Sarah Payne is role model, mentor
To the editor:
From a young age I’ve looked up to Sarah Payne. I first met her during summer time swims in her father’s pool in which I was considered a good family friend. Later in my life, I met her again while she was the executive director for the local ACD Festival during Labor Day. During this time, I had the opportunity to work under her throughout my involvement in the DeKalb High School show choir program as we volunteered for community events. As a result, I got to see the impact Sarah has had on our community and its people first hand.
As a mentor, Sarah has had a powerful impact on me. Sarah helped me discover my passion for nonprofit management and event planning which I am currently pursuing at Indiana University-Bloomington as an incoming junior for fall 2019. When I was applying for college scholarships, a common essay question asked was, “Who is a role model in your life, and why?” My answer was always Sarah Payne. This is because her ability to lead and impact others encourages and empowers me as a woman to believe that I too, can make a difference in our community, just as she has.
The mayor appoints over 30 persons to boards and commissions which are currently comprised of 88% men and 91% over 45 years old in Auburn, Indiana. This leadership doesn’t represent me and it certainly doesn’t empower me. We all need voices at the table that reflect us whether that be male, female, Republican, or Democrat. Paralleling a recent change we have all noticed in our local school board election, we need new voices at the table. We need new voices that are willing to be transparent, willing to put in the hard work, and willing to take the time to listen to our opinions before change is made as well as new voices that provide different solutions to the same goals our community shares.
2019 is the most important election of my lifetime. The candidate we select to lead our small, “City of Auburn,” in November will be a decisive factor in how our community develops and quite frankly, a deciding factor in if I’ll return to Auburn after I graduate from IU. My friends are leaving Auburn and they aren’t coming back. Auburn represents a place where they don’t want to raise their future family, and as a place with little economic opportunity as they consider their future careers. I want Auburn to be a place where people my age want to stay and where young people want to come, where progress is made, and where there is space for the community to gather on the weekends and reasons to gather. I want Auburn to be a place where people of all backgrounds feel welcome and where people naturally feel inclined to get involved in their community to make it a better place for all.
Sarah has and continues to be an important mentor in my life. I want to stay in this community. I want to see Auburn develop into the kind of city where everyone is engaged, connected, heard, and accepted. This fall, I’ll be voting for Sarah Payne for Auburn Mayor because she is #Allin, because #thetimeisnow and because I believe in the power of #PeoplePlacesProgress.