I am really excited to get into the top four (of 13 candidates) with more than 15000 votes in the 2018 Howard County Board of Education Primary Election. I will advance to the general election in November 2018. I am so grateful to many voters who trusted me and my volunteer team who helped me.
It is a learning experience. When the journey began, I was really careful with what I said or what others said about my campaign. You don’t want to offend your potential voters, right? I paid attention to Facebook posts after work every night. During one meeting with some community activists, when I said “I value education” and one person asked me back “so you mean others don’t value education?”, I began to realize that I didn’t need to and I could not please every one. What I need to do is to have an equal conversation and promote my experience, my value and my vision for HCPSS.
It is not always easy for me, as a non-native speaker to speak as eloquently as other candidate. I need to slow down while speak ( I often forget this either because of nervousness or excitement) and I need to articulate about my thought. Even if I have great ideas, I need present them well. I picked up my old vocabulary book and other accent training tapes again.
As an engineer, I need to find ways to resonate with audiences and voters. During my professional work, I just need focus on A+B=C or ax^2+bx+c = 0, etc, which has a very standard way to be expressed and understood between engineers. I can articulate well and get the ideas exchanged effectively and efficiently in the engineering field. While in a community meeting/discussion/chat, many people’s backgrounds are quite different from mine, I need to understand their background first and find a way to get my thoughts out in the right format.
As myself growing up from a low-income family, I have always believed education is not about education only. It is an effort that should be worked with students, teachers, families and the community. We just could not expect the school to address all the issues which are caused by the society. That is not realistic. We need to motive our students to learn and work hard by involving families and communities.
We need to provide more vocational training as an another career choice for our students. My brother graduated from a teaching school ( equivalent high school level) and became a teacher when he was 18. With his support, my family was turned upwards and I followed his path, studied really hard, eventually went to college.
I am not an emotional person which prevents me connecting with some voters. I stay calm, listen to others and try my best to look at issues objectively and find a practical solution.
I am independent and always keep my eyes open to new ideas. I do my research first and speak later. I learn from every source to keep myself informed and engaged at issues.
I am new. I even did not know politics was associated with color. Some people assumed me to be republican since I was using “red” in the yard sign or I wore a red tie. I was really surprised. Just reiterate: I am an independent candidate. The color identity politics is weird and wrong. I just feel red/write yard sign in the green/blue grassy background is more visible and it bring me the energy. It is the person, their idea and character that matter in the life, not the color of their tie, nor the color of their skin.
I will continue to advocate “quality education” for our students. We should look for a reasonable and fair solution to address each issue we are facing in the school system.
It is a learning experience for me as a county-wide (at-large) candidate because our community is so diverse and their focuses are also quite different . It is also a learning experience for my volunteers. Many of them never participated in any political process before. They were disfranchised in the community or the political process before. Now they are engaged.
Our campaign is a grass-root effort. This time we jumped in the boat and learned to row the boat. We made some mistakes ( I apologize if those mistakes cause some trouble for you or others) and will make sure we do not repeat those mistakes in the general election in November.
If you would like to continue the journey with my team, please board our boat. Please remember:
- A Vote for Wu is a Vote for you.
- Save the best for last since my name is the last in ballot.
Together, we are stronger. Now it is time for us to sail further, wider and happier.