My name is Aftyn Garvin, and 4 years ago I was running for a position on the NCRD board. Back then, I was running a clean campaign based on bringing a fresh perspective to an already incredible institution, and uplifting community voices in the decision-making process there. While I’m no longer a physical resident of Nehalem, I still travel weekly to Wheeler for work, and hold the “Tri-Cities” in my heart as home – no matter where I roam on this Earth. Beloved costal friends of mine are forever going to be valued members of my community, and I will never stop caring about the well-being of all who live in this area.
From my view, the NCRD is full of potential to serve the community in so many beautiful ways, above and beyond how it’s already doing so – with great dedication and diligence from the current administration, I’d like to add. When I ran for NCRD board, I spoke about how I had heard my community members simultaneously expressing gratitude for the various programs already in place there, along with heartfelt wishes for more concrete opportunities to influence the direction the center was being steered. I wanted to be a voice for the community at large, and hold a position on the board as a representative that had no personal agenda other than to speak from as many unique perspectives that I could find in our community.
In the end, I received 277 votes from my fellow neighbors. And while the position didn’t end up going to me, I appreciated every single vote I received – because it meant my message was resonating with a fair portion of our community! Four years later, and we are in the midst of another election for NCRD representatives. It’s clear that our community still has many voices, full of varying opinions on how things can and should be accomplished at NCRD – and it’s no small challenge to find ways of making everyone feel heard.
With that said, I have been lucky to call Constance Shimek my good friend ever since I met her in my very first week living on the coast. I think it’s fair to say that few people in my life have made me feel more heard, valid, and loved as Constance has made me feel. She roots for me like my success is her success. She cares for me as if I’m more like family than a friend. I’m constantly impressed with how she shows up with so much dedication and passion for our community, but especially for NCRD.
For example, as a long-time member of the fundraising committee for Friends of NCRD, she has played a huge role in helping to raise money for all the fabulous programs we currently enjoy. Her commitment to making our community center a place where everyone can feel safe, included, welcomed, and fulfilled is proven – and it’s why I am encouraging everyone to vote for her to be our next member of the NCRD board. Her values align with my own, and I know that she will be the voice for the community that I hoped to be when I ran in my election.
She has the knowledge of how the NCRD operates from her years of working on the Friends of NCRD board. She understands the perspective of patrons of NCRD as someone who has enjoyed the programs there, personally. But above all, she loves her community at large, and has been living and working there long enough to know that there is one thing that everyone wants: to be listened to and respected when it comes to decisions that affect our great community. I have faith that she will be the ear that hears, and the voice that speaks on behalf of everyone who wishes to be heard by the NCRD board.
If you are one of the people who voted for me back when I was on the ballot, a vote for Constance will be a vote for the same convictions I still stand for: prioritizing the community voices and representing their desires, deep compassion for all people, open-mindedness, willingness to embrace change, and dedication to finding common ground in the compromises necessary to serve a broader slice of the community we all share. These are the traits I believe we all want to see in those leading our cherished NCRD into the future.
Vote for Community! Vote Constance Shimek!
Thank you for your time. Love to you all!