Things I’ve Learned: City Councilor Jodie Barram
When debating a political opponent or a child. . . keep a straight face whenever possible. You might be seething or cracking up inside, but keep a cool exterior.
Compromise is. . . less important as a parent than a politician, because you are in a natural position of authority versus collaborating with colleagues. I can’t tell city councilors to do something “because I said so.” Or, before I count to three. Though sometimes I’d really like to…
When describing my work to my kids, I say. . . public service is my passion. Showing up to do it is an honor. It’s not for everyone, I know. I tell my kids I’m doing what I feel called to do. It’s challenging and exciting to me. Everyone in our family has different interests. We support each other in those areas.
I spend a lot of time managing the intricacies and details of the city/council, and this translates to. . . setting the household structure for the week with my husband and working out our family’s schedule, like an offensive coordinator working with a quarterback on plays.
In parenting and politics, if you aren’t adaptable, you will get sacked. . . what you can’t plan for is the occasional blitz. That’s where adaptability comes in. Modifying the next play to reach the end zone.
I didn’t learn everything I need to know in kindergarten. . . I’m almost 42 and am still learning.
Growing up, Nancy Drew was a hero. . . she was always a smart, feminine character that solved mysteries in a pragmatic way.
My mom taught me. . . how quiet strength, smarts, hard work, and ingenuity are assets to always be developing. She died in 2011.
Thinking about the next generation and beyond is an awesome responsibility. . . but it isn’t just about my children. It factors into every decision I make, so it’s huge. I want to influence the present to make a better future, absolutely. Part of why I got into public service was reading documents as a planning commissioner and realizing I was my daughter’s age, living here, when they were created. People named in those documents knew my parents and grandparents. As an adult, I was faced with living with their decisions and contemplating changing some. That’s when the generational decision making really hit home. I don’t necessarily want to make it “easier” for my children. Their generation will have a lot to wrestle with. More accurately, I want their generation to have benefits like resource protections, good jobs, and access to higher education.