Yesterday started out like every other day of the previous four weeks, meeting and greeting voters at three Highland Park train stations. Only this time I thanked, as opposed to asked, residents for their support.
From there I went to City Hall and then to our public works, community development, police and fire departments to thank our department heads and other city employees. There were smiles, handshakes and, yes, some tears, but as I felt , today I feel great.
My conversations affirmed what our City Manager said to me election night on the phone: if I won, I was a winner, and if I lost I was a winner as well.
It’s true I lost the mayoral race, but in so doing I learned a great deal:
- I developed a deeper understanding of our community’s issues.
- I discovered streets I never knew existed and shortcuts to and from.
- I learned about social media, and how to use Facebook and Twitter.
- I became a better public speaker and figured out how, when necessary, to get a message across in 60 seconds or less.
I developed some new creative talents:
- I wrote and designed ads, postcards and other mailings.
- I penned copy for my website.
- I learned how to speak on camera without notes or cue cards.
- I discovered how best to prepare for radio and television talk shows.
My faith in the generosity of our community was also reaffirmed and I was the beneficiary of many people’s kindness:
- I learned what an incredibly supportive family and wide network of friends I have.
- I renewed old friendships and made many new friends .
- I learned to ask for and accept offers of help.
All this, and more, made me a winner -- as well as knowing I conducted an honest, issue driven and fact-based campaign that allowed me each night (or in the early hours of the morning) to put my head down and raise it the next day with pride. I have no regrets, no words to take back, no deeds to un-do. Indeed, were I to begin anew I would run my campaign as I did from the start.
I would also put as much time and energy into it as I did, not for me but for our community. Highland Park has been my home for 27 years and I fully expect it to be for at least that many more years to come. My husband Rob and I have raised three wonderful children here and I only hope our children -- Drew, Alix and Josh -- will choose to raise their families here.
I have many people to thank individually and will over the next weeks, for their advice, financial assistance, muscle and manpower. I also have each of you to thank for the privilege of serving you first as a member of the District 112 School Board and now as a member of our City Council. Though I wish I could do so one by one and in person, this collective thanks over the internet will have to suffice... at least until we bump into each other on the streets, at the gas station, Rec Center, Starbucks, retail or grocery store. And please know that if, when we speak, tears come to my eyes, they will be tears of happiness and pride for what I have accomplished and for having had the opportunity to help so many people in ways I never imagined I would and in what I consider to be the best community in the world.
Though I will no longer be on the City Council, I am and always will be committed to you.