I want to run for U.S. Congress and provide real representation to the residents of Wisconsin’s 4th District. My declaration often garners similar reactions. First people say, “Good for you!” Then almost immediately afterwards say, “Why would you want to become part of a group of the most disliked people in America and subject yourself to relentless criticism?”
Most people feel that Congress is ineffective and more focused on self-preservation and partisanship than the good of America. That is unacceptable. I want to change that. Public service is not about ego, but many of today’s politicians have forgotten their job is to serve.
It’s that frustration with the political process that motivates me to run. I’m aware of the challenges I face. Fewer people are willing to run for office today. They are unwilling to endure the rigors of a political campaign. Yes, it is a challenge. It’s true that this will be a long campaign. I will be subjected to scrutiny and open myself up for attacks. Those realities don’t diminish my desire to run and my determination to win.
I feel called to serve because I know I can make a difference. Many things inspire me and chief among them is what President Theodore Roosevelt said in a speech he delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910:
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
I am entering the arena and plan to win. Your support is critical. This will be a difficult race, but Gwen Moore must be defeated. Will you contribute $15, $25, $50, $100 or more to my congressional exploratory committee? Your generous donations will make it possible for me to officially declare my candidacy, create an official website, print signs and develop advertisements. This is truly a grassroots initiative and your generous contributions will make you part of the team. Please contribute today and thank you to those who have already contributed!
One hundred years ago today, more than 5,000 suffragists marched in Washington, DC to fight for women’s right to vote. Women suffragists came from all parts of the country, multiple religions, ethnic groups and levels of socioeconomic status. They were united in their desire to fight for their rights. The courage and tenacity of these women made it possible for women not only to vote, but for me to be able to run for U.S. Congress today.
Many of us (myself included) are frustrated with the political process, but now is not the time to stop working to make things better. Let the frustration serve as a call to action. We must require more of our political leaders and replace those who fail to serve their constituents. Rep. Gwen Moore must be defeated. I am the woman to do that and I need your help. In honor of this momentous day, please consider supporting me in my own run for U.S. Congress.
Your donation of $10, $25, $50 or more will enable me to officially declare myself a candidate and fund this grassroots initiative to win the election.
I have always been interested in politics and I’ve often considered a run for office a lifetime goal, but it was when our district was restructured and Rep. Gwen Moore won a fifth term that I decided to seriously consider my own run for Congress.
Like so many of you, I am frustrated with today’s political climate. Congress seems more divided than ever. Issues such as the budget deficit, security and healthcare reform go unsolved. Career politicians appear to place their egos above the best interests of our nation. This is unacceptable.
Rather than continue to complain about it, I want to change things. Politics is not war. We are all Americans before we are Republicans or Democrats. Why have so many people forgotten this important fact?
Having different opinions and political ideologies is not detrimental. Our ability to express these views is one of the best things about our country. Elected officials must realize that they serve the entire nation rather than their political parties and own interests. I pledge to have the courage to work with all members of Congress regardless of political affiliation to achieve consensus.
How does it work?
The first step in a modern run for Congress (at least for me) involved a Google search. I located the Federal Election Commission’s Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees August 2011(PDF). Chapter 1 is titled Testing the Waters and instructs forming an exploratory committee to raise the initial $5,000 and necessary backing to officially declare oneself a candidate. That is the step I took on January 15, 2013.
What are the next steps?
Together we can change things. We must all work together to restart our economy, secure our nation and move forward to prosperity.
Please consider showing your support by donating to the Janet Hinz Congressional Exploratory Committee using the link below. Any U.S. citizen can contribute. Your $25, $50, $100 or $200 contribution would be most appreciated.
After arguably the longest and most expensive political campaign ever, the election battle is over. President Obama won a second term and the country can now go back about the business of improving our nation. This requires that we come together. Are we united enough in our beliefs and values to work collaboratively?
There are many who focus on the differences and certainly the election lent itself to that, but we must return to our common goals, values and love of freedom. I believe Americans have much more in common than we might initially think. While we may have different ideas about how best to achieve our goals, the goals themselves are often similar. We strive to make a better life for our families, we seek new opportunities while we preserve our freedom and national security.
