Servant leadership is a call that can echo in many ways – volunteering on a board or with a community organization, initiating a new and needed outreach, and for six recent MCLP graduates, public office has become their goal.
Julie Emig ’18, Jeff Crabill ’17 and Georgene Chissell ’16 are all running for Bloomington city council seats in the April 2 election. David Shields ’15 is running for the Normal Town Council. Janet Hood ’12 is running to return and continue serving on the Heartland Community College board, and Kyle Buchanan ’15 is in the second year of a four-year term as a City of Chenoa commissioner.
Reflecting back on their MCLP experience, the decision to pursue political office was shaped by their involvement.
Julie Emig said that “My participation in MCLP influenced my decision to run because I became acutely of how a servant leader can empower others to make positive change in the world.” Julie is running in Bloomington City Council Ward 4, which encompasses the northwest side of Bloomington, near to downtown.
Janet Hood is currently serving on the Heartland Community College board. She is running for a six-year term this April. She said, “MCLP provided me opportunities to interact with diverse leaders of thought while enhancing leadership skills in all aspects of my life.”
“MCLP develops servant leaders,” noted Jeff Crabill. “We desperately need leaders in local government who serve their constituents rather than themselves. That’s why I’m running.” Jeff is seeking Bloomington’s eighth ward position, which encompasses the far southeast side of the City.
Kyle Buchanan, currently serving as a Chenoa City Commissioner, had a very broad reflection on the impact of MCLP and how it changed his perspectives: “Different lenses sparked different senses. I am able to lead more effectively and conscientiously. The world is better; thinking and working together. Listen, hear, act.”
Georgene Chissel is seeking Bloomington’s second ward, which is the City’s southwest side, encompassing both lower-income neighborhoods on the west side and newer suburban areas near Interstates 74 and 55. Georgene said, “I always knew I wanted to make a difference in my community. MCLP and its crucial conversations helped tip the scale!”
Making a difference resounded with David Shields effort to seek a Normal Town Council position. “’Basically, I’m just trying to matter,’ was my six-word MCLP biography. MCLP profoundly evolved my confidence, and thereby my opportunities, for realizing that philosophy.”
MCLP, as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, does not make political endorsements. At the same time, it encourages and applauds all graduates who stretch their boundaries and seek service opportunities, whether with non-profit organizations, boards, volunteerism or political office.