Op-Ed: Leadership


My life experiences, diverse work history, and continual education have prepared me beyond the role of the mayor. Growing up in poverty with a single mother could easily be considered the best preparatory class I’ve ever taken. Those life lessons can’t be found in a book.

I have been at the top and I’ve been at the bottom, but it is at the bottom that I developed maturity and character.

How many of our great city residents feel at the bottom? How many are eager to get out?

As a female police officer in a predominantly male field, I am proud, and my kids are proud, that I was able to achieve 15 merits plus officer of the year within a short period.

A good leader is one who has a vision, can motivate, and inspire others to achieve greatness.

A great leader fails. They make mistakes. They take their lumps, deserved or not, and they keep it moving. Many of the greatest leaders in the history of the world have started over many times throughout their lives. A true test of a leader is not how hard they succeed, it is how hard they fall and get back up.

An even greater test is how a leader rises after being falsely accused of a crime. Yes, I maintain that no matter what a technical term such as ARD describes – when someone says I stole $7,000, and then a forensic investigation reveals it to be a $350 unintended oversight that was spread over two years. Due to the accusation I lose my job, nearly lost my home, and had three kids to raise – I think anyone in the world would have made it go away for $350.

Bigger than that, I still put myself 2nd and worried endlessly about the 400 kids that I, as the founder and CEO of the Police Athletic League, had off the streets.

As an elected leader for Harrisburg City, the beautiful residents, business owners and visitors would receive my full attention and dedication. Going a step beyond transparency, the constituents would have effective communication.

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What would it feel like to elect a leader that actually listens to the public, accepts responsibility for their mistakes, and values staff opinion? More than a leader, I’d be your representative. I am the people too.

An organization takes on the image of the leader. When was the last time we had a leader with a genuine smile?

Harrisburg needs a street-wise leader that attracts new residents and businesses by delivering respect, and protecting their hard work. Experienced candidates have broken our trust 10 times over. We’re done!

A good leader is surrounded by talent, not political favor, and I believe Harrisburg City has some of the best talent in the United States.

The way I view myself as a leader is as one who is able to bring the county, state, city, and parking lessees together in order to address the elephant in the room in regards to the failing bonds, and how to prevent economic calamity.

A motivator will stop and express appreciation even for those who are cutting our grass.

I see myself as a leader that can work to solve legal issues outside of court through effective communication, not by dictating the terms.

Reaching across political ideology to solve problems is paramount to recovery, and we owe to our citizens to obtain the best of the best. As the capital city, we owe to the great people throughout the Keystone State to be the best of the best as well.

I am that leader.

Thank you.