I'd like to introduce myself to those of you who don't know me. My name is Emily Adams. I was born in Brooktondale and grew up, with my sister Katie, a short walk from the IGA -- now Brookton's Market. My parents, Molly and Barry Adams, were extremely active in the community, and I remember fondly all the Apple Festivals and Halloween parties and 4-H club meetings and wild berry picking. But then it was time to go to college and travel. I eventually ended up in Europe, married to a Dutchman. Paulus likes to travel, as well, and so he agreed to move to America with me after my mother passed away in 2014.
I arrived stateside with no relevant career skills (translating Dutch text into English not being in high demand) and discovered that a number of political candidates were still happy to accept my help. I gave everything I had to try to get Bernie Sanders the nomination in 2016. Later I put many, many hours into the campaigns of Ian Golden, Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams, Zephyr Teachout and many others.
Last year, I ran for office myself, for the unsung and unpaid position of State Democratic Party representative from Tompkins County. I won that election, but sadly most of the candidates I have worked for did not win. I don't regret the efforts I've made, however. The woman who won the AG race over Zephyr is doing a fine job, and perhaps she is benefiting from the leftward push she received from Zephyr's campaign. Jumaane Williams did not win the Lt. Governor's position -- but he built an organization and the necessary name recognition to win a competitive race for NYC public advocate a few months later. Bernie Sanders is back and he is polling at #2 out of dozens of Presidential candidates, and they are all speaking about the issues that Bernie brought into the public consciousness in 2016.
In Caroline, we have six candidates for six positions in November. Two are unopposed, so I think it is safe to say that I will be able to put two "wins" on my political resume after November, at least. But really, it isn't all about "winning and losing," it is about serving the community. Campaigns are a chance to talk about ideas, and learn from one's opponents and one's constituents. Working on a political campaign is a chance to meet other people who share similar values and a chance to work together toward a shared goal. Most of my closest friends in Ithaca are people I have met while working on campaigns. And the skills I've learned on campaigns have proved very valuable in other areas of my life: I can reduce a long, complex idea into 3 clear talking points if need be. I can speak to an audience and notice when their eyes are glazing over, and change my approach. I can strike up a conversation with someone whose background is totally different from my background, and find some areas of agreement.
In short, as the new chair of the Caroline Democratic Committee, I would like to invite you to volunteer for our 2019 campaign effort. You will make friends, you will learn a lot, and you will help elect 6 excellent local candidates. Whether you have 2 hours or 200 to give, we can use your help! Thank you.
-- Emily Adams