By: Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers
I serve because I was born into a community embroiled in civil unrest and challenged by an arduous journey to local self-determination. Ensuing experiences motivated me to work with governments whose citizens entrust them to provide safety and security and a better quality of life. As a native of Washington, DC, I lived through the riots of the 1960s when citizens’ expectations were not met with appropriate responses from the government. I walked as a child in the Poor People’s Campaign and the images shaped my understanding of the destructive effects of systemic inequities, instability, and insecurity. I interned in the DC government during its advocacy for self-government which resulted in passage of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act allowing residents to elect their first mayor in 1973. I serve because I learned that hoping for change is less effective than working for change, for accountability, transparency, and civic engagement to advance good governance. I am an indelible servant to publics and citizens around the world who want and deserve the same.