I am currently on a PeaceCorps assignment in the city of Assomada on the Cape Verde Islands, so for the next two years I will be casting my absentee vote from here. This afternoon I mailed my ballot to San Juan County and if it arrives by Nov. 23 my vote will be counted, and although I am a very great distance away from my home, I want to share my reasons for a difficult choice I made on the County Council race.
Jamie Stephens is a person who has consistently shown me an almost uncanny ability to listen and really understand where other people’s opinions are coming from, in short empathy.
I can’t recount examples here, but I can certify that in the exchange of competing ideas and opinions with others he never discounted their ideas or opinions. Instead, he led others in forming a genuine and creative resolution. In today’s world, that is a valuable brand of leadership.
His education and career centered in engineering and that in fact meant that throughout his career he worked within complex systems. One of the trademarks of engineers is they want to know how things work or why they don’t. Both cases are within all systems, especially government.
He was trained to be mindful of the details. Changes were not made randomly and they were not made single-handed. Changes were monitored and evaluated for the intended results.
Beyond all of that he has a great sense of humor and that can make a big difference. I know for a fact that humor is not part of the engineering curriculum but it is important in all of our lives.
So I voted. Be sure that you do too.