As I have told so many of you, my decision to run for the Dane County Board is the unexpected outcome of my many years of volunteer service. This service began at the YWCA when I was in college, included me welcoming a Little into my family through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, and now sees me serving on the board that oversees the Bridge LakePoint Waunona Neighborhood Center. At BLW, I have designed and facilitated listening sessions, and I have advocated with city and county officials and staff for the people that have been willing to share information with me. Additionally, I have sought members of the community who are willing to speak out for the future of this community.

When I interview police officers about some of our communities most difficult mental health situations, they cite the need for adequate service. Unfortunately, this is something that we currently lack. But imagine if we could use our neighborhood centers and community organizations to deliver what one resident called, “mental health first aid”: if we could know that someone is approaching crisis before it hit, and know how to get that person what they need.

I believe in delivering support and services directly to peoples’ homes and neighborhoods, where they will do the most good. Since deciding to run, I have spoken with a nurse in the district, who pointed me to an example of research supporting what I have witnessed firsthand through BLW. According National Center for Biotechnology Information, community-based asthma education has the greatest impact.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The government closest to the people serves the people best.” Our state, and our national leadership, is trying to remove our local control. This is our biggest challenge, and we must be up for the fight, and think creatively about how to retain our strength.

 More on my environmental expertise:

Examples of social support in Dane County: