During a time when politicians are seen as greedy, power-seeking and corrupt, one craves the dedication and honor of a George Washington type politician. A leader who doesn’t serve the country because of what they will receive from the office (glory, power, salary, first rate health care benefits, fancy party invites, etc.), but a leader who serves because they feel it’s their duty to leave the country in a better place for posterity. A leader who doesn’t see a win in an election as an opportunity for herself, but sees it as a means to create better opportunities for others. I believe I found this type of leader in Mia Love.
My first contact with Mia was during city council elections for Saratoga Springs, Utah in 2003. She was going door to door in my neighborhood introducing herself and asking if anyone had questions for her. When she reached my house I did ask her some questions, which she answered impressively. I liked her solution-focused approach. I spoke with other neighbors and found they were equally impressed with her.
A few weeks later, Mia followed up of her door-to-door introductions with a hot chocolate and donut question-answer session at our neighborhood park. I discovered she did this not only in my neighborhood, but in most of the neighborhoods throughout the city. Once again I was impressed, this time by the countless hours that she dedicated to her campaign. I knew she was involved for reasons beyond personal ambitions. I asked her, “What do you get from serving on the city council?” She answered, “I get to represent my neighborhood and give them a voice. I also get to teach my children by example.”
After serving for 6 years as a city council member, Mia decided to run for mayor. She was anxious to keep property taxes low. At the same time she would be engaged in helping her fellow citizens’ keep more of what they earned, she wanted to help create a more walkable, sociable and safe community. She ran a successful campaign in November 2009, making history as the first African-American woman to be elected as a mayor in the state of Utah.
In contrast to the excessive salaries and pensions of mayors of other cities, Mia’s pay out is $875 each month. No pension. On a less than part-time salary, she faithfully gives 40 to 60 hours of service to the city each week.
Mia’s attitude of hard work and service can be credited to father, Jean Maxine Bourdeau. Her parents immigrated from Haiti to Brooklyn, New York in 1973 with only $10 to their name. Mia was born in December 1974. Her parents were hard working and never received a hand out. Bourdeau even worked additional jobs to pay for his children’s college. On Mia’s first day of college, Bourdeau told his daughter, “You will not be a burden to society. You will certainly give back.”
Mia has a history of giving back, from serving her community through the PTA, as city council member, fitness instructor, Boy Scout merit badge counselor, Sunday school teacher, and mayor. She also shared her vocal talents as a singer in the community’s 2011“Celebration of the Arts” program.
On January 5th, Mia formerly announced her candidacy for the US Congress to represent the people in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Her plans, if elected, are to cut government spending and reign in federal regulations. Mia believes these first steps are essential to create better opportunities for her constituents in Utah. Our district needs a leader like Mia. A leader that is motivated to serve because of a sense of duty to give back. Mia resonates with this selfless dedication. We need her effective leadership to represent us at a time when our state and country needs it most.
By Jessica Stanford