Jen Wolosin: Stepping Up to Run for Public Office

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A couple months ago, we came across an article—probably the result of a Google alert—in which a woman running for city council in Menlo Park, CA mentioned Strong Towns in a discussion about the need for incremental housing development. We followed her story and were excited to learn that she won her election. Now we’re pleased to feature her on our latest episode of the Bottom-Up Revolution podcast.

Jen Wolosin, like so many Strong Towns advocates, is someone who humbly observed where people in her city were struggling and then stepped up to try and change the situation. In her case, it was seeing how dangerous a nearby street was for kids trying to bike or walk to school. It was a problem for her own children, but she also recognized how many other children were being impacted too—especially children who couldn’t get a ride from a parent instead.

So Jen investigated. She contacted people, she showed up at meetings, she built a network of fellow advocates, and eventually she founded a group called “Parents for Safe Routes” to make local streets safer. She went on to sit on several local committees and eventually, took that next step to run for city council, and won.

We know you’ll learn a lot from Jen’s story of transforming from someone who saw a problem, to someone who was taking action, and eventually, to someone who would get to make city decisions as an elected official. She’s got tons of advice for you at the end, too, about how you can embark on a journey like hers.

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