I am enthusiastically supporting Lise Olney for her second term as member of Wellesley’s Select Board. Lise’s leadership attributes are many. She does her homework; she is a careful listener; and she is a thoughtful advocate. However, the one attribute I’d like to emphasize is her ability to innovate. Successful innovation within any government is not easy. Good ideas are only the beginning.
The new Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative is an example of Lise’s ability to tackle difficult problems with innovative ideas backed up by her characteristic deep legwork and follow-up, skilled organizing, and effective leadership. After the division and acrimony that arose over the passage of Wellesley Indigenous Peoples Day, Lise looked for ways to help our town find a better way to engage with each other, to have deeper richer conversations that led to greater civility and understanding. She did her homework and found a program of facilitated conversations with a strong track record of success. But that was just the start. She convinced a goodly number of people to undertake rigorous facilitator training (during Covid), and she invited (and persuaded) dozens of Wellesley residents to participate as pioneers! Step by step, in her calm and gracious way, Lise accomplished what was necessary to deliver these facilitated conversations, which are now called the “Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative.”
As Lise stated at a recent successful Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative meeting, “It is no small thing to restore people’s hope that we can care, talk and work together through anything.” No, it isn’t Lise…! Lise brings to the job of Select Board hopeful vision as well as a well-stocked fund of skills and knowledge to get it done. These are just some of the many reasons I will be voting to re-elect Lise Olney to the Wellesley Select Board on March 1.
21 Squirrel Road