Guest PostsPolitics

Kathleen Beckman – Clearwater City Council Candidate, Seat 3

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.

 

Kathleen Beckman

kathleenforclearwater.com

kathleenforclearwater@gmail.com

(727) 266-0822

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