Miss Dem

{November 16, 2008}   Expectations

With the accolades of winning office, come the inherent responsibilities associated with that office. While many legislators work in offices, removed from the daily interaction with their constituents – a safe zone – I spend my work days seeing the faces of my constituents as they come in for their milk or beer. It is precisely what allowed me to win with such a significant margin of victory, but it is also what will hold me accountable in ways beyond the imagination of many.

Following the “congratulations” that continue to pour in from folks who have yet to see me post-election, comes also the depth of sorrow from so many who have put their faith in me when all else had failed for them. “You realize we’re counting on you, right?”

It’s less a reminder and more a cry for help. “I didn’t vote for anyone else; just you,” one person said. “But I voted.”

The people who society forgets showed up in droves to cast their ballot for the one politician they could relate to. To many, I’m just a cashier but to others – I’m one of them. And they will not take lightly to me forgetting my roots. It is this level of personal accountability that makes it that much more important for me to do solid work on their behalf.

“You’re not going to forget us, right?”

So I say to everyone who raised their hopes one last time and cast their ballot, I shall not forget you. In fact, your faces sit with me as decisions are made and deals are brokered under the capitol dome. It is you I have come to love and believe in and it is you I will remember as the depths of our budget crisis become evermore clear. I often feel like one of the forgotten ones, which is precisely why I fight that much harder to be heard. It is for those whose backs are breaking under the weight of their lives, it is to you I salute and to you I represent.


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