Jan O'Brien isn't exactly a wallflower at parties, and certainly not at one of the biggest parties in the country in this year.
O'Brien, a Corte Madera mom, is carrying the banner this week for local Democrats — literally — as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
O'Brien and her family arrived in Corte Madera from San Francisco in 1995. She and her family have settled into life in Corte Madera, where she tries to stay physically and politically active. OI'Brien isn't afraid to voice her thoughts on school safety, bike paths and the SMART train at Corte Madera Town Council meetings. O'Brien also takes time out for yoga, tennis and hikes with her dog Gryffin.
Larkspur-Corte Madera Patch: How did you become so active in the community?
Jan O'Brien: I have always been active in my children's' schools and our church, though which church has changed over the years. We kept our relationship with Saint Mary the Virgin on Union Street for years after we moved here for some continuity. I served on the Vestry and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of California and the Building Committee, while our kids sang in the choir. Now I serve on the board of trustees of the Mill Valley Methodist Church and Saint Vincent De Paul of San Rafael, where I also volunteer.
LCM Patch: What are you looking forward to most at the DNC?
Jan O'Brien: At the convention, I am looking forward to meeting engaged people from all over the U.S. and learning about solutions to our biggest issues like global warming and social injustice. Listening to my current heroine - Elizabeth Warren. And the parties...
LCM Patch: What do you think of President Obama's record over the past four years?
Jan O'Brien: I worked for President Obama's election, went to his Inauguration and worked for Health Care reform. I guess I (understand) that change isn't easy. It can be discouraging that the mantra of "respect, empower, include" that we were taught to follow in 2008 was overwhelmed by the those who wanted to limit dialog by shouting and insults. Yet, I am still hopeful. We did manage to advance health care for all, against all odds.
President Obama is a fine man, thoughtful and genuine. The problems our planet faces won't go away by waving the flag — we need to work together in the next four years and beyond.
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