My biggest political effort and passion revolves around bringing free speech into employment law. Employment law needs to catch up with the 21st century. We would not have regressed back over 100 years with the Trump Administration if employers were being held accountable for rampant microaggression and implicit bias.
Workers should not have to worry about losing their jobs for exercising their first amendment right to call out unconscious bias. No one should have to think, talk, act, feel, and believe like an identity other than their own in order to thrive and gain privilege.
Below are my responses to Ballotpedia's Candidate Connection Survey. It covers more political issues and causes I am passionate about. My page on Ballotpedia is here.
I strongly believe in rough drafts. My responses below are slightly edited from what I originally submitted in rough draft form to Ballotpedia.
Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 300 words or less.
I'm Jaimie Kulikowski. In January 2015, I started remembering, integrating, and reframing all the ways I was dissected into socially competitive identity intersections created by an oppressive and judgmental white male patriarchy. As the process comes full circle, I realize that all these intersections are how others see and judge me, but they no longer have control over how I see myself or lead my life.
Here is how others see me:
I'm privileged as a white person. I'm underprivileged as a woman. I'm privileged through the lens of lower economic classes. I'm underprivileged through the lens of upper economic classes. I'm privileged with a graduate degree. I'm underprivileged with a lot of wisdom and knowledge that came from inside me rather than a credentialed authority. I'm privileged because a test said I have an IQ above 130. I'm underprivileged because another test said I have panic disorder and severe anxiety. I'm privileged in my British Catholic ancestry. I'm underprivileged in my Polish Jewish ancestry. I'm privileged when I speak up for and defend others. I'm underprivileged when I speak for and defend myself. I could go on...
I no longer see myself as a two dimensional duality where part of me is on the side of privilege and the other part is on the side of underprivilege. I see myself as a body full of power and pain. I can feel both the power and pain in all my identity intersections now, and have finally put myself back together into one whole story.
I am running for office because: 1) I am a holistic leader, and congress is the governing body of all our systems, 2) My personal story of identity integration is needed in the arena, 3) I am making room for my daughter to remain embodied in her emotional soul, so she can step into her own leadership and calling some day, and 4) I am back in touch with the young woman I was at 19. I decided to be an Army officer back then for the financial security, leadership challenge, and opportunity to be a part of something bigger than me. I want to be a congresswoman for the same reasons.
Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Who do you look up to? Whose example would you like to follow, and why?
People I have looked up to and who have had great influence on my life's path are:
I have looked up to and care for all of these people. They have greatly influenced the steps I’ve taken on my life's path, but I do not exalt anyone anymore. Nor will I keep following and favoring someone because that is what is most socially appropriate and expected. I have come into my own leadership and am back to trusting my soul’s instincts. I know who to get close to and continue a relationship that allows us to both lead and follow, and I know who to keep at a distance.
What characteristics or principles are most important for an elected official?
What qualities do you possess that you believe would make you a successful officeholder?
What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office?
Be available and present for the people to speak their thoughts and feelings, and then speak up and out on their behalf.
What is the first historical event that happened in your lifetime that you remember? How old were you at the time?
During childhood, adolescence, and college, my world revolved around family, friends, boys, and community activities. I didn't pay attention to the news or world events, and they weren't topics of conversation around our dinner table either. The biggest historical event in my lifetime was 9/11. I was 24 on a field training exercise in Germany when it happened.
What was your very first job? How long did you have it?
My first job in college was a gymnastics coach at Aerials Gymnastics in Colorado Springs. I coached there for almost two years. My first job out of college was a logistics officer in the U.S. Army. I served for four years over in Germany.
What is your favorite book? Why?
The Red Tent. Just read it.
What is something that has been a struggle in your life?
Being dissected into countless competing identity intersections of privilege vs. underprivilege by an oppressive white male dominated system.
What qualities does the U.S. House of Representatives possess that makes it unique as an institution?
It is not a unique organization yet. It is following in the footsteps of a very oppressive and outdated paradigm of white male dominance.
Do you believe that it's beneficial for representatives to have previous experience in government or politics?
I believe representatives need to have experience in being both a leader and a follower. I also believe representatives running in the democratic party need to have experience following the leadership of those in marginalized identities. Most importantly, I believe representatives need to be authentic representations of themselves, not sitting in the House as a false self. That then creates a ripple effect and makes the population they're leading become fake too.
What do you perceive to be the United States’ greatest challenges as a nation over the next decade?
Actual integration. We no longer see signs that say, "whites only", but now everyone has to think, act, feel, and believe like a rich, white, christian, straight, educated male in order to gain privilege. That demographic is a small percentage of our present day population.
What are your thoughts on term limits?
I don't think there should be term limits. If a person is doing a good job and noticeably positive change is happening, then keep them in.
Is there a particular representative, past or present, whom you want to model yourself after?
I've never been a politician, nor have I ever looked up to one. There are many great historical leaders whose words and stories were never written. Posed with this dilemma, I’ve chosen to model the leadership and warrior spirits of my dad, mom, ancestral spirit guide Mieczyslaw Kulikowski, and my entire Polish Jewish/American Catholic bloodline.
Both sitting representatives and candidates for office hear many personal stories from the residents of their district. Is there a story that you’ve heard that you found particularly touching, memorable, or impactful?
A black woman who will be a constituent if I’m elected told me the story of how she tried to join a black group in college and the leader made her feel like she wasn’t “black” enough to be in the group. She also shared with me how she can remember her mom expressing so much shame around their blackness that she feels it influenced her own belief systems and lifestyle. She said she feels she’s been whitewashed.
She is trying hard to heal herself. She hired a black woman to be her life coach. The black woman is telling her not to complain. The coach's saying is, "when you complain, you remain." This woman clearly got her coaching certificate from our patriarchal system. A system that riddles everyone with guilt whenever we say anything other than how appreciative we are that it saved us.
My saying is, "when you complain, I see your pain." If you hold your pain inside, then our system will remain blind to it and never change.
One of my efforts as a congresswoman will be to empower people to get emotional and say anything. To remember and tell the stories of the times they were dissected and judged as “not enough” or “too much” so they can integrate and heal those socially destructive polarities.