The following is an email submitted by Leah Fletcher to the GeneseeSun.com for publication. The attitudes and ideas expressed below should not be interpreted as the opinion of the GeneseeSun.com.
I would like to thank Conrad Baker and Josh Williams at the Genesee Sun for hosting the Geneseo Town Council candidate debate on Monday night, October 23, 2017. I greatly appreciated the positive dialogue and the ability to share thoughts and ideas about a variety of topics.
I am going to be totally honest with you all and let you know that I am an introvert (in case you haven’t already guessed from watching the debate).
Public speaking in debates and forums is not one of my strengths. I have never run for a political office before. It’s hard for an introvert like me to “put myself out there.”
You may wonder why I would put myself into a situation like this when it makes me so uncomfortable.
Truth is- I am passionate about my values. I am passionate about my town. I am passionate about my country. I looked around after the November 2016 election, and I wanted to get involved and try to make a difference. I didn’t know where to focus. I participated in some marches. I joined groups, wrote some letters, made phone calls and sent faxes. In the end, I learned that more than anything, we really need more honest, hard-working people with good values and integrity to run for public office. Voters deserve choices. Politics begins locally.
Even though I am still working on my public speaking skills, I want you to know that there are many things that I excel at. I am an incredibly diligent and persistent person. I am willing to tackle tedious tasks and follow projects through to completion. I am willing to listen to all sides of an issue without making snap judgements. I love facts and science and research. I like to work behind the scenes, but I am also an excellent team player. I like to keep open lines of communication so that everyone can be on the same page and no one is left in the dark. I have an over-developed sense of responsibility. I am willing to admit when I am wrong. I will take full responsibility for and try to fix my mistakes. I am a pretty frugal person. I donate to many causes that are important to me- but I am very careful with other people’s money. I love learning. I love my family. I care deeply about keeping Geneseo vibrant, affordable and welcoming.
I know that the town of Geneseo is traditionally Republican and my chances to win this election may be slim. Win or lose, I will keep promoting honesty, integrity, facts, decency & science. If I have the chance to run for another political office in the future, I will try again.
One of my fondest wishes is to be an inspiration to others who have never considered running for public office. I also hope that my sons will contribute to their communities by being involved in public service.
Local government is more important now than ever.
If THIS introvert can do it, ANYONE can do it.
I applaud everyone up here for putting themselves out there and running for public office. I thank the many folks who have served and those who are currently serving as public servants in our community. We can make a difference if we stand up for our values.
I hope you will use your voice and vote on November 7, 2017.