Does Anyone Read this? Ever?

Look, I am a practical person, logical thinker, with deductive reasoning skills. That is the core makeup of Alaska Native’s instinct, innovation, and high-level skill to survive in the Arctic.

As such, those teachings passed down through the generations of my family, are transferrable to a wide variety of applications.

So for me, human nature and human integrity is very simple. Are you doing what you said you were going to do? Have you taken personal accountability and responsibility when you did something wrong, or someone within your team did – and as a leader – you accept accountability?

If you have a platform for an election – are the people you are representing involved with the process of negotiating if or how they rank on you list of priorities? Are they involved with creating the definition of their culture?

Maybe all on this list of “Who We Serve” were completely involved.

I would assume that based on President Obama’s commitment to Tribal Consultation and face-time with folks, that precedent was carried into the creation of the 2020 Democratic Platform – at least for the portion of “Who We Serve”.

For me, and I am certain anyone who reads anything I have to say, knows I am a third generation Republican Alaska Native woman. However, I am a daughter first, a sister second, a student third, and the rest is thereafter – chronologically…

So my point is this: as an Alaska Native indigenous woman, I am APALLED to see how far down the list that Native American’s are on the “Who We Serve” portion of the Democratic Party Platform.

The list is also not a reflection of Native American values either.

Elders, for instance. Did you see that they were almost at the end of the list?

What about WOMEN?

Murdered and Missing Indigenous Woman is a huge National Movement.

But not for the Democratic Party Platform of “Who We Serve”.

To me, and as the rule goes – “take what you like, and leave the rest” – certainly applies here:

I see the Democratic Party Platform of “Who We Serve” as Return on Investment or Revenue Centers to clinch the Presidency in 2020.

Considering African Americans are first is a tell in itself; however not suprising. But the deviation in ‘data-speak’ is the Democratic Party’s second population on their list of, “Who We Serve” – Americans with Disabilities.

Now let me make this extremely clear.

The point I am driving home is not about the validity or to drive a wedge between various segments in our American-ism. It is much more sinister than that:

For years when I was growing up – I would hear stories from leaders at my village corporation about how they would go down to front street and have the drunk and homeless people sign their proxy, as they were shareholders.

That is what makes me throw up a little in my mouth and pray to God and everything good in this world that the most vulnerable of all are not being used again.

Published by Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities. An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's. I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child. I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing. So for me, my goal is two-fold: 1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and, 2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board. There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not. I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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