Reflection on Growth.

12 years ago this week I was assaulted. It was an incident that shook me and shaped me to do what I do.

Post trauma I threw myself into work and faith. My life became isolated from nurturing relationships between family and friends. I spent more time with strangers on their own journeys rather than pay attention to my own journey. If asked to pray, or to sing, or to speak, I would do so. These actions were my outlet. Fulfilling a purpose, that gap, or need in my life that the isolation created. Yet they were somewhat empty as I didn’t deal with my own trauma.

Within a few years, my friends had dwindled down, since I didn’t trust many people outside of family. The incidence of my assault, my friends were blinded by a manipulative individual who took advantage of their kindness, and in my case, unknowingly put me in harms way.

I never considered myself depressed, but I also wasn’t happy. I was stuck somewhere in the in between where I knew what my talents were, but there was a loneliness that created a dark space within me. I didn’t know how to minimize that dark space, but I knew how to keep it at bay, not to grow and take over my mind and heart.

Around this time, I remember attending the death of a young man who on his death bed wished for a name. Together with local elders a name was given to him before he passed on. I remember thinking that my life was becoming a routine of prayer, death, ceremony, beauty of ceremony. This young man had no regrets. This confrontation with my reality was a hard one. Within a 12 month time frame, we had lost 7 members of our community that were homeless, tragically. In that time, I was to go and work with prisoners who requested spiritual guidance. My not dealing with my own baggage had started to weigh me down. How can I help people through their own grief, nurture growth in others when I have not dealt with my own? My reality needed a lesson, space for growth.

It was slow starting, but I reached out to my family, blood and adopted for healing. I didn’t tell of all my pain, but just being in the presence of people who cared, allowed for the space for my own healing to begin.

Post traumatic growth. Few people who experience a traumatic experience start to become stronger, happier people. Even with the pain of the trauma, the suffering is manageable.

My sisters and mentors were fundamental in my healing. Rocks who nurtured the me they thought I could be. Being a part of their lives I had a new sense of purpose in life. Community, family, the value that we all do better when we all do better. That I’m not alone.

Most of my healing has happened through conversations. The space created by family and friends who have helped me make meaning of my experiences and to feel emotions. Show me someone who feels their lives and I’ll show you what strength is.

It has been 12 years and a lot of growth has taken place. I am closer to family. It takes me a while to nurture friendships, but the friends I have, I can’t imagine not having in my life. I understand myself better and express a grateful heart every day that I am surrounded by the people who have helped to minimize that darkness that kept me at bay.

I am so thankful. If I were to never open up and reach out, there would be so much knowledge I would not use. There are whole other ways of thinking that have added to the richness of my life.

When I needed you most, you showed me who you really are. I am grateful.

I’m excited to continue on this journey, meet people, have new experiences and understand my own happiness.

I am better because of people who believed in me. Whether it was a moment or more, when someone believes in you ~ it means the world. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for accepting my kind of weird.

Make peace with yourself and share it with the world. ~

MY LIGHT IN YOU

In a dream I was shown a vision. I was being lifted and carried into a sea of people. Some who I knew, others I did not.

Each person had a light about them and behind each person, there was a door.

Each door was open. Open to pleasant trails or more difficult journeys.

Some seemingly inviting, others not so much.

The light around the people shown brighter in some than in others. Although, there was never less than the dimmest of lights and then those lights that were obvious beacons for any who would follow.

As I was being carried away, I realized that the doors were not behind the people, they were the people Each person an opportunity, a lesson, a piece of life.

Experience, friendship, joy, sorrow, hope or pain.

In my dream I didn’t understand and I closed my eyes. In the darkness I could still see all the lights, some near, all around, ones that would drift, others in lines or spiraling in a group, those bright and those barely a glow.

I opened my eyes and in the doors I saw a reflection. Reflections –not just of me, the reflections of myself in the humanity of others.

Reflections of me, within the tendencies of others.

In this sea of people, reflections, others seemed to be someone. Someone I used to know, used to be, have yet, or never will become.

Seeing strangers as family, as strangers become family.

Hearing the voices, laughing, sharing, crying, screaming, whispers saying see me, save me, help me, hear me, love me, know me. Know me.

I began to drift. Drifting higher away from the people.

Again I closed my eyes, scared for a moment.

Darkness, silence, I could see all those lights again, all of them shining in the darkness.

I saw mine shining, warming me from the inside. Barely contained within me. I was comforted. I opened my eyes. As I my light shown, we came together, my light made stronger by the light within you, your light stronger by the light within me, we, stronger by the light within others, we’re never really alone.

