Don’t quit on our working families

“Let us take on the world while we’re young and able,

and bring us back together when the day is done.”

Today is done.

Here we are. Together.

“Mom, the only thing you’ll regret is not trying.” The words, spoken by my daughter Matilda, that launched this mayoral campaign.

As adults, we make things so complicated, don’t we? Overthinking. Overanalyzing. Waiting too long, missing it.

“Mom, the ONLY thing you’ll REGRET is NOT trying.”

I can stand here tonight, and tell you, with 100% certainty, I regret nothing.

Because, girl, we tried.

We recruited the volunteers.

We raised the money.

We booked the meetings.

We walked in the parades.

We went to the events.

We knocked on the doors.

We called the phones.

We sent the texts.

We ran through the finish line and we have no regrets.

Because we tried, we reached, we dared to hope.

Even if I started writing my thank-you notes at this very second, I might never actually finish – every kindness shown to me this year, every volunteer hour worked, every dollar given, every text of encouragement sent.

I never could have imagined how many people would support me throughout this process. I am forever grateful. This will be a year I remember as feeling more loved and supported than I ever thought I could. Thank you all for that.

My family has sacrificed many hours with me, and of their own time for the campaign.

My friends have done every bit the same.

My amazing volunteers – especially the “AFM” team. You carried this campaign from the very beginning to the very end. Thank you.

My fellow candidates! It’s been wonderful experience being on this journey with you.

The voters. What an honor. Thank you for casting your precious, powerful, your only vote ... for me.

Tonight we have taken one more step forward. We have dared to hope and to reach. Though it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to turn out ... and we are disappointed, and we are sad, and we are mad.

We will never give up, because there is work to be done.

We will not become cynical. We will not become hopeless. Those are lives of emptiness – void of joy, but full of fear.

You are worth more than that.

We are worth more than that.

We owe it to our children to keep working to create the best Kokomo we can for them.

Tonight, the biggest issues facing our community are still job training for adults putting two or three part-time jobs together and not making it; finding a way to make quality childcare affordable and accessible – because that’s what makes a difference for families.

I’ve been fighting for working families for a long time, and there’s no chance I’m stopping now.

You won’t either.

If we’re being honest, we can’t – because it’s not who we are.

We don’t quit.

This campaign has never been about me. It’s been about you.

It’s been about us.

Because we are the people of Kokomo.

We work hard.

We fight for each other.

We care and this is our city.

We are one Kokomo.

And I will remain in your service.

Abbie Smith, Kokomo

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