When I ask Evie if she had to be asked to run for office the average “seven times” it’s said women must be asked before agreeing, she laughs and says “I think it was about 700.” Evie Hantzopoulos is a mom, community and nonprofit leader and educator who is running for New York City City Council to represent District 22, which is the District where I live.
In this episode, we’re getting as local as it gets! In many ways, this episode brings together so many of the things we’ve discussed with other guests in other episodes: the importance of local politics, why it’s important for moms to run for office, how parents can be involved in their local elections and be advocates for their families and communities, public school education, what City Council can do (and not do), and why parents are an important and powerful political force— that hasn’t yet tapped into their own power!
This is the part where I tell you — I am a constituent of District 22, and I am a supporter of Evie’s, AND I’m on her campaign team… that is how much I believe and I’m excited about Evie’s campaign.
I wanted to give you a little background on this episode and how I met Evie. Evie and I live in the same community. She knows what the struggles of my community are… gentrification, lack of affordable housing, education cuts… she has seen the neighborhood transform, mom and pop shops be replaced by empty storefronts… I want someone that understand that issues representing me in City Council, or any other elected position that is supposed to work for the people. Things can only change when the people in office truly understand the issues that their constituents are facing, only then can real change take place.
Last year, before COVID-19 hit our city, I was hired to manage the Census project at Global Kids, where Evie was Executive Director. Evie had been a member of my community, and I knew of her, and I was excited to get to work with her. Evie is one of those community leaders who you follow as inspiration!
When COVID-19 hit, I saw first hand what an effective and empathetic leader Evie was. Not only that, but I saw her guide and care about her staff, working hard to avoid layoffs, and she showed tremendous leadership and problem solving skills in a time of crisis. Both at Global Kids and in our community, she sprung into action to make the best out of an unprecedented situation.
Springing into action is a way for me feeling productive and grounding myself particularly when we are facing a crisis situation.
In this episode we talk about EDUCATION a lot and Evie has some great ideas about reimagining education — and I’m so excited to have someone that is knowledgeable in education to be an advocate for parents, children and educators in City Council.
If you have wondered:
- What does it take to run for office?
- If I’m a busy parent, can I run for office?
- Why did the DOE manage public schools so ineffectively during COVID-19?
- Why is education funding always being cut?
- What can City Council do in terms of education?
- How can parents have their voices heard?
- What is restorative justice and how is it applied in schools?
- What are community schools and why are they a great model to follow?
THEN YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE!
Listen below, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!
** Evie is a Democrat running for City Council in District 22, which covers much of Astoria, parts of East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside. It also includes Rikers Island. You can learn more about Evie’s vision for District 22 here. You can also follow Evie on Instagram or Twitter.