Together, connected in this soul of humanity. We are of the same breath. Drifting among the lights, doors and reflections I was grateful. It was a comforting to be, to know that which is in all others, is within me, to know that we are within all others.

However dark, however joyous, together, alone, to carry on, in all this that we call life.

Human Rights are what they give you when they take away your civil and political rights.

Our elders spoke of these times years ago. Our struggle, our lack of self viability as a people. They have fought this fight.

This struggle, this fight became very real today, because it is now our fight. What will we pass to our children?

Will we vanish?

Our elders were not able to pass down which they lacked. My father’s compassion was beaten out of him at boarding schools. So I was taught compassion through others. My father’s capacity to show love was burned from his actions when the priests scolded him for helping others or speaking his language, so I now learn love through others. He couldn’t say I Love You, I try to say it as often as I can.

Our fight is picked up by our children, but what will they inherit?

Daily thought

Dear Neighbor,

District 45 is filled with good, hard working individuals who deserve the type of representation that puts their lives first.  For too long, we’ve had politicians who have chosen partisanship over public service.  As a community organizer, non-profit manager and volunteer, each day I lead a life of public service.  It has been an honor to do so. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been walking the district, knocking on doors and meeting as many of you as I can.

I want to take a moment to tell you more about myself. I know you have a history of voting in our district and a brief encounter with me at your door, at the dog park or in the grocery store may not tell you why I think I’m a good candidate to represent you at the State Legislature.

As a young adult I made a commitment to building community through my involvement through leadership positions in civic organizations and youth commission with the city of Fargo. In fifteen years, I’ve worked for positive change in our community. I credit my early years of appointed service with the City of Fargo to former Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness, a Republican favorite appointed by Governor Hoeven as the interim director for North Dakota’s Workforce Safety and Insurance office. Furness appointed me to the Metropolitan Area Youth Commission in 1995 and at his recommendation, I was named Young Woman of the Year in 1998 by the YWCA of Cass Clay.  I have continued to work with the City of Fargo, serving on the Fargo Human Relations Commission since 2002, serving as Chair of the group three years in a row, to when I recently had to step down to run for elected office in July of 2010.

My first taste of politics was in non-partisan public policy, it was about building good community and affecting people’s lives for the better. Over the last four legislative sessions I’ve worked with legislative committees to ensure rights for people with disabilities, veterans, our diverse population, and our young people, by advocating for curbing tuition hikes and loan forgiveness programs. I feel the skills I’ve developed and insight into government can be put to use for our district and the people of North Dakota.

You, my neighbor in District 45 deserve the type of representation that will put your quality of life first. We deserve leadership that listens to our concerns and believes there are workable solutions that will enhance the quality of life, not only for the individuals of District 45, but for the State of North Dakota.

My call to serve you is a great one, and I ask you for your support this upcoming election. Allow me to expand on issues that I feel should be a priority for the people of District 45, and the State of North Dakota.

Securing Flood Protection

The need for flood protection has been evident since 1997. Numerous homes in our community have been affected by flooding and flood protection is vital to the economic viability of our region. I was there with our neighbors in 1997 sandbagging shoulder to shoulder with my classmates. I was there again in 2008, 2009 and once more in 2010 sandbagging, patrolling dikes and cooking late night meals for many of our volunteers. It is my obligation to provide leadership on this vital issue to the level our residents deserve, never to allow our flood fighting efforts to go in vain. If elected to serve you, I will absolutely work tirelessly to secure comprehensive flood protection that involves all entities. I will work tirelessly to secure a cost-effective diversion that does not pass the burden on to you. The State of North Dakota has been blessed with an abundance of financial resources. It is time we put these resources to good use and protect our communities in the Red River Valley.

Property Tax Reduction

Throughout the last thirteen years, the per capita tax burden for our residents has gone up over $1,500.  Furthermore, our district’s property taxes have been among the highest in the state and 25% more than the national average.  In 2009, the State of North Dakota provided a short-term property tax reduction package of $400 million.  Due to the absence of permanent property tax reduction, individuals in District 45 will continue to face high property taxes, putting a strain on homeowners, families, and seniors.

If elected to serve you, I will work to provide permanent property tax reduction. Again, with a record state surplus, it is time we provide long-term solutions to this critical issue. By working collaboratively, I will address the underlying causes of high property taxes, such as sustained public education funding, while ensuring the burden isn’t placed back onto property owners.

Strategic Education Investments

District 45 is a beacon of education for the State of North Dakota. We are a thriving community full of determination and promise. Our best and brightest are the envy of employers and schools around the world. Nothing is more important than the education of our children. Whether in kindergarten or college, we have a duty to provide them with the best education possible.  Several areas of education have continued to be neglected.  For too long, teachers pay in North Dakota has been amongst the lowest in the nation.  Long-term funding of K-12 education at 70% has not been committed.  Higher education discretionary spending has lacked oversight, while tuition rates have continued to increase.

