• Mobil Smiles Reward

Why I am running for office

Share

Dear voters of Precinct 5 and the CNMI: Many people have asked me, why did you decide to run for office?  Why would you give up a secure position with good pay and benefits?  Why would you take a $20,000 pay cut?  Don’t you think the kids need you still?  All of these are valid questions.  For any big decision, knowing why is really important to understand a person›s motivations and values.  Let me tell you my whys.

I decided to run for office because I was compelled to act on my calling to public service.  People always say they wish they had good choices of who to vote for. Candidates who are not motivated by self-interest.  Candidates who will be prudent with our islands’ finances.  Candidates who have plans to improve the lives of the people who live in our communities. Candidates who can evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information to be data-driven decision makers. Candidates who have vision. I know, I am one of those candidates.  

This is why I run.  

Wherever I go, I hear people share the same things when we meet.  Whether it is at the PTSA or in the aisle at the store, or at the picnic table by the beach; people always share common sense ideas and expectations of our government.  Things like providing more access to services, such as coordinating islandwide trash collection or installing additional transfer stations to help alleviate illegal dumping. People ask things like, why is it government officials don’t already regularly publish what public funds were spent on which public purposes? This kind of transparency is the kind of internal control that compels fiscal responsibility. I got tired of hearing complaints and decided I wanted to be part of the solution. 

This is why I run.  

I run, because for the last couple of years the Public School System has been on austerity, getting cut after cut.  What is one more when everyone else is suffering?  I felt helpless, after 18 years of service in the system, with my principal colleagues and with my school teams. I felt indignation that my students were getting short-changed because I recognize there is a disconnect.  Education is a service industry. Service industries require human resources. The human resources of education are the teachers, support staff, and administration that provide the structure and support that schools require in order to provide a top-notch education.  This affects all students, all teachers, and all families that we serve. Because I have experienced so many roles within the Public School System, I know I will bring a broader understanding of the needs of our schools to the decision-making table. 

People who say the kids still need me are right.  They need leaders like me more than ever, to help get us back on track financially so that we can continue the great work being done at the schools which has made PSS the leaders in education in the Pacific.  

This is why I run. 

I run because many people have said—you never know until you try. I want to try because I am a collaborator, a connector, a mediator, a diplomat. I am a creative, a thinker, a visionary, a planner. Most of all, am a doer. I run because I believe I can help improve the lives of our people and our communities, like I have helped others navigate transitions in their life. A man I met while going house to house, he said, you never know until you try. 
This is why I run. 

Leila Staffler

Leila Staffler

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.