TNA Member Cindy Strzelecki Wins City Council Seat
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Posted by: Roy Muyinza
In November, Strzelecki ran for and won a seat on the Windcrest City Council—a suburb just northeast of San Antonio—with 60 percent of the vote.
As a nurse and member of TNA’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC), Cindy Strzelecki knows a thing or two about policy, pragmatism and harnessing a can-do attitude. Now she can add experience in local politics. Frustrated by her city council leaders, Strzelecki felt it was time to toss her own hat in the ring. She had been asked to run before and finally felt ready.
“It was clear that there was a problem and it needed to be fixed,” Strzelecki said. “And isn’t that what nurses do, fix things?”
While nurses may not realize it, Strzelecki says, they offer unique skills beneficial to elected positions. “Our listening skills, the ability to assess a situation from a variety of system causes, help us to get to the root causes of issues and formulate a plan to address the different causes of a problem,” she says. “The nursing process is a scientific problem-solving process. It serves us well in understanding and addressing issues in our government.”
Campaign costs came as a surprise to Strzelecki. “Even small campaigns can cost a couple of thousand dollars,” she says, adding that nurses interesting in campaigning should also consider negative attacks that may arise during the campaign, even at the local level. Supporters and her nursing community helped her in keeping perspective.
In addition to serving on TNA’s GAC and working with groups like the Nursing Legislative Agenda Coalition, Strzelecki has spent time interviewing candidates for the Texas Nurse PAC and worked on various campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts in her community.
“There are a lot of nurses in Texas that are doing interesting and important things to improve our state, she says. “They have all been an inspiration to me that I can do more and make a greater difference.”
Are you interested in running for a local election? Check out TNA’s Nurses in Office program, which offers resources and step-by-step instructions on getting started, getting support and getting elected with TNA support.