Investing in public education is one that provides multiple positive effects for children, parents, teachers, and homeowners.  If elected, I will work to significantly increase teacher pay.  I will seek to provide long-term funding of K-12 education to 70%.  I will advocate for improved oversight of higher education discretionary spending, while not punishing educators and students.  All of these actions will work to provide a more efficient and productive educational system for our children.

As a first time candidate, I ask you to support me in my call to serve you, and the people of District 45.  If elected I intend to push legislation that will invest in North Dakota’s finest asset, the people. Running for the legislature allows me do more for the people of my district and my state. In ND, politics is not so much political as personal, and my background as a young professional, a Native American and long-time public servant will bring a much needed perspective to the decision making table of our state government.  I want to work to pass legislation that will further the major agenda of the constituents in my district and of most North Dakotans; how we can earn a decent living and how we can raise our children successfully.

My work involves bringing people together, appreciating differing perspectives, understanding the legislative process, researching the nuances of hot-button issues, and communicating the concerns of ordinary citizens to elected officials. I’ve found that government works best when stakeholders sit down to discuss our shared challenges. My professional and community experience helps me facilitate that discussion and by working together, we can pass meaningful legislation that addresses the needs of all North Dakotans.

Thank you for taking a moment with me. I hope you will support me in my call to serve you.

Most sincerely, in service,

Prairie Rose Seminole

Consider your support ~

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This next Tuesday, September 28, marks just five weeks until Election Day on November 2nd – will you help me finish strong?

Now is the time: Money matters. Please give. Let’s get a new voice to the ND State Legislature.

Born and raised in Fargo I have served the City of Fargo with Fargo Mayors, Bruce Furness and Dennis Walaker since 1996. I decided to run for the ND House of Representatives because I’m ready to take my service to elected office. I know the people of my district, I know the issues that matter to them and most importantly I know what I stand for when it comes to the people of my district and of North Dakota: Accountable public service, Opportunity for all North Dakotans and Strong Leadership for working families.

Running for the legislature allows me do more for the people of my district and my state. In ND, politics is not so much political as personal, and my background as a young professional, a Native American and long-time public servant will bring a much needed perspective to the decision making table of our state government.  I want to work to pass legislation that will further the major agenda of the constituents in my district and of most North Dakotans; how we can earn a decent living and how we can raise our children successfully.

I’m also running to deliver a message that North Dakota is more progressive than those outside our state can begin to imagine. We need to start reflecting our progressive values within our state legislature, which means electing more women, young people and people of color.

If I became a representative, my biggest legislative priorities would be:

Infrastructure projects.  If our state does not provide quality roads, safe water systems, permanent flood-protection, and expanded internet and broadband services, we falter and fall behind.  By strengthening our state’s overall infrastructure with sound projects and investments, we attract new development and maintain our position as a successful state in this time of economic uncertainty.

We tackle the same issue every election – how can we better people’s lives?  Specifically, in north Fargo’s District 45, high priorities include long-term flood control as well as ensuring that NDSU and the Research and Technology Park remain beacons of quality education and innovation.  There is the ever-rising concern of local property taxes rates and inadequately funded K-12 schools.  North Fargo has a diverse population, and serving District 45 effectively presents unique opportunities and challenges.  As a state we need to ensure to the people of North Dakota that we can make decisions that will build economy, create and maintain good jobs and have support children and families.

With just over 5 weeks to go, please give to Friends of Prairie Rose, and help me finish strong.

Your contributions will allow me to reach and engage voters in a meaningful way.

Many thanks for your support and generosity.

In service and solidarity ~

To Give online follow this link: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/entity/23822

Or you can mail your contributions to: Friends of Prairie Rose PO Box 84, Fargo, ND 58107

40 Days

40 Days Friends

40 Days to drive home the movement that is the Democratic Party.

Our movement is strategic.

We’ve been working our tails off to cultivate a base of support. But without a plan to win, our base can’t help us.

Well, our plan is to WIN! To turn out voters and to elect Leadership that embodies the values of our party.

With a great plan, comes a great vision.

As Democrats we call forth a vision that is larger than what the media presents, or what details we’re focused on at the moment. This vision to better people’s lives, fix our economy and be accountable to the people of this great state has engaged North Dakotan’s passion to come together on common ground. Our common values to live a good life, lead a good life, to speak up and take risks so that our vision can move forward.

