I have followed John Fetterman’s career since 2010 when CBS Sunday Morning did a feature on his work as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Fetterman saw something in the dying rust belt town and was willing to pursue that vision. Others came along although not everyone. I encourage you to take time to view the clip.
Here’s the conclusion:
“I like to think if there’s nothing else that can be taken from the Braddock story, it’s that no community deserve to be abandoned, no community deserves to have their back turned on it,” he said. “And that there’s always an ability to increase or enhance the quality of life for the residents. In fact, I think it’s, if anything, it’s a moral imperative to do so.”
Fetterman is now the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. His twitter feed is worth a follow as I think he manages to navigate the social media world pretty well for a politician. He is passionate about his beliefs and willing to support them without being reduced to name calling and bullying.
Plus, he is willing to make fun of himself along with others as he certainly doesn’t look like the typical politician:
We sat out the feats of strength this year because I didn’t want to embarrass John in front of the entire commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/zNChUQKG1Z
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) December 23, 2019
Fetterman is a role model for me as I live in a community on the edge, not quite as bad off as Braddock but lacking essential services. We are fortunate to have a leader in our new mayor who has been working hard to attract businesses like a drug store and grocery store to the once thriving town. Her vision and enthusiasm have revived some local pride, but I see a wariness in the town residents who wonder, as Braddock did about Fetterman, about her motives and her longevity. Even active and influential people have gotten used to approaching everything from a negative, cynical viewpoint and that can be harder to overcome than the economic issues.
One of my goals for 2020 is to get back to volunteering with 4H at the local community center, something I did last year and found rewarding. It is a very small step but a hopeful one.