Deep into the election season that seems never-ending, we reached out to students to ask why voting is important to them. Adam Duberstein (PsyD 4) sent us the following blog on running for office and the importance of local politics. The views Adam shares are entirely his own, MSP does not support or endorse any political candidates.
For me, the most meaningful political races exist at the local level of government. I always watch with great interest to see which candidates file for which local offices.
After consulting with my family and some close friends, I made a split-second decision to file for the position of Hazel Park Library Board member. I am running unopposed, and I feel grateful for my community’s trust in me. It is a great privilege for me to help Hazel Park residents to connect with our wonderful library.
Several MSP-related instances inspired me to run for office, but two general experiences in particular set the foundation for this decision. The main reason I run is that I feel that my work as a therapist propels me towards a political path. When clients tell me how some piece of public policy or politics has impacted their mental health, it becomes incumbent upon me to learn more. Through sharing their experiences with me, my clients have reminded me to consider the psychological consequences of legislation, and I hope to do just that as an elected official.
Additionally, the MSP faculty teach students how to use our research skills as an avenue for creating social change. When I realized that research could impact public policy, I knew I had to use what I had learned in the classroom.
When I think about what I want to accomplish in public service, I think about what I want to accomplish as a psychotherapist. In both cases, I feel inspired by the words of the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who said: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
Both my clients and my constituents trust me to implement ideas that will empower them to improve their lives.
Adam Duberstein is in his fourth year of the doctoral program. He worked in the education field before returning to school and changing careers in his mid-30s. Adam earned his MA degree at MSP in July 2017 and started the PsyD program in September 2017.