Edmonds: Find your best fit to serve your community.

dnc2012

At the 2012 DNC in Charlotte with labor leader/civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and my crew.

In the 3+ years that I’ve been in Edmonds has been a fun and eye-opening experience.  One that has challenged me to find ways to integrate myself in my new home, learn and adapt to a new culture (Pacific Northwest vs Bay Area) as well as how to be a participant in my community…not just an observer. From the trial and error of finding volunteer opportunities that were the best fit for me personally and professionally to choosing when to be vocal about political issues that effort our city, Edmonds feels like home.

Over the past year or so, I’ve had several neighbors reach out to me via social media or at community events asking my advice on how they could do this themselves.  Some of these neighbors are long-time Edmonds residents while some are transplants from other parts of Washington State and beyond.  There is no one (and perfect) answer, which is a good thing.  This speaks to the diverse pathways one can go down to find what fits them best. There are several individualized places you can go and look for ways to serve and connect, but how awesome would it be to have a centralized place online where one could look up civic, community and professional volunteer/networking opportunities that serves Edmonds?   Just a(n ambitious) thought.

With the upcoming elections happening in Edmonds (Port Commission, City Council, School Board), I find myself receiving even more emails and inquiries around this topic…but with a bit of a twist.  Women who have reached out to me are feeling more emboldened to seek office, but insure as where to start.  The other twist have been around people of color (POC) who feel they wouldn’t be taken seriously in going after leadership roles where they are in the minority.  I’ve experienced both sides of this coin and humbly offer the following advice:

  1. Don’t let fear (your own or judgement from others who intimidate) dictate going down this journey. “Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda” is far worse than actually trying.
  2. Find the starting point that you feel most comfortable with.
    • There are also several services-based clubs in Edmonds that are always looking for members and volunteers to help staff community wide events. You can do a quick search on some via MyEdmondsNews .
  3. I believe Edmonds is a more diverse community than we see on the surface, and I encourage those communities to be more visible, knowing it can be uncomfortable for some. In the end, it’s a great benefit to all of us.
  4. Getting your foot in the door isn’t always easy. Don’t be afraid to cannonball and make yourself know, but also be prepared for both praise and scrutiny.  Your life becomes a little less private once you decide you want to step up and serve.
  5. Finally, there are groups both locally and statewide willing to help you find your voice. There are a number of neighborhood groups in Edmonds that are facilitating change (and can be found on Facebook). Organizations like Emerge Washington and NWPC help train women to run for office.

I encourage all of my fellow Edmonds residents to find their way to be part of the community, even if you work several cities away, there are opportunities (occasional to regular) that fits all of us.

 

Alicia Crank
Corporate Relations Office
YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish

Alicia serves on the boards of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, Edmonds Senior Center and on the City of Edmonds Planning Board.

Happy Troublemaker

take-ownership-4-300x235I find myself thinking more and more of my eldest brother James.  I was the youngest of 3 and the only girl, and he took his big brother duties pretty serious.  Growing up in Detroit, there were many bad decisions and wrong turns I could have made, and he equipped me as best as possible to avoid them…even though he didn’t do this for his own life.

I was a pretty timid kid, the peacemaker of the family and the one they seemed to seek some level of approval from.  Going into my teenage years like this could have meant a different life from the one I have now.  James, however, taught me two very important lessons (of many) that shape the way I look and go about things: never make a decision you’re not willing to own and not to complain if I’m not willing to do something about it.

Continue reading

Alicia’s Favorite Mocha Spots In Edmonds

One of the great things about being a consultant/working for yourself is the ability to set your own schedules and to work from home. Both allow me to satisfy my need to do volunteer activities in and around Edmonds.  However, I have discovered that in order for me to “work” from home, I need to start off somewhere else.

Starting at home first thing in the morning comes with distractions: the desire to stay in bed a little bit more, do a bit a housework, etc.  I find that I need to get up and go somewhere else first, then come back home and continue/finish. Coffeehouses seem to do the trick, and I get my double-tall mocha to get me going.

There are three, depending on my mood and what I need to start working on, that are my favorites: Continue reading

Why is the 2016 Presidential cycle so nasty? Because 2008 wasn’t.

f1-not-equal-signI remember the 2008 Presidential election cycle with mixed emotions, most of them positive.  I was a California State Democratic Delegate who was going to vote for either the first African-American candidate or first female candidate. This was enormous, something that my grandparents never got to see.

It was a contentious primary with many divided allegiances and feelings.  I saw the strong relationships of my beloved Young Democrats fracture in picking sides.  Some of these friendships did survive.  Others didn’t.

Once we moved from the primary to the general election, I feared the worst: would some radical do something to hurt Barack Obama and/or his family?  How much would racism rear its ugly head?  If elected, would he survive his term(s)? Continue reading

Blogging Sabbatical Has Ended

first_sabbatical_artBetween relocating to a new state (physically and mentally), doing a fast deep dive into my new community and running for office this time last year, I decided to take a few steps back and quietly figure out what I want to do next and the best place to do it.  It was tough at first, to go cold turkey in openly sharing my thoughts and feelings, but it was worth it.  Now I’m ready to come back to this.

Many has transpired in the past 12 months.  Our presidential election alone could fill thousands of posts on its own, but there is so much more.  What we see happening nationally, and internationally, came from somewhere.  It started small.  It started local.  Any head-scratching we experience on issues happening on a national level can also been seen in our local communities.  I submit that these are not “trickle down” situations, but more “skyrocketing-up”. Continue reading