On Thursday, February 17, 2011 Running Start, thanks to our generous hosts, America’s Health Insurance Plans, kicked off its 2011 Path to Politics Series, “Straight from the Source: Women Candidates Share Their Stories”.
Many young women professionals gathered as Ahnna Smith, the newly elected Vice Chair of ANC 1B 08 told her success story of becoming an elected official. Ahnna confessed that she is not a “political person,” and decided to run for ANC because she loves helping people and wanted to evoke change. Although she ran against an incumbent, she was able to win the election with the help of her neighbors, a true interest in her constituents, and honesty. Despite her being new to the area, Ahnna’s neighbors aided her by putting up signs on street corners, and hosting “meet and greets” in their homes. Ahnna attracted voters by personally asking them what they wanted out of an ANC. People valued her personable approach, and loved to know that their needs were valued. Ms. Smith was very candid to her future constituents. She let them know that she was going to do the best that she could, but if anyone else was more qualified for the position, she’d step down. Thankfully, no one else stepped in because Ahnna makes a great ANC. She is highly involved in the wants and needs of her constituents, and works to make those wants and needs a reality.
Ahnna ended her talk with the message that anyone and everyone should run for office and that ANC is a great place to start. She noted that many ANC positions remain vacant because there is a lack of interest and knowledge of what ANC does for communities. Ahnna pointed out that there’s always room in public office for educated and ambitious women, and we have to say, we certainly agree!
– Stacey P., 2011 Running Start Intern