#InternationalWomensDay celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide. However, this day of celebration did not come easy. It is not the result of a single person’s efforts. Rather, it is the collective effort of women and men alike, locally and worldwide, to give voice to the contributions of women that made this day a reality.
These efforts encouraged me to bring my voice to the MA First Franklin District race. I am running for State Representative because I want to see more women in government. I am running because I want women with life experience - who are struggling, as I do, to balance work and family life - to be at the table when policies are being drafted, debated and voted on. I always thought I would run for office one day and, with the announced retirement of Representative Steve Kulik after 25 years in office, that day is now.
Like many women, I had concerns about running for office. At the top of the list was the impact of a campaign on my family. I worried that running now, as opposed to when my children were older, might be too much of a burden. But then I thought, what if running now doesn’t weigh on them, but lifts them instead? What if it becomes something that we do together rather than something that happens to their mom when they’re older? What if running now inspires them to consider public service as a calling? What if my running made them believe that elected officials work hard every day to make their lives better? What if the outcome for my children and the children of this district was the normalization of seeing women in positions of power?
There were a lot of “What ifs” when I was deciding if I wanted run for this seat. But on February 25, I made this “Right now” instead of “What if” because I believe I am the right person for this job.
I’m Natalie Blais and I’m running to be the first woman ever elected to represent the MA First Franklin District.
I’m running today to #PressForProgress.