women in leadership

A woman's work in public office

Politics Is a contact sport. At least that's what someone told Joyce Marin, a councilwoman for the Borough of Emmaus, Pennsylvania. And perhaps that's the way politics looks in many council chambers and on campaign trails. But to Marin, politics's tooth-and-nail image does a disservice to the causes of democracy and citizen participation. She speaks from the perspective of many years of citizen activism and three and a half years of elective office.

"Politics does not have to be a contest of wills," Marin reasons. "We are a spiritual creation, and I strive not to be trapped in the notion that politics is a matter of my human will contending with many other wills over selfish, material goals."

That doesn't mean that as a borough councilor Marin always floats above the fray. "I do sometimes stir things up; I stand up for ideas I believe in. To me, democracy is a holy concept. It puts the direction of a government into the hands of the people it serves. Democracy does not live up to its potential when the people are not informed, active, and aware; when they don't use their basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech and assembly."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.