I was raised to believe in the principles of citizenship and public service. I've always felt a responsibility that if something is broken, it's up to me to fix it. I ran for office in 2011 in response to the factionalism I encountered on the Hyattsville City Council when starting a community garden. I thought I could do something to help change that dynamic and I believe I have.
It's been far from a smooth journey and I have not done this alone, but over the past four years we have started to transform civic life in Hyattsville. A new level of cooperation and respect characterizes the interactions among our elected officials and staff. There is a new constructive and optimistic spirit here which people have started to notice. I have been as discouraged as anyone by the corrosiveness of the national political culture, but my work on the local level is a concerted and idealistic effort to change our political conversation from the bottom up.
When I first ran for office, I emphasized that I was smart, tough, and hard-working. Those are the qualities that I rely on in my professional life and which I thought would have the most practical application to this new endeavor. Over the course of my first term, I discovered that I rely more on other qualities as a Council member. Tenacity is important, but compassion is essential. Seeing the humor in absurd situations is a critical and underrated skill. I strive to share information widely and to understand other viewpoints. Serving on Council is fundamentally about working as part of a team. The day-to-day work involves listening, learning, evaluating, and collaborating. We have made great strides in more effectively leveraging the talents and energy of our residents and finding ways to put our residents' skills to work for Hyattsville. My focus is on the future and I am very optimistic about what lies ahead of us.
Our community is both a work in progress and it's an area which is coming into its own. People from beyond our borders are starting to notice that there's something special going on in Hyattsville. I have had the great privilege of being part of the collective efforts to transform this community into the wonderful place to live and work it is today. I've served the past four years representing Ward 2 on the Hyattsville City Council and I ask for your vote to allow me to continue the work we've started.
Shani N. Warner