Who are you and why do you do what you do? Do you ask yourself those questions? Pretty
deep questions. But they are questions I’m faced with each day as I campaign throughout
Clearwater. My name is Kathleen Beckman and I’m running for Clearwater City Council Seat 3.
I want to represent you on our council. As you consider our election on March 17 and who you
will vote for, I thought I’d share with you my responses to those two questions.
I am ﬁrst and foremost a mom. And while my three children are grown and making their way in
three different states, in looking back at my life, I am most proud of my parenting and my
children. I love being a mom – I love teaching and nurturing and guiding and empowering
people (both big and small). Watching my children grow and learn and develop their own
passions and interests and plans is such a joy. I’m proud that they exemplify the values and
principles of generosity and compassion and empathy and hard work that my husband and I
raised them with.
I am a former public high school English teacher. I believe in the power of an educated
community. I believe in the power of knowledge and critical thinking and action. I am a worker;
I am involved in a number of volunteer activities here in the Clearwater community that focus on
empowering others. I am a Guardian ad Litem with the Pinellas County Courts; I am the voice/
advocate for a child who has been removed from the home due to abuse or neglect. I volunteer
weekly at Ridgecrest Elementary working one-on-one with K-2nd graders who are struggling
readers. I helped to start and coach a summer swim team at the Ridgecrest YMCA. I volunteer
with Habitat for Humanity by working on home builds and donating my hours to future home
owners – I thoroughly enjoy making a personal connection and developing relationships as
people work towards their goal of homeownership. With the Sierra Club I work to raise
awareness about sustainability and energy efﬁciencies. In 2019 my husband and I focused on
reaching out to non-proﬁts (Churches, Habitat Re-Store and the YMCA) and with education and
initial donations of LED lighting and labor, we have helped them to lower their energy bills and
reduce their carbon footprint. I hope/believe that our efforts have a ripple effect. That is the
power of education and action. I am also active in both voter registration and engagement
throughout our community. I love working with residents and families one-on-one, but the arc of
my public service is pulling me more towards working at a system or policy level.
As your council member, I will speak and advocate for the diverse members of our community. I
have spent the last 10 months speaking with thousands of Clearwater residents. I’ve knocked
on thousands of doors, logging hundreds of miles on my shoes! I’ve simply introduced myself
and asked the person at the door, “What is important to you? What do you care about?” And I
listen. But listening is merely the ﬁrst step. I am a woman of action. I am a doer. I will lead
initiatives and report back to residents. I will research and ask questions. I will work for you.
I’m ready to devote all of my time and energy to serving the residents of Clearwater. It will be
my full-time job. I am not one to simply attend a meeting and cast a vote or show up for a
ribbon cutting. I join community groups and sign up for committees and do the work. I get my
hands dirty and I will continue that “hands on” work. As a council member I will work to ﬁnd
ways to increase our workforce housing; I will push to have Clearwater do more to protect the
environment that is so critical to our health and our economy; I will work to help attract more
businesses to our community and to support those that already call Clearwater home. Families
in Clearwater will have an advocate in me as I believe we can offer more for children and
families. As a teacher, you ﬁrst listen to your student – assess their needs and then formulate a
plan. That’s what I plan to do as I listen to residents and advocate for what is important to them.
Why do I do what I do? Simply, I enjoy helping others. I love to be of service; I want to make a
difference. I’ve been so fortunate throughout my life. Though I wouldn’t consider my parents
“wealthy” we always had enough. I am fortunate to have two healthy, loving parents who
instilled in my brothers and me a commitment to community service and empathy. Our family
did not suffer unexpected illness or tragedy or ﬁnancial hardship. We were lucky. I am lucky.
Many others are not so lucky. A child does not choose their parents or their zip code or their
genes. My children were/are fortunate. Those who are not so fortunate need representatives
who will offer opportunities for success and safety and security. I am committed to advocating
for all residents.
I am a strong, hard working, determined, honest and transparent woman. I will bring new
energy and ideas and accountability to our council. I will work collaboratively with others on our
council and in our city government to help shape policy and guide Clearwater as we enter the
next decade. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to run for Clearwater City Council – I hope
you’ll reach out to me to share your ideas and concerns. I believe you should be the change
you want to see in the world. I hope you’ll vote for that change; I hope you’ll vote for me on
March 17, 2020.