“You can’t win”

It has been amazing to me in my brief political experience on the school board of how politics works. I have never been one to mince words about a subject i feel passionate about but also understanding that sometimes I need to turn on my filter. Not everything can be accomplished through brute force, or willing it to be done, or by running others over. It takes a level of willingness to work together to get things done for those whom you represent. I have made no bones about representing the will of those whom elected me to the school board. I believe at the very core of representative government whether you are democrat or republican that you reflect the will of your constituents, unless it is immoral, unethical, or the public lacks the information to understand what the impact is.

 I won the election to the school board in 2010. I entered the race surprising many people in the political realm as the establishment had chosen their person to run. I remember day one that I received calls asking me to drop out of  the race and I had no business being there. I remember hearing that “you can’t win”! You might as well give it up. With a campaign budget of $5000 and a handful of faithful friends including my granddad, we worked Bartlett, the polls, and we won. We had no endorsements. No real political friends. Just a group of people who believed in me.

Fastforward 2 years: We have been through one of the most turbulent times in Memphis history. We have seen a revitalized Bartlett High School. We are well on our way to a new school system. And I have around 15 months left in this term. 3 months ago, I threw my hat into the alderman ring because it was important to me that we have a strong leader who can and will work with our new school district and can help determine appropriate funding priorities. I also think that it is in the best interest of our city to have a representative whose heart is to serve his people.

Over the past two weeks, I have heard on multiple occasions from multiple politicians that “you can’t win”, you are running against an incumbent. Or the unspoken rule that you don’t run against a person who is in your own political party until the seat is vacant. And you don’t run against your friends. 

I have heard this before. I know who my friends are. And I am reminded of Rocky II when Rocky has decided to fight Apollo Creed once again for the world championship. Everyone is down on him and even his own wife questions his ability to win. Like Rocky, the odds have never been with me. Broken Home. Alcoholic Dad. Mom had to work. Put myself through college debt free. I know what it means to overcome.

As Adrian comes out of her coma in Rocky II, Rocky has been struggling to train because of her sickness. And one morning she wakes up and draws him close and says in a quiet voice, “There is one thing I want for you to do, WIN!” The bell rings and Rocky is off and running.

My bell was rung last night for the last time… It is time fight..


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