common ground. My vision for our future is rooted in these issues and the desire to make this a strong community for our families.
Education has always been my passion and it is my primary area of expertise. Our current battles in education are with funding, family involvement, privatization, and achievement gaps. Throughout my teaching career, I have shown the ability to be creative with seeking out donations and funding sources. I have refined my ability to talk with families and seek out parental involvement. My own focus on keeping up to date with culturally relevant teaching practices, reading about other districts’ successes and attempts at narrowing achievement gaps, and being a long-standing member of our school’s Equity Team ensures that I will bring a fresh, knowledgeable perspective to a political office. After all, it is public education that creates our future citizens and protects our city’s future.
Having grown up in Black Earth, Wisconsin and also having spent a lot of time on our family farm, I understand the value our environment plays in the health and well being of our city. This is why I chose Environmental Science as my minor in college. The importance of clean lakes and safe drinking water are obvious, but the residents of Wisconsin also rely on the health of our environment for lifestyle and recreational purposes. Many people use our bike paths to commute and our area parks for relaxation. Fishers, boaters, bird watchers, hikers, and runners seek refuge in our parks and on our waterways. Preserving the environment is also preserving a way of life for our residents.
The Madison area is unique in its diversity of small businesses. Our state must continue to welcome visitors and businesses that add to our culture and diversity. I believe that we should form partnerships with area businesses and involve them in our community. That will not only bring in business, but it will also bring in employment opportunities and events that will benefit our residents. Community outreach must extend to include area businesses, so that business owners see that the people’s interests coincide with their own.
The foundation of my vision is working together. My ability to listen, advocate for others, and identify where our goals are congruent makes me an ideal candidate for office. As I engage in learning and training through Emerge, I know this vision will morph and grow, but the strength of my ideals will always remain.
Help Fund My Tuition By Donating to Emerge
If you would like to support me on my path to public office, please consider making a donation to help offset my tuition.
Step One: Go to http://www.emergewi.org/ and click on Contribute. (Checks can also be made out to Emerge Wisconsin and sent to PO Box 2369, Madison, WI 53701.)
Step Two: Email me at KarenVieth4Emerge@gmail.com with your name and donation amount. This is how the funds will be attributed to me.
Emerge is a 527, which means that your contribution is not tax deductible.