Ni­chols has ex­pe­ri­ence in cre­at­ing pos­i­tive change in the com­mu­nity

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum -

At this time of ex­treme di­vi­sive­ness in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, Demo­crat Ju­lia Ni­chols is the kind of ad­vo­cate we need as a del­e­gate for Dis­trict 29C.

Grand­stand­ing on slo­gans and ide­olo­gies — and vil­i­fy­ing the op­po­si­tion — will not solve our prob­lems. To get things done for our com­mu­ni­ties and our cit­i­zens, we need to build bridges and fo­cus on prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions, which is why Ju­lia’s ex­per­tise is es­pe­cially valu­able.

While ev­ery can­di­date brings their own ex­pe­ri­ence to govern­ment, there seem to be two ba­sic types in of­fice now. Es­tab­lished politi­cians have prac­tice in pro­ce­dure, but are of­ten com­pro­mised by years of po­lit­i­cal back-room deal mak­ing. Other can­di­dates th­ese days tend to be busi­ness­peo­ple. A cor­po­rate back­ground is pre­sumed to bring ef­fi­ciency to pol­i­tics and an abil­ity to “get things done.” Yet, too of­ten, th­ese cor­po­rate can­di­dates carry the heavy bag­gage of vested in­ter­ests be­yond their man­date to serve.

Ju­lia’s back­ground is nei­ther of th­ese, but of an all-too-rare third type: a life­long en­gaged ci­ti­zen. A long­time South­ern Mary­land res­i­dent, and proud mother of three school-aged chil­dren, she has worked to ex­pand op­por­tu­ni­ties in South­ern Mary­land by fo­cus­ing on ed­u­ca­tion (help­ing to open the Ch­e­sa­peake Pub­lic Char­ter School) and the arts (found­ing the South­ern Mary­land Youth Orches­tra and Choir and serv­ing as sec­re­tary of the St. Mary’s Arts Coun­cil Board). In short, Ju­lia is deeply in­volved in our com­mu­nity, work­ing with par­ents and other stake­hold­ers to re­ally “be the change” we need.

Rather than ask whether a can­di­date has “ex­pe­ri­ence” or not, we should be ask­ing what kind of ex­pe­ri­ence they bring. Ju­lia’s ex­pe­ri­ences place her at the nexus of govern­ment and pub­lic ser­vices, as she has been in­volved with lo­cal and state govern­ments and agen- cies and knows how the sys­tems work. Through th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties, Ju­lia gained real ex­pe­ri­ence in strat­egy, bud­gets and man­age­ment. She be­lieves it is im­per­a­tive to work to­gether across our com­mu­nity to achieve sen­si­ble goals. At the same time, she is clear about the ne­ces­sity of trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity that en­sures pos­i­tive re­sults for the amaz­ing in­sti­tu­tions she has spear­headed.

Ju­lia is a strong and ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tor, pas­sion­ate about im­por­tant is­sues, but also prag­matic and em­pa­thetic.

In ad­di­tion to all the prac­ti­cal lessons she learned and the achieve­ments she at­tained, her work has al­ways been based on grass­roots com­mu­nity val­ues. To Ju­lia, serv­ing our com­mu­nity above all means lis­ten­ing to our com­mu­nity.

Haven’t we had enough “po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tives” trad­ing the next perk, priv­i­lege or re­source for ac­cess? Haven’t we had enough of cor­po­rate play­ers to see that their val­ues and ac­tions do not ne­c­es­sar­ily trans­late into pos­i­tive change for our com­mu­nity?

Now is the time for real com­mu­nity em­pow­er­ment, based on Ju­lia’s val­ues and hands-on ap­proach.

For well over a decade, Ju­lia has been a qui­etly ef­fec­tive com­mu­nity leader. Her key cam­paign con­cerns are cre­at­ing hous­ing and good jobs, pro­tect­ing our wa­ter re­sources and build­ing bridges — whether cross­ing the Patux­ent or span­ning the po­lit­i­cal aisle.

Ju­lia’s strengths and in­sights are just what our com­mu­nity needs now. She rep­re­sents the val­ues of our com­mu­nity, and has the kind of ex­pe­ri­ence in cre­at­ing pos­i­tive change that we should be vot­ing for.

I’m proud to sup­port Ju­lia Ni­chols’ can­di­dacy for state del­e­gate for Dis­trict 29C.

Kate Har­ri­son Much­nick, St. Mary’s City

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