Running with a Purpose
As the youngest of ten, growing up in a military family I have had the opportunity to travel and see different parts of the world and experience different cultures and people. I was exposed to diversity from an early age. As I sat in the public meetings with Town Council regarding Scout Motors coming to Blythewood, looking around the packed room, I saw people from diverse backgrounds. It was at that moment we were all neighbors seemingly fighting for the same thing; to be heard. I felt a sense of pride and community and knew I needed to do something. That something was be a voice for the residents and my community. As a longtime volunteer guardian ad litem, I have been fighting for abused and neglected children that have no voice of their own.
Local elections matter. I have heard that before, but when issues hit close to home, you recognize just how much they matter. Sitting silent while others make decisions for us, is no longer an option. I looked at the makeup of town council and it is not representative of the community they serve. There are five members and all of them are men.
Why does that seem to be the norm? Is it that people think men are better decision makers? I know that isn’t true, but I thought who am I to run against these men? As confident as I am, I still felt insecure about my abilities. I had to keep telling myself, I am not running because I am a woman, and one of color, I am running because I believe I am qualified and my perspective would be valuable.
As a mortgage lender, each day I work with people at different levels in their life. Some are extremely knowledgeable about the homebuying process, while others don’t know where to begin because they have never owned before and maybe no one in their family has ever owned a home. I have to be able to listen and relate to them and talk those people through the process. Formerly, I served as chief financial officer for a local county agency with a 15-million-dollar operating budget. I have stood before county council presenting that budget for funding approval. I have also worked in banking. I certainly have strengths to bring to the table.
If my father were alive, he would tell me to remember who I am and what I stand for. I’m in this race now. I’m not going anywhere and I intend to see this through until. I am running with a purpose.
“My life experience has guided me to adopt a philosophy of servant leadership. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I work to serve in a manner that ensures people feel heard, respected and appreciated. As a member of Blythewood’s Town Council, I intend to serve my neighbors and my community with this same philosophy.” -Andrea Fripp
By Andrea Fripp, candidate for Blythewood Town Council in the 11/7/2023 Town of Blythewood General Election.