I believe that a very unique skill and perspective that I have that I could bring to the cathedral vestry is from my experience working in political activism. As a young person, I am uniquely positioned to provide a perspective that no other vestry member would have, and that is the perspective of young people. Young people will be most affected by the majority of issues facing our society, from climate change to social security going bankrupt. Young people have a perspective that, quite literally, no one else on the vestry currently could relate to. That is a perspective I believe is vitally missing from many conversations.
While I may be young, I have lots of experience working in leadership capacities, both inside and outside of the cathedral. In 2018, following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I founded Ohio Students for Gun Legislation (OH-SFGL), a statewide political advocacy organization dedicated to ending gun violence in America. I currently serve as the executive director and chief strategist of OH-SFGL. I have also served in many other capacities including as a campaign intern in 2018 with the Ohio Democratic Party; the campaign manager for Marlena Brookfield’s 2019 Cincinnati school board campaign; and the media director of Cincinnati Indivisible. In March of 2019, I was appointed by the senior warden and the vestry to serve the cathedral as the inaugural vestry youth liaison. Through this position I have gotten to learn from sitting vestry members, and attend all vestry meetings, including executive sessions. This has been a tremendous learning experience. I am also a member of the cathedral’s Native American Ministries Council; Gun Violence Prevention working group; cathedral youth group; and the Next Century Vision team (appointed by the dean). I also take an active role in the cathedral life as an acolyte and occasional reader, intercessor, and usher. I also take part in the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival annually.
While I have many hopes and aspirations for the cathedral, I think my main focus would be on growing and fostering the cathedral community, as well as continuing our outreach efforts to help more people. I would also like to see us focus more on issues of equality, immigration, addressing mental health issues, and leveraging the cathedral’s vast connections and wealth to enact real change in our country. I truly believe in the power that this cathedral has to enact real change and to better the lives of so many people. As for growing and fostering the cathedral community, I would like to see more of a connection between the 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, and Noon services. Many in our community see a disconnect between these three services, and I think that the vestry could play an important role in helping to bridge that gap.