(Lander, WY) – Just 30 minutes before the filing deadline, Oakley Corsick-Boycott decided to run for Lander City Council Ward 1. That’s not to say she’s taking this responsibility lightly. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“This is something that I had considered for years; running for public office and City Council specifically,” she explained. “This has been an action that I’ve been floating around with myself for probably over a decade, honestly. This just so happened to be the time and the place and the moment that it happened.”
Oakley shared she decided to run for a few reasons. The number one reason was she saw a narrative that was being created that she didn’t necessarily like. Instead of complaining about it because complaining is very easy and taking action is hard, she decided to show up and see what happens.
“I’ve chosen to go about this whole experience as showing up to listen and learn within this experience that is not the most comfortable, that do exist within conflict, because that’s the only way that change actually happens,” she explained.
Oakley is excited at the possibility of serving the constituents of Ward 1.
“What I’ve been finding so much in talking with constituents all across the spectrum of our community is that there is a lot of feeling not heard across the board. There are two sides to every situation. And I think that clarity and transparency within communication can always be better no matter who you are, what you’re doing, where you’re from, or what your job is. We can always work on being better within that, and that, to me, is a priority. Creating space. Regardless of my comfort level within that space, or whatever feedback I’m getting, to make sure that, at the bare minimum people, the people of Lander and the people of Ward 1, the citizens of Ward 1 feel heard and validated within their community experience, which also means a huge responsibility that citizens have to take to also stay informed.”
Oakley noted she has taken it upon herself to be as informed as possible and does her homework when it comes to politics, local and otherwise.
Challenges for this upcoming year and beyond are also apparent for City Council.
“This is probably one of the most challenging times to be running for public office, let alone city council, I think. We are at the beginning of a recession. And if anyone’s going to start pointing fingers of blame at anything, it’s going to be the government first. So that’s going to be huge in how we show up and take care of our citizens.”
Other challenges facing the community include the floodwall, park, budget, and infrastructure.
“As a city council, we are elected officials, who represent our constituents who represent our citizens, so I am always of the mindset that everything should be a community collaborative effort,” she continued. “So it is all of our responsibilities to show up having done our homework and make sure that we all know what we’re talking about as best we can when we enter into dialogue, because it is so easy to act from emotion. To act from feelings over facts, because it’s much harder to sit down and learn the facts of something. I think that it’s important to say that we are not here to babysit each other. The government is not here to babysit the citizens; the citizens are not here to babysit the government.”
Oakley was born and raised here and has a deep sense of what has changed over time.
“There are aspects of this community that I desperately miss from growing up here that hurt my heart that I missed so much. And there are aspects of what has been lost that I hear from constituents that they miss. That is so hard to maneuver, that is so hard to navigate, because there’s a deep sense of grief as to what has been lost. If you don’t know how to show up for that and process that, you’re only going to sit in the stagnation of that grief, instead of communally doing what we can again to preserve what we still have, while also acknowledging that change will happen.”
Community to Oakley is an action.
“Where I stand community is actually an action. And community, to me, means showing up for the dark parts of where you exist within it, and having the follow through to do that. It also does mean, you know, having events and bringing each other together and doing all of that wonderful stuff. It has to be a balance of both the darkness and the light that connect us and make sure that as many people as possible have a safe, healthful, helpful place that they call home, which is Lander.”
Right now, she has the energy, stamina, willingness, and skillset to represent Ward 1 and plans to do so past November 8.