This special episode precedes the special election taking place January 10th, 2017 for a State Senate seat in Virginia. Delegate Jennifer McClellan has secured the Democratic nomination and is our guest! This is a special election to fill a vacancy created by Donald McEachin who won a seat in the U.S. Congress November 8th. Jennifer McClellan fights passionately for everyone she serves. Please join us on this episode and, more importantly, join me as I look forward to watching Jennifer McClellan rise January 10th, 2017 and for decades to come.
The first time I heard Jennifer McClellan she was the voice of reason on a panel at Virginia Commonwealth University discussing abortion. Who was this woman? Where did she come from? How is it that she is serving right here under my nose? Is it true that I was simply so lucky that this is my local government representative and I had nothing to do with it?
Ever since that panel at VCU I have been receiving her newsletters and legislative updates. She is always working hard on many committees and important issues. She consistently breaks down complex issues for her constituents, remembers the people on the fringes, and elevates the level of discussion. As you will hear, she is completely human, vulnerable to mistakes, pain, ebbs and flows. What is plain in hearing Jennifer’s story and heart is that she is mindful of long term interests because she intends to serve at the pleasure of the People as long as we’ll have her.
Her parents instilled the value of faith that “to whom much is given much is expected.” She comes from humble beginnings with her family and has, with her own talents, initiative and diligent work, become a force of compassion and competence. While she has done and is doing all of the needed hard work, our public servants are only as empowered as the force of the people behind them.
New models of leadership are developing that, in response to being called “leaders-less,” are described as “leader-full.” In the leader-full model the people in charge usually rotate. The movement or organization does not depend on any one person to embody or direct it. This won’t apply to supporting a candidate running for office exactly but I do invoke the “leader-full” notion to say that we all need to come out and support the courageous candidates who are taking risks. Regardless of party affiliations, the Obama supporters can be looked at as an example of what not to do when we elected him in 2008 and then went to sleep for the down-ballot and midterm elections ever since. It is not okay to vote and then disappear for four years. I’ve been as guilty as anyone, so let’s confess if we need to and then do better, much better.
Sponsor: United Faith Leaders