“I’m running for office!” This is what my best friend, Helene, told me a few months back. Since first grade she and I have built our friendship on laughter and trust in each other. More often than not, our friendship has been held together by the thought that, “If it matters to you, it matters to me”. One personal thing I love about Helene is her ability to see me for the woman I am. Anyone who hears about our lifelong friendship and responds with the attitude of, “How sweet. You’re friends with a blind person. You must take such good care of her.” She is quick to convince them otherwise. No matter what
life throws our way, our support for one another is mutual. When I began college, I was told I should go to the community college instead of the University of Rhode Island because they have better support services. It was Helene who told me to prove them wrong and stick with URI.
I feel like I have kept Helene’s plan to run for City Council in for months, but I can finally let it out! =) I truly believe one of the best ways to learn is to teach ourselves. With little political experience under my belt, I dove right into Emily’s List. They are not sponsoring this by the way. The great thing about Emily’s List is that they offer some amazing videos and articles about running for office. Oh hey, by the way, if your best friend happens to tell you one day she wants to run, check out some great courses here.
Needless to say, I have learned more than I thought I ever would in this year. Diving into something we know little about is definitely scary. But something that Helene and I believe is that no matter your background, no matter your situation, we can all make a difference. I write a lot about the people who change my life for the benefit of others. I learned a lot about diving in my final semester of college when I decided to take this advanced audio course almost everyone said I should not take part in. In fact, everyone in the disability field supposed to help me were the ones telling me to take a course less complicated. But it was my senior year and sighted students were taking whatever courses they wanted. It was my right to take what interested me. Without support from those who should have found ways to accommodate me, I took a huge leap of faith and dove in. Scary? You better believe it. It was my professor who had no background in teaching blind students and my reader, Tyler Phillips, who stuck with me through one of the craziest rides of my life. More on that in another post. Those lessons stuck with me for life. I write a lot about issues facing those with disabilities because I find the system helping us very broken. I write not to complain but because in life we have two choices. We can talk about how things should be better, or we can do our best to do something about the issues we don’t like. I’m doing my best to do something. Helene is too, for District 8 in Boston, Massachusetts. The really wonderful part about this whole thing is you don’t have to live there to contribute! If you can donate to the Vincent for Boston campaign, please click here. If you cannot donate, you can always volunteer with us!
On June 7, Helene had an amazing kickoff party with over one hundred supporters! If you want to know in Helene’s words why she’s running, please watch this.
I met so many amazing people all coming together to make change.
Helene and Miranda are posing in front of a sign that says “Helene Vincent for Boston City Counsel.” Miranda is wearing a purple shirt and Helene is wearing a read dress.
Miranda is sitting and shaking hands with a party attendee, while she helps pass out name tags at Helene’s campaign announcement party.
Helene is giving a speech describing the reasons that she is running for Boston City Council.
Thank you for reading today’s post. Here’s to those of us teaching ourselves. Here’s to having hardly any support from those who “should” help us. And yet, here’s to those who hardly know anything about disability who are supportive in ways that we could never say thank you and feel like we show you we appreciate you. Let’s change the world!