Lisa Weber is a mother, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children, and now a candidate for the Town Board of Niskayuna, the New York town where she lives. She knows that women are underrepresented in public office, and like other female politicos, it’s policy and not ego that prompted her to run. Unlike other women, though, she decided to give it a go after being asked the first time. That’s an improvement – usually female candidates have to be asked, on average, 7 times! Run, Lisa, run!
Why do you want to run for the Town Board?
The town of Niskayuna is a wonderful place to live — great schools, beautiful parks, a friendly welcoming community, and a town government that functions well. Local governments provide essential services to families, basic needs like water, sewer and road maintenance, as well as parks and recreational opportunities. As someone who has been raising children in the Niskayuna community for the past fourteen years, I have a good understanding of the needs and concerns of our families as well as the experience needed to represent them well. I am very receptive to hearing the ideas and experiences of all community members, from our young people to our seniors.
Have you been planning to run for a long time?
Although I have worked on many campaigns in the past, running for office myself was an idea to consider “one day.” But when two seats became open this year and one of the outgoing board members asked me to consider running, I quickly decided to do it. With my public policy background and my passion for the community, I knew I would be the right fit. And, after reading Senator Gilllibrand’s book “Off the Sidelines” and your frequent social media posts on the underrepresentation of women in elected office nationally, I know how important it is for the perspective of women and mothers to be represented all levels of government.
Has motherhood influenced your campaign?
While campaigning I have interviewed for the endorsement of unions. Amongst the issues I spoke about is my support for workplace policies like paid family leave and paid sick days. These are issues I first started working on after I had children, as a member of the Board of Trustees for NAMC (National Association of Mothers’ Centers, now Mom-mentum).
Many of the skills, as well as the perspective I have gained as a mother, have helped me both in my current job coordinating the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children Program in my County and in becoming an active, engaged member of my community running for public office.
As a mother you learn to assess and address everyones’ needs around you, work out logistics, and work efficiently in a compressed time frame (what can I accomplish while the baby is napping?). You also think a lot about the values you want to impart to your children. For me, it was important to include community service into my parenting. My professional experience is valuable too. Last year our local CASA program got a grant and I was asked to come on as a part time paid employee to coordinate the program in our county, recruiting and training new volunteers and overseeing cases.
Any last words before we sign off?
I will be on the ballot in Niskayuna for the November 3 general election on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines. I hope if I win election it can show other moms that you can go back to the office and run for office!
Thanks, Lisa, and best of luck in the election.
‘Til next time,
Your (Wo)Man in Washington