Renewing Democracy: Sheriff Elect – Rochelle Bilal
1. Why did I decide to run? I decided to run for the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office because I wanted to see this office use its resources to uplift the community and ensure this office is reflective of positive change for future generations.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from? My inspiration comes from a variety of women past and present. It’s the women who are are focused on making sure their families are fed every night. It is the women who serve in public office that choose to put the people first in every legislative decision. Lastly, it is the woman I call “Mom” – who worked hard every day to make sure me and my siblings had everything we needed to be successful in life.
3. What obstacles did you face? There were many obstacles that happened while on the campaign trail. From the lack of donations during our primary campaign to some friends even turning their back on me when I asked for their help. Despite those challenges, there was relief in sight with the help of many. I had a strong woman campaign manager who supported and encouraged this run. I had senior advisors who knew Philadelphia and its politics. I also met progressive Ward leaders and committee people who decided they wanted change. And lastly, I had the support of many local organizations and of the voters once they heard of my leadership experience. With every obstacle I endured also came a moment of truth – and I’m grateful for each teachable moment.
4. How did you overcome them? In order to overcome any obstacle you have to keep your faith and know your purpose. Throughout this entire journey, I kept my faith. I knew that the work I’ve done in this City for decades would speak for itself. I knew that the people would understand that change was needed and that I have accepted the call to lead.
5. What lessons can she give to other women who maybe thinking about running in the near future? Believe in yourself! Dedication and commitment is the key to your victory. RB