For three MCLP graduates, election night brought success in their efforts to gain public office.
Julie Emig and Jeff Crabill won election to the Bloomington City Council. Seeking re-election, Janet Hood will continue to serve on the Heartland Community College board and Kyle Buchanan is completing is his second year as a City of Chenoa commissioner.
Although they made valiant efforts, George Chissel, running for Bloomington City Council, and David Shields, running for Normal Town Council, were unsuccessful in their bids.
Both Shields and Chissel vowed on election night to continue their community service and commitments.
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 won 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 and won another six-year term. 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 was an unopposed candidate in 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 was unsuccessful in 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!” At her election night event, she reiterated her commitment to public service.
Making a difference resounded with David Shields in his effort for 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.” Shields is already serving on the Normal Planning Commission and will continue in that position, besides the non-profit organizations he works with.
MCLP, as a non-profit organization, does not make political endorsement. 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.
By Mike Matejka