tracy kelly (copy)

Tracy Kelly

Hi remember me, Tracy Kelly. This is where we left off as I began to share my road to election on the Tehachapi Unified School District board.

Where does one find a place to order yard signs? I did what most people do, I used Google. I found vendors. Most of them were online. I used online resources to design my yard sign. I then sent it to a local vendor. I didn’t leave my house, what I was calling my Official Candidate’s Office, in reality, my desk in the garage. I ordered signs. It took a few days. I drove my station wagon to pick up the signs. Seeing my name on a political sign was another awesome first. If you have not seen my signs, they have a red, white and blue background. Quite fetching!

I placed the first one in my yard. Showing the neighbors that I was a serious candidate because my political sign with my name was in my front yard! Oh, did I have a lot to learn.

Unsure of what to do, I solicited advice from those who have been there before. I contacted a current board member. This happened through Facebook. Here is where I started carving my own path to elected office. I did not get a response for weeks. Instead of waiting, I started my own Facebook group. Elect Tracy Kelly for TUSD School Board! Simple and effective, right?

My goal was to engage people in the upcoming election in an effective way. This led to hosting Meet and Greets, COVID, I know, I know! I held three face-to-face and two virtual. I was learning how to run a small budget, but oh so important, for an election.

The people I met were amazing! I cannot tell you how often I would be contacted for a yard sign with my name on it! Then get to meet people who thought I could make our school district a better place. Little ol’ me. WOW!!!

Then I would get back into my station wagon.

This is how I became a household name. OK, mostly in my own house. Once in the car, I would sit and try to understand the overwhelming sense of something that would cause my eyes to well up with moisture. How could people that I had just met make me feel so worthy of something I was not even sure of myself? This is something that I have yet to overcome, and I hope I never do. People believed in me in a way that I had never experienced before. This was worth all the effort!

Through meeting people and talking about their concerns, I spent a lot of time trying to explain why I was running. Even to myself. Why was I doing this? I was able to fine tune my "why." Here is why: If we do what is most effective for kids so they can become productive members of an ever-changing world and are happy doing so, we have done the best we can.

I should wrap this up. Nov. 3 has come and gone. I won my seat. I have started numerous training sessions scheduled.

My biggest takeaway is this: Do not let fear and doubt drive your existence. I learned a ton. My wife and sons learned along with me. I talked to people that I had never met. I get congratulations from people I had never met. This is what being a productive member of an ever-changing world looks like for me! Thank you for reading my account of running for my local school board.

Tracy Kelly is newly elected to the Tehachapi Unified School District board.