Carol Anne Stalker, The Circle

I look for a past record of serving the community – what has this person already done to demonstrate their intention to work towards making our community better for all its members?

I am also interested in a political candidate’s personal experience. Where did they grow up? Do they have children, and personal knowledge of the challenges that come with parenting?

Are they knowledgeable about the needs of our most marginalized individuals and families?

Have they demonstrated that they will work to reduce and eliminate the inequity that is increasing in our society?

I want to know whether this is a person who listens well to others. Does the candidate demonstrate that they want to understand others’ perspectives?

Are they open to hearing all sides of a question? When you talk with them, do you feel you have their undivided attention?

Does this person have a reputation for working well with others? Someone who has demonstrated skills in mediating conflict and/or working effectively within a team will facilitate productive problem solving among political players.

Finally, I am interested in the position the candidate has taken or is taking on issues important to me. My previous points reveal much of what is important to me – reducing barriers so that everyone has opportunities to develop their strengths and talents, redistributing resources to reduce the growing inequity in our society, and adequately supporting parents and children so that all children have the foundation they need to live healthy and productive lives.