Let’s put things in perspective. We are Americans before we are republicans, democrats, independents, etc. Our country is amazing because it has survived and thrived despite changing political parties and more contentious debates over the past 200 years. Yes, I know that part might be hard to understand given today’s polarization. But we must remember our nation’s painful history too. There was the Civil War and then more recently the Civil Rights Movement. It’s noteworthy that both those events include the word civil yet neither was known for its civility.
Civility is a virtue that is often absent today as well especially in social media and discussion by political pundits. Americans are better than that. We must demand civility. This starts with ourselves. Carefully consider what you say, post and even that which you allow yourself to read, hear and watch. Remember the “garbage in, garbage out” philosophy. It’s difficult to maintain a level or respect for alternate points of view when surrounded by vitriol.
By all means exercise your freedom of expression. Do so mindfully, however. Rather than move the discussion further to the left or to the right, raise it to a higher level. When we require more of ourselves, we can demand more from our elected officials. Our country is a democracy and through collaboration, we can achieve great things.
Will critical thinkers rise up to embrace both civility and collaboration?
With the political season heating up, it may become difficult for even the most thoughtful people to remain respectful during election debates. We could all use a reminder on the way to maintain civil discourse and keep debates focused on real arguable issues. Having the freedom to debate and state our opinions is what makes this country great. Voting is a privilege and we should treat it seriously.
I started the school year with great enthusiasm and illness. On August 27, I began teaching traditional students at Cardinal Stritch University each afternoon, my oldest daughter began 4th grade, and son began 2nd grade and my youngest daughter began afternoon K-4. Despite the fantastic start, I was sick with bronchitis and pneumonia.
The diagnosis itself was a relief to me. With all the cancer in my extended family, I was grateful to know I didn’t have lung cancer. In comparison, pneumonia seemed quite minor.
As many of you know I teach writing and public speaking. I love being in front of the class and thoroughly enjoy my work. Teaching with bronchitis and pneumonia has presented new challenges. I now struggle to maintain my pace and a healthy breathing rate during lessons. I worry that my new students may mistake this for nervousness. Certainly with 15 years of teaching experience, I’d be beyond the nervousness that new public speakers get. Now I have a new empathy with those who find public speaking so very challenging. It’s a double edged sword. When you struggle to breathe while speaking, you exert more energy and sweat. This shakes your confidence and perpetuates the problem. Now I will be much more sensitive when helping students overcome their fear of public speaking. Focusing on breathing will go a long way toward alleviating some debilitating problems they face.
In addition to gaining empathy for those frightened of public speaking, I am now better able to understand what my son goes through in his daily challenge with asthma. He has lived with asthma since he was an infant and I’ve learned a great deal about respiratory viruses and all sorts of breathing difficulties through his many illnesses. Nothing is quite like experiencing it firsthand, however. When I can’t seem to get a good breath, I use my inhaler just like he does. I never understood just how sensitive someone with breathing issues can be to air quality. An errant pepperoni fallen off a pizza burning in the oven is enough to cause me pause. Those candle stores and perfume samples at the mall are also particularly annoying and I’ve had to go out of my way to avoid them. When you are faced with these obstacles, they are more than a minor annoyance because they threaten your breath. I understand that now in a way I didn’t before.
Even after I get well, I know these lessons with stay with me. They will help me become a better instructor and mother. There is nothing quite like “walking in someone else’s shoes” to gain a better perspective.
This semester, I am privileged to teach traditional college freshman at Cardinal Stritch University. Many of these students are 18 to 20 years old and are very excited about voting in their first presidential election this November. Their enthusiasm is both refreshing and contagious.
Let’s all try to remember that voting is a cherished freedom we are lucky enough to have in the United States. Please take this responsibility seriously and carefully consider each candidate as well as the issues most important to you before casting your vote. While this takes work and research, it is a worthy endeavor.
There are many fact checking sites designed to sift through the political rhetoric for truth. Consider PolitiFact.com. The Washington Post, CNN and NPR also frequently post fact checks. Don’t trust what you hear or read, investigate to find out which information can be trusted.