I met Jen shortly after her family moved to Piedmont. Over time, we became friends, exposing me to the very same qualities I suspect compelled City Council to award Jen the vacated seat she sought. Jen was most certainly selected because of her experience as an attorney with a law degree from Howard University. The Council was likely also impressed by her exemplary leadership qualities as a highly engaged member of the community, a founding member of the Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign (PREC) and co-president of the Piedmont Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee (PADC).
Yet I’m sure Jen’s interpersonal qualities probably swayed the Council as well. Her easy manner, her adept approach to solving problems, the simplicity with which she lays down her vision, her receptivity to opinion, and a kindness that infuses her social discourse. I saw all of these qualities the day Jen interviewed to fill the vacant City Council seat nine months ago.
I have also personally experienced these qualities as friends, working closely together when Jen served as co-president of PADC and when I worked with her on Veronica Anderson Thigpen’s School Board campaign where Jen served as campaign manager. I saw her inspire our team and execute on strategy. It awed me. At each of the campaign meetings, she shared a quote that fortified our commitment and bound us together spiritually. One quote she offered resonated deeply with me and I shared it with my grown children. It was from Howard Thurman, an American educator, theologian and civil rights leader: “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have.”
Jen has shown herself to be a high performer on City Council. She quickly surmounted the onboard learning curve and got up to speed on the Council’s work. She’s served on the Council these past months and is running to continue that work.
I endorse Jen Long’s campaign and wish you could have been there to see Jen as she sat in that public forum before City Council, making her bid for the vacant seat. You, too, would have been compelled to select her, to bring Jen’s voice onto the City Council. She’s animated, prepared and ready to go.
Please join me in voting for Jen Long for City Council.