blog » July 20, 2018 by Renee Herren

U.S. Congressional Candidate Tedra Cobb on Politics & How Women Can Get Involved by Renee Herren

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3 months ago
U.S. Congressional Candidate Tedra Cobb on Politics & How Women Can Get Involved

Tedra Cobb is a business owner, former St. Lawrence County legislator and candidate for Congress in New York’s 21st Congressional District. Tedra has always had a desire to serve her community. As a legislator, she worked with other elected officials, business owners, farmers and other stakeholders to help her community. Her second business involves coaching people in private businesses, not-for-profit organizations, hospitals and universities to communicate and collaborate to accomplish their goals. 

We learned how and why Tedra decided to get involved in politics and ultimately why she decided to run for Congress, why it is important for women to participate in politics and how women can get involved. Read on to learn more about Tedra Cobb!

Q: How did you get involved in politics?

I’ve always been deeply connected to my community in northern New York. After studying at SUNY Potsdam, I became involved in health services doing HIV/AIDS outreach across the region. I then founded a community health services nonprofit organization to further serve my region.

My commitment and concern about the community led me to run for county legislature in 2002, where I won and then served for eight years from 2003-2010. Since then, I’ve started my own consulting firm which allows me to travel and interact with people all across the district.

I would say my love of the region and the connections I’ve built naturally introduced me to politics. Knowing and caring about local people inspired me to serve them in public office.

Q: What motivated you to run for U.S. Congress?

Like many of you, I was feeling frustrated with our current political arena. I began to actively think about running for Congress. However, the spark was when our current congressional representative turned her back on our district and voted against our people by voting for a health-care bill that would have left 64,000 people living in New York under 21 without health care.

Beyond that, repealing the ACA would have hurt northern New York families and businesses and would have jeopardized hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, cutting off vital services.

I want to serve and represent my district and make sure that the interests of northern New York are being represented in Washington, D.C., while improving the lives of my constituents.

Q: Why is it important for women to be involved in the political process?

Currently, there are  only 107 women who serve in Congress. Why should we only make up 20 percent of the House when we make up half of the U.S. population?  I think women have been told overtly and covertly to sit on the sidelines and watch the political process, which is not fair because we make up such a vast percentage of the U.S. population. 

Women are an incredibly diverse group of people representing all ages, races, religions, etc. We have the opportunity to bring our experiences and unique qualifications to the forefront of the country and create changes that represent all of us. I also believe that running gives an individual a great sense of agency. Politics provides a great outlet to act on your interests and beliefs. Which means that, yes, it is possible for small individuals to create change in our country.

Q: What are the best ways for women to get involved without running?

Great question! 

  • It is really crucial to be involved by attending local events such as board or government meetings which directly impact your life and town.
  • Another option includes writing and calling your legislative representatives to voice your opinions.
  • One of my personal favorite ways people get involved is through volunteering on political campaigns. I would not be where I am today without the help of my volunteers.
  • Lastly, it is incredibly important for your voice to get heard through donating to organizations and candidates that you care about. Your money goes directly to create change for issues that you are passionate about.

Q: What inspires you and keeps you motivated on a daily basis?

I am motivated everyday by my family, friends, volunteers and supporters. I know that I have a great network of people around me who love and support me in large and small ways, and that keeps me going. 

Our campaign has over 1,000 volunteers across our region. Knowing that they selflessly put hours in working for the campaign and their hope for change inspires me daily. Not only that, but supporters who share kind words and actions with me ground my belief that I am going down the right path by running for Congress. I am running because of the love and support I receive in my community because I want to return the favor to them by serving them in public office.

Q: Any last thoughts you want to share with the 30Seconds community?

I find being involved in politics and public service to be very empowering. I get to represent and serve my family, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

Calling your senator, attending a school board meeting or running for public office yourself are all necessary for our democracy to thrive. We as women have a vast array of skills, talents, and experiences and it’s time for us to bring our unique traits to the political world.

Learn more about me at my website, TedraCobb.com, on my Twitter @TedraCobb or on Facebook at Tedra Cobb for Congress. Thanks, 30Seconds, for having me!

Be sure to read Tedra Cobb's 30Seconds tips!

 


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