During times of Covid, let’s lead with kindness
I began renewing my personal commitment to “leading with kindness” after reading the New York Times Opinion column entitled, “This Should Be Biden’s Bumper Sticker.” The article suggested that Joe Biden needed a simple clear message of “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.” In light of my recent re-election campaign as a Sebastopol City Councilmember, it caused me to consider what I wanted my own theme to be as a representative of our community.
My bumper sticker will read “Lead with Kindness in 2021.” This is my commitment in both my personal life and as a community representative making political decisions. I want to keep top of mind that I should approach all with kindness, seek to listen and understand, and remain open to diverse opinions and viewpoints in order to guide my path forward. My resolution in 2021 is focused on positive thoughts for both our local community and our Nation. It is a large commitment, especially in light of all that has happened so far this year, and it is only January. However, I know the way to achieve something is to set an intention, communicate it, and hold myself accountable!
In 2021, I plan to stay in a place of gratitude for the many positive things in my life. That starts first and foremost with my health and this amazing Sebastopol and entire West County community that I am so thankful to live in during this time in history.
As an elected official my commitment to leading with kindness is especially important. Although we may not all agree, my practice of leading with kindness, begins the dialogue with the right intention and will no doubt provide a platform of respect for myself and others. Whether I am working with the public or in collaboration with my talented colleagues on the city council, I know we all want what’s best for our neighbors and our community.
In 2021, we face many challenges as a city, primarily balancing the city budget which relies primarily on sales tax revenue. Shortfalls continue due to the current pandemic as businesses remain completely closed or using modified business models.
With this in mind, I encourage you to join me, by being proactive in leading with kindness aimed toward our own city. I ask you to support our local merchants by driving less and purchasing what you need in town. I ask you to join me and support our local restaurants by committing to the “Take Out Pledge” and signing your name in the Townsy app to order take-out from a local restaurant at least one time weekly. Join me and pledge to support more local non-profits who provide valuable time and service to our community. I plan to bicycle more and hope to see our community members utilizing our well-maintained bike paths and trails. We have a wonderful bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables at our own Sebastopol Farm Market on Sundays, and I plan to ensure I am frequenting this event to support our local farmers.
Despite the challenges we face in our city, we have so many opportunities to come together, “Lead with Kindness” and share what makes Sebastopol and our West Sonoma County the best place to live, and enjoy quality time with our friends and families. In this new year, let us all join together to recommit to spreading kindness each and every day and continuing to create positive opportunities to make these values visible to all who enjoy our community.
-Neysa Hinton is a member of the Sebastopol City Council and was re-elected for a four-year term in November 2020.