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  • Writer's pictureKristin Lyman

Why Children Are My #1 Priority in This Campaign

The responsibility I feel toward children sits in the deepest core of my being. I have done a lot of soul searching before and now to understand the roots of my motivation to pursue public office. As I've stated previously, this is not an egoic mission; this is not a vanity project or another rung on the ladder to climb of power and influence and access. This campaign was birthed out of the observation that our current representation is paled and ineffective. Congress is so tangled up in itself, it cannot function for more than a few weeks without another crisis of leadership or budget mucking. I want to get in there are re-set the tone, its mission and meet the expectation of the voter that the People's Business will be attended to and that business Day 1 for me is crafting legislation to protect public school buildings with the same defense infrastructure as our federal building; let's protect our Children like we protect our bureaucrats.

While meditating today, the guided meditation asked me to listen for the most distant sound that I could hear, "a global listening." The truth is, from the bottom of my heart, I heard the cries and fright and anxiety of children everywhere. It was first focused on Palestine and Israel and those children. Then down south to the children approaching our southern border, unaccompanied. Then to children locally, whether in school with mass shooter anxiety or skipping school, roaming the streets of Baltimore, falling into the trap of unstable home environments, drugs, crime and incarceration before they even have the chance to take driver's ed. It is our time to nurture and love these young humans. The batting order ticks along. Our generation can no longer stand "on deck." It's time to approach home plate, assume our stance and stare down that dead-eyed pitcher of war and violence and abuse and poverty and injustice and terribleness. Will we catch up to his fastballs, slamming into the orb of leather and stitches, leading with the hips and a level swing and with a crack of the bat, send suffering into the upper deck? Or with our lack of focus cause us to foul off repeatedly?

Since I first chose The Catcher in the Rye with its unassuming cover off the shelf to read in 9th grade, it has been my all-time favorite. A bible of sorts for me. I have a tattoo of Holden Caulfield on my left arm. Every time I see a Christmas tree on the curb, under a dreary January sky, I think about the scene where Holden sees the two garbage men attempt to lift a Christmas tree up into their dump truck, "Hold the sonuvabitch up!" shout one of them. Holden remarks that that is a "lovely way" to talk about a Christmas tree. The title of the book connects to a vision that Holden has as it relates to visiting his younger sister Phoebe at her elementary school. He sees the word "fuck" written in graffiti there and it depresses him incredibly. He imagines himself in a field of rye, with children running through the field toward the edge; this edge representing a loss of innocence. Holden is trying to catch the children while they're passing him by to prevent such a premature loss. The title of the book describes Holden's wish to protect children from the corrupt and crumby (a word he'd definitely use) adult world.

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