This column was contributed by Valerie Egland, who is running for San Benito County Supervisor District 2. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
There’s a week left before the March 3, 2020 elections. This will be a year to look back on in awe, for sure. Even now, I reflect on the last 10 months of campaigning in the county with amazement. Please use your precious right to vote on March 3, as well as consider running for an elected office yourself in the future. “Like every drop of rain makes the river,” your vote counts.
When I decided to enter my name as a candidate for District 2, the choice was to use my savings to buy a new truck, or invest in the county. That’s pretty much what it takes in personal commitment to run a campaign if you wish to be independent and nonpartisan. There isn’t a minute of regret in my days since; including finding a good manager to work with, doing the paperwork with our excellent county staff at voting, minding the accounting, and contending with reasonable argumentation with patience and understanding.
Working on the Planning Commission, and commitments to many nonprofits around health and wellness, emergency services, parks and cultural diversity, time is precious. My campaign has necessarily been weighted in ads and mailings. But “knocking on doors” whenever possible has been a wonderful learning experience as I listened to stories, needs and joys of District 2 residents, in spite of the stressful conditions and doubts many live with.
The huge weight that hangs around a candidate’s neck is Truth. How do you peel away the layers of unacknowledged prejudices, clarify issues, evaluate other candidate’s thinking, contend with untruths, and plot your own course? The decisions a candidate makes can “make or break” bonds with different constituents, so I really dig deep for the truth in my own thinking before committing to a decision. One person’s truthful conviction can appear to be a deception, while a deception can appear to be the truth. The voter has to follow their heart, their own conviction and what they see as the truth. It’s that process that makes our democracy work and leave friendships retrievable.
Each one of the District 2 candidates has admirable capabilities. As the forums came up, each of us learned even more about one another. I have sensed a growing respect among us that acknowledges the difficult work we are all doing. Of course, we all feel that we, individually, have the best credentials to work with the other four supervisors on the Board to move the county forward and advance our District 2.
Issues have been contentious in the county as diverse points of view over ballot measures have rolled out over these past months. We all look at the county health and wellness, economic stability and infrastructure with points of view that stem from our various depths of experience and longevity in the county. It is now that you, the county and district residents, will be looking back on forums, mail pieces, news outlets, and social media platforms, face to face conversations, and community histories, to make your ballot decisions. It will take some contemplation, at the end of the day.