As I have thought through where to start this blog, I realized that addressing why I am running might be the most pertinent. In future posts I will focus on more socially relevant topics but this seems like a good place to begin.
I was born in Bountiful, Utah with family ties (on my VanDrimmelen side) to Northern Utah dating back to the late 1800’s. I lived in North Salt Lake until I was 12 when my dad took a teaching position in Las Vegas, Nevada. I attended jr. and sr. high school in Las Vegas at Chaparral High School and graduated with many leadership honors including Student Body President, President of the Student Advisory Committee to the School Board and the Southern Nevada Regional Representative. I came back to Utah to attend BYU for my freshman and sophomore years of college.
In between my sophomore and junior year I went to Arlington, Texas to visit my family in their new home. I often contend that Texas is a vortex which sucks you in until you do not want to leave. This was my fate as I switched gears and applied to the University of Texas at Arlington. Here I graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in History. I worked for a few years in child psychiatry as well as a period as a loan officer at a local credit union. During this time I met my husband, a Texas native with medical aspirations. Shortly after we got married he attended medical school in Fort Worth, Texas and went on to do a residency and fellowship in Child Psychiatry through the Texas A&M system. After living in Texas for nearly 15 years and the birth of our four children, it came time to find a place to settle down. The pull of the mountains combined with a great place to raise our family brought us to Kaysville, Utah in 2014.
I will be honest and say that adjusting to Utah was a process. I had never been a mom in a place where I could let my kids out to play without me constantly by their side. We had rarely had neighbor friends let alone a whole community to which we felt close. My first time attending a movie at the Kaysville Theater got it’s own Facebook post just to highlight the charming opening reel that brought “eeewww”’s from the entire audience. I still smile thinking about that night. It was an adjustment to live in a close knit community but so many great experiences have come with that existence.
Soon after moving I found myself with a desire to understand my community better. When an opportunity to serve on the community council of my kids school came, I jumped at the chance. I spent my first two years in Kaysville serving as the chair of this council. It was, again, a new experience for me. Never had I lived somewhere that allowed parents to weigh in on how some of the school funds were spent. The process intrigued me and I spent a great deal of time delving into Utah code, trying to understand the exact function of these councils and working to help our community council fulfill the purposes for which it had been created. I learned a great deal in this process and it sparked a desire in me to find other opportunities to serve in the community. After the most recent election cycle I began attending city council meetings in an effort to understand where there might be a need.
I did not begin this process with the idea in mind of running for city council this year. As I watched some of the struggles that have and were occurring in our city I kept thinking that there would be many willing and able to step in and serve. But the longer I watched, the more clearly I saw the divides that have formed both in our city council and through our citizens. The idea of taking sides kept popping up and concerning me. I began to see that while there might be others who would be willing to run, my past experiences had prepared me to be a bridge in the ever dividing rhetoric.
My love of government started at a young age and has long driven me in trying to understand human nature. While my own belief system runs deep, I often find that stepping back to see all sides of a coin leads to better long term solutions in the political world. It is in this mentality that I strongly think we can and will find the best solutions for problems facing our city. In posts to come I will discuss some of these issues more in depth. As I move forward through this campaign season I hope to be able to highlight some of the decisions that are being made, the differing perspectives that come from different members of the community, the implications of these decisions and where I would hope to see a resolution. I hope that you will join me on this journey.