I wrote this post 6 months ago, and it is apt in explaining why I am running for the county board of education.
State Senator Joe Simitian was on the Palo Alto School Board for 8 years before moving onto higher office. He also has no children.
I want to correct a misconception about me perpetuated by the BCS supporters. They claim I do not have any children, and thus do not have the same stake in this issue as those with kids. That's not how I see it. I actually have nearly 5000 kids. I consider every single kid attending public school in LASD to be mine. I live in this community. I paid a premium for my house in a premium school district. I pay an additional parcel tax to keep those schools premium. And for the past [year] I have given as much of my skills and talents to them as I possibly could.
Because it does take a village. Parents already have their hands full giving it their all raising their kids right. That is itself a huge sink of time and money, leaving little for other things. So if I can be the one to step up and give them a voice that they can't muster themselves, I am happy to do so. I am proud to do so. I feel an obligation to do so. This is my community too.
I don't feel the need to have kids in order to have a happy and fulfilling life or to make a positive impression on the planet. And that frees me up to do so many things that parents can't. I am a firm believer that in this day and age, memes matter much more than genes. And I think I've got some really good memes that I want to pass along to future generations.
I know: pure, unadulterated altruism can be a foreign concept to grasp. I admit it's a bit new to me too. But you know what? It feels good. I am an introvert. I knew few in my community before I threw myself into this wholeheartedly. And at it's depths, I felt utterly alone speaking out in public all by myself when the people I was speaking to and about gave me naught but negativity. But then—just when I needed them to—others joined in. And here we are today.
Even if nothing else comes of this, I feel like I am doing the right thing and making a positive difference. And from the feedback I've gotten along the way, I feel loved and appreciated. And that is all the compensation I need.