Questions for a Superhero – Politically Engaged Mama, Jessica

Show of hands – who knows A LOT more about how the government works than they did three years ago? Keep your hand raised if you also have lamented to your friends about “the world today”? Still raised? If so, keep them up if you’ve voted. And called your elected officials. Given money or time to a campaign… How about decided to run for office?

Jessica Carpenter - Milwaukee Real Life Superhero

Jessica is running for Village Trustee in my community of Shorewood. That’s outstanding on its own, but the best part – she tried last fall and lost. By six votes. SIX VOTES! (Every vote counts, y’all.) Instead of retreating to the shadowy world of social media comment section, Jessica brushed herself off and is trying again. You can find out more about her campaign and stances, but we are naming her this month’s Real Life Superhero for her resilience to ignore the naysayers (possibly in her own head) and get back out there. That takes courage and humility that not a lot of humans possess right now.

Let’s read on to see how this supergal gets it done.

What are you grateful for right now?

I am most grateful for my family and friends as they have been incredibly supportive of my run for office, and they have been willing to step in and help as needed. I am also grateful for the good health of my 2-year-old son who was born 6 weeks early and today is the picture of health and energy. I am also VERY grateful for google calendar so my husband and I can juggle our crazy schedules!

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Are you this person yet?

I do not know if I am fully grown up yet since I think that is a lifelong process. What I want to be is a good and honest person in the world and teach my children those same qualities. I hope every day I get a little closer to those goals!

What is your favorite part of your life?

I think I have so many things to be grateful for – I live in an amazing community with great friends and neighbors. But I think my favorite part of my life is that I have the ultimate flexibility. I work for Mac and Mia, a children’s clothing service that allows me to have a very fluid schedule. This flexibility allows me to be present for my kids when they need me, and it has supported my desire to run for political office in our Village of Shorewood.

What’s missing from your life?

What I don’t have enough of right now is time! Balancing work, my campaign and my family is definitely a challenge. I am using every minute of every day very wisely so I can accomplish it all!

What is the biggest secret to your success?

I don’t think I really have a secret but if I had to choose, I would say it is my determination. If there is something that I want, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get it….that’s why I’m running for Village Trustee again this year!

What was harder for you to accomplish than you expected?

Having kids was something I knew was going to be hard, but I had no idea was going to be this hard! It isn’t just that they need my time, love and attention, but there are so many other things to think about and worry about for them. Mostly, I worry if I am doing enough to make them good human beings who contribute to society.

What comes easiest to you?

Connecting with people comes easy to me and I love doing it. I am interested in what people have to say and their individual life experiences. I think of myself as an outgoing person and these aspects of my personality are helping me in my campaign.

Have you had the same goal(s) your whole life or do they change?

I absolutely have not had the same goals my entire life! When I was young, I wanted to be a lawyer but I found that it was not for me. What really changed for me was the 2016 presidential election which shocked me out of being a complacent voter, and taught me that I have to be aware and active in the community where I live. That event led me to where I am today.

“Superheroes… They are just like us.” Tell me something you do just like everyone else.

What I do just like everyone else is cook dinner nearly every day. I come from a long line of great home cooks (I’m not biased at all!) and that cooking gene eventually kicked in with me too. It makes me very happy to plan our meals and feed my family good food! Sometimes I need to supplement though with a dinner delivery from the Real Good Life – it still counts!

Who are your superheroes?

Frankly, one of my superheroes whom I have admired for a long time is Oprah Winfrey. She is self-made and has shared her knowledge in all aspects of life for decades now. I love her tenacity, her personal strength, and she has been a great role model for women everywhere.

Personally, I hope you vote for Jessica if you live in Shorewood, but no matter what, I hope you exercise your right to vote whenever you have the opportunity!