During a special election for the St. Louis County Council in Missouri earlier this month, Democrat Kelli Dunaway won a seat with about 60% of the votes. Her victory helped give control of the council back to Democrats, and gave the council a female majority for the first time ever. (Because this was a special election, she’ll have to run again next year for a full four-year term.)
This week, she was sworn in. And since there’s no rule that says you have to swear in on the Bible and she happens to be non-religious, Dunaway chose an actually good book: Oh, The Places You’ll Go Book by Dr. Seuss. Her kids did the honor of holding it while she took her oath of office.
This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg
— Brian Wingbermuehle (@winger_brian) August 16, 2019
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch mentions in an editorial, it’s a wise choice when you consider the message of inspiration (and ignore the gender-specific use of “guy”):
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
Dunaway agreed and added her own reasoning on Facebook:
It’s the same reason you all believe in me and our campaign… because I see a brighter future for all of us and am steering myself in the direction of building it!
She told me in a message that she wasn’t religious herself and that she “wanted to be sworn in on something that my kids and I are all inspired by. It just seemed fitting.”
More power to her, and may many other elected officials follow in her footsteps.
(This piece has been updated. Featured image via Kelli Dunaway)