Passion is contagious and the base we are assembling has been instrumental in spreading our message. The essence of a powerful movement is described as people working together to achieve a common goal. It is up to us to fold people into the process of democracy. The voters we engage should be more than just be voting. The sooner we fold new people in, the more we grow and secure our success not just in this election, but elections to come.

Movements commit to change over decades.

Change is often a long process and your commitment is needed. We’ve been able to take advantage of moments in time that have shaped our state and our country for the better. The Democratic party, is the bison that faces the storm. We will face the challenges head on. We use the current issues to engage the passion of the people. Whatever the issue, together we rise to meet the challenges of the times. Facing worker’s rights, civil rights, health reform, financial reform, our infrastructure needs and water issues in North Dakota. It is our party that holds the institution of government accountable. We are the reason people believe in our state and federal government. We are the reason people believe in the American Dream.

Now is the time. All the work that has led up to these 40 days is about to pay off or fall short. Be bold friends. We cannot control every step of a movement or the outcomes of our hard work every time, but whatever the outcome, I don’t want November 3 to come around with the thought that I could have done more. I know, I will be doing all I can. I ask you to get up every day for the next 40 days with the same attitude. We’re doing all we can.

Remember passion is contagious. Believe in your party, believe in your candidates, believe that you represent, and our movement will be successful.

Understand these next 40 days in biblical proportions. We’ve worked hard and the work coming is going to be even tougher. We’re not going to have good days every day, there will be moments that you want to give up, or shut down, but don’t. Take a deep breath, and know that we are the worker’s of change. Agents of change within the Democratic party, and your work is so very necessary right now. What we’re going through will make the night of November 2 so much more meaningful. Whether volunteers, candidates, campaign workers, party supporters, we’re all in this together.

Many thanks for your support, service and solidarity to the movement that is the Democratic Party.

In service and solidarity ~p.rose

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Please consider showing your support with a financial contribution
Friends of Prairie Rose
PO Box 84
Fargo, ND
58107-0084

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Do what you do…..hecel lena oyate kin nipi kte – so that the people may live

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Prairie Rose
PO Box 84
Fargo ND 58107

You + Me = Future of ND

I can’t believe it has already been 6 months since I announced my candidacy for a ND State Representative seat from District 45. As a candidate, I set the pace for my team and right now, we’re gearing up to go full speed to win the general election on November 2.

I’m calling on you now for your support to help us use the time we have left in the most effective way. A financial contribution of $200, $100, $50 or whatever your household budget will allow, will help us reach the voters of District 45 in a meaningful way.

Years ago, I became a Democrat because it was the party that embodied the values my role models lived out in their daily lives; my mother who dedicated much of her life to the service of her church, and social justice community, Gladys Ray an elder who dedicated her life to her community, standing up for American Indian rights, the homeless and to the education of our young people, Barry Nelson who dedicates his life to nurturing young people to get involved and be conscious of how they can make a difference in the world around them. These role models instilled the value of service within my life choices. They taught me that Leadership is an office of service. That Leadership was more than just a title, but action, accountability, responsibility and commitment to affect change.

Change at its core is about social justice. Social justice that is about parity in economic development, economic development that includes job growth, access to quality affordable health care, and resources into the institutions and community programs that make us stand out above the rest, investments in technology, health care, education, small businesses or non-profits. Investing in people is as important as investing in our infrastructure. Tax credits aimed and increasing growth must focus on Human Capital as much as on Physical Capital.

The next three months will be crucial to our campaign. Time is an important commodity and your support is greatly appreciated. If you have a few hours over the next few months to give, I can use your support to make phone calls, drop literature, hold a house meeting, enter data or march in a parade or two!

I know how much you support the values of the Democratic party, and I’m asking you to help me give this campaign a kick for the win in November. Your financial support will make a difference and I cannot thank you enough. We have a challenge ahead, and with your contribution we can win.

I’m giving the campaign everything I’ve got, because I believe in myself to bring the people of my district and the greater state of North Dakota Leadership of service, action, accountability, responsibility and commitment to that which makes us stand out above the rest.

Many thanks for your support. To make a contribution, follow the link on the home page.

Welcome to my website!

I am honored to be running for the North Dakota House of Representatives in north Fargo’s District 45.

My childhood was filled with role models who dedicated their lives to the service of creating a welcoming nurturing community. They instilled with me the values of service, commitment and accountability.

Leadership is an office of service, and the call to serve has been made. I seek to answer that call of service within our state legislature.

This website is meant to be a resource for you. I invite you to read about me, my work in the community, and learn how you can help in my campaign to serve everyday North Dakotans, like you, in our state government.

In service,

Prairie Rose

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