Here's a question for you:
What happens if you are running for office but there is widespread misinformation about what that position actually entails?
It means, in effect, that you and your opponent are running for strikingly different offices. How does that work, exactly?
The Columbia Council Representative positions were designed to be held
by ordinary citizens. They are volunteer positions. The only official
training that exists for them is proven dedication to community
involvement, knowing how to work well with others, and being able to
learn and make decisions about community issues.
Yet I hear that I am not qualified to hold this position because I am "a
musician". Were there no music teachers in early Columbia? Can music
teachers not bring lessons learned from professional experience to the
CA and OM boardrooms? What about plumbers? Administrative assistants? Photographers?
It has also been suggested to me that this a full-time position which
can only be held be someone who is retired. What did they do when
Columbia was new? How did they find people who were specially trained in
Columbia, with all the correct professional qualifications, who were
The answer is: they didn't. Columbia was represented by Columbians. If
we stop believing that we can be represented by our peers, we have lost
the essence of what Columbia is about. If we believe that all people on
the People Tree are equal but some are "more equal than others", our
experiment in community life has failed.
The greatest qualifications for being a Columbia Council Representative,
and a member of the CA Board are as follows: being willing and able to
work hard, learn quickly, see things from others' points of view, and
communicate to colleagues and constituents regularly, fully, and
I work for the Howard County Public School System, part-time. I teach
Music and Movement classes to preschool aged children with special
needs. My professional experience and my life experience give me unique
qualifications to represent my Village.
If you want to learn more about the responsibilities of the CA Board of
Directors, do what I did when I first decided to run. Ask the Columbia
Association for pertinent documents defining the position.
Formulate your own opinion
That's what is so wonderful about Columbia. We all have a place at the
table, and we can choose representatives who will make sure that all
voices will be heard.
Even if you're a music teacher.