My name is Emily Vanderpool, I am a recent graduate of SUNY New Paltz and I am writing to declare my support for my friend and mentor Kathleen (KT) Tobin in her campaign for a seat on the New Paltz Village Board. I could write this letter to assure you of her strong work ethic, determination or her keen sense of justice and equality, but instead I’m going to tell you about the impact that her leadership can have on young women in the New Paltz community.
I met KT three years ago during the process of applying for the Centrino Scholarship at the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives, formerly CRREO. I was honored to have received the scholarship, and learned that I would be working with KT on a conference commemorating the centennial acquisition women’s right to vote.
Over the course of my time at the Benjamin Center, KT and I worked together on many projects that focused on women in government. Her passion for women’s issues guided our research as we focused on how women work in a male-dominated government and taught me how important it is as a woman and a citizen to be active in the community. Her research truly fuels her activism; she talks to people, reads, gathers data, analyzes, writes, publishes and most critically, she fights to make things better for all of us. The research that KT is so passionate about is inspiring in and of itself, as is her activism, but best of all she gets everyone around her involved.
Working and learning from KT, I was convinced that a career in public service was the best thing I could do with my degree, so I took a job at the New York County District Attorney’s office the summer after graduation. I look at KT Tobin and I see a woman that I want to be like one day, and I’m sure that as a village board member other women and girls will learn from her example.
Get out there and vote for KT to take a seat on the New Paltz Village Board on May 2!