Monday, January 24, 2022

Still Excited


I’ve been listening to the Elevate Maryland interview with State Delegate Brooke Lierman, candidate for State Comptroller. I highly recommend it. So many times candidates and elected officials feel constrained to pick their words so carefully and restrict themselves to a certain image, which makes the end result feel less human somehow. Not so with Ms. Lierman. I’m struck with how comfortable she is in her own skin, and how gifted she is in presenting her vision for the State Comptroller’s office in a clear and engaging way.

Personally, I’m a rather artsy, math-anxious sort of person. When Ms. Lierman talks about budgets and how we can best spend Maryland’s money I’ve been fascinated. I think that having a candidate who makes financial issues more interesting and understandable is an excellent thing. 

I attended on online announcement event for her campaign way back on December 17th, 2020. Facebook kindly reminds me that I wrote:

I had no idea I could get excited about a brand new political campaign at this point in time but I am so impressed by Brooke Lierman for Maryland Comptroller following her kick-off announcement this evening!

At the time I pondered writing about my impressions and I decided it was probably too early. I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t at least take notes. Hindsight, you know. Relying on memory alone, what struck me was her ability to show how the Comptroller’s Office is so perfectly suited to shaping priorities for things that deeply need addressing across Maryland. This may be a no-brainer to you, but it was a bit of a revelation to me.

As someone who has experienced a number of financial lows and struggles, I’ve come to look at budgets and finances as things you have to keep on top of purely so you don’t get in trouble. You must look after the money stuff so that the bad things don’t catch up with you. You take care of needs before wants or face the consequences. I realize that this is painfully basic but on the other hand I don’t think I’m alone in this mindset. I think that the more limited your finances, the more likely you are to operate this way.

Listening to Ms. Lierman I sensed that “lightbulb” realization that it’s entire possible to look at our budgetary choices through an equity lens, or an environmental/climate change lens and make choices that reflect our priorities. Again, this may be elementary to you but it wasn’t to me. I’ve lived my whole life compartmentalizing the “money stuff” in one room and my “real life” in another. Following her announcement event I really began looking at these things in a new way.

Essentially what Ms. Lierman helped me realize was that zooming out and having the big picture about Maryland’s finances enables us more effectively address priorities we deeply care about. 

So, here we are more than a year later and I’m actively choosing to listen to Delegate Lierman talk about “the money stuff” and I’m still fascinated and my eyes are not glazing over. That’s why I’m recommending you take the time to listen to this episode:

Elevate Maryland: A Comptroller to Get Excited About with Brooke Lierman 

Now if I can just learn to apply all of this to my own finances.

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