Brianna Howard says she by no means thought she would run for public workplace, however when nobody else was on the poll for mayor in her hometown of Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania, she rose to the problem.

Howard ran as a write-in candidate, received, and can function mayor of the city for the following 4 years, starting in January. Mount Jewett, situated about 140 miles north of Pittsburgh, has a inhabitants of fewer than 1,000 folks.

“Rural Individuals are, in lots of methods, at a drawback, simply due to their location and the sources which might be out there to rural Individuals,” Howard says.

The mayor-elect says she plans to provide Mount Jewett “my all for the following 4 years, actually making an attempt to serve my neighborhood in any method that I can, small or giant.”

Howard joins the “Problematic Ladies” podcast to clarify her determination to run for mayor and why younger, conservative ladies ought to really feel empowered to be leaders of their communities.

Virginia Allen: I’m so excited to welcome to “Problematic Ladies” my good friend and mayor-elect Brianna Howard. Brianna, it’s so good to have you ever again at The Heritage Basis.

Brianna Howard: Thanks, Virginia. I’m so comfortable to be right here.

Allen: All proper. First query, how previous are you, Brianna?

Howard: I’m 25.

Allen: OK, so, you’re 25, and you’ve got just lately run for mayor of your small city in Pennsylvania, and also you received that election. Congratulations! That could be a enormous deal.

Howard: Thanks a lot. It’s type of loopy.

Allen: And on the age of 25, that’s superb.

Howard: Yeah, positively didn’t anticipate to be a mayor at age 25, however I’m very excited.

Allen: Why did you resolve to run?

Howard: I really like my hometown. I’ve been a passionate advocate for rural values for a very long time. I spent some years right here in D.C., and I feel that type of knowledgeable my determination on how necessary that rural America is. I simply, I felt compelled to run for mayor. I truly ran as a write-in candidate, so there was nobody on the poll. That type of helped make my determination a bit simpler, on condition that we didn’t have anybody truly on the poll.

Allen: Wow! Nobody else stepped up, and also you mentioned, “I’ll do it, I’ll step up”?

Howard: Yep, precisely. I had somebody who was additionally operating a write-in marketing campaign, and we had a extremely, a pleasant time, each of us operating write-ins. Sort of figuring out it was simply any man’s recreation to win with nobody on the poll.

Allen: So neat. The city is Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania. It’s a few 140 miles north and barely east of Pittsburgh. On Wikipedia, I seemed this up, your inhabitants is 935 as of 2019, so possibly it’s grown a bit. What drew you to this city? What made you resolve, “You recognize what? I wish to characterize the folks of this city”? Is that this a city you truly grew up in?

Howard: Sure. I grew up in Mount Jewett. I used to be born and raised there. We’re an superior city. It’s tucked proper within the coronary heart of the Allegheny Nationwide Forest. Now we have the Kinzua Bridge there, which is considered one of our wonders of our city. And when it was incepted, it was truly one of many seven, I believ,I could possibly be mistaken in thi, seven man-made wonders of the world.

It attracts in a ton of holiday makers yearly. We stay in a ravishing place. It’s a tiny little jewel tucked within the mountains, within the forest of Pennsylvania. I simply really feel actually honored to have the ability to characterize those that I grew up with. Individuals who noticed me after I was youthful and have now grown, they usually’ve seen that type of transformation with me and my siblings, and we’re all actually engaged on the town. It’s an honor.

Allen: In my head, I’m picturing one thing just like the “Gilmore Women” city.

Howard: Sure. So many individuals say that, truly. We’re very a lot, you go into the cafe, we’ve a restaurant type of like in “Gilmore Women,” truly, and everybody is aware of everybody. I am going there each Sunday for breakfast, and we learn the paper, and it’s simply, it’s a good time. It’s an important place.

Allen: I adore it. And that’s so particular that most people within the city know you and are excited that you just’ve been elected. Due to your age of being 25, have you ever gotten pushback of individuals saying, “We shouldn’t have a mayor this younger”? Or do you suppose persons are actually excited to have somebody as younger as you’re taking the lead on this method?

Howard: Yeah. That’s a very good query. I feel, at first after I was deciding to run, I type of felt that nervousness about, oh, she’s so younger. She doesn’t know something. She’s so inexperienced. As a result of I feel there may be that hesitation amongst people who find themselves youthful that wish to run for workplace. However then after I actually considered it, I’ve had lots of nice expertise and in D.C. particularly, in authorities and figuring out type of, having the instruments in my toolbox to assist advocate for folks in my city.

I’m younger, however I do suppose that that’s additionally a bonus, as a result of I feel younger persons are so energetic and keen to place within the legwork, which as a mayor, you positively are placing in lots of legwork. It’s lots of issues that individuals don’t actually know that you just’re doing. I feel being younger has its benefits, little doubt.

Allen: For certain. It’s good to have that vitality to maintain you going.

Howard: Yeah. I’m going to wish lots of espresso, but in addition, [it] helps that I can keep up late and get up early nonetheless.

Allen: Now, we received to know one another as a result of whenever you lived in D.C., and also you labored at Heritage Motion, which is the grassroots arm of The Heritage Basis. We labored in the identical constructing. What made you resolve, “You recognize what? I wish to depart Washington, D.C., and I wish to return to my hometown, and I wish to characterize these folks”?

Howard: Yeah. I used to be so blessed to work right here at Heritage Motion. I had a lot expertise there, and I actually loved working within the conservative motion with some actually topnotch folks. And that extends to all my experiences in D.C. I had the honour of serving within the Trump administration on the Division of Labor, the place I simply received actually nice expertise working with of us within the workforce and speaking about apprenticeships and type of issues that actually matter to rural Individuals.

Realizing all of what I realized on the Division of Labor, particularly, after which following that, I labored on Capitol Hill for a Missouri congressman, who is also from a rural district.

And I feel having these experiences in D.C., but in addition feeling that draw to return house and lacking my household. I feel everybody involves D.C. with a objective in thoughts. And I feel I met lots of my objectives, and I feel as soon as I felt that I had tackled lots of these issues I got here right here to do, I used to be type of prepared.

I missed my household. I used to be working from house for a interval final yr and really purchased a home. That was type of a giant draw as nicely, simply truly proudly owning a house in my hometown. That was type of an informing determination as nicely.

Allen: Yeah. That’s particular. Congratulations!

Howard: Thanks.

Allen: That’s an enormous deal, 25 to personal your individual house.

Howard: Yeah, it was thrilling. I purchased an previous, 1900s-vintage Victorian house. Wants lots of love. That was positively a giant a part of my determination to maneuver.

Allen: Yeah. Any suggestions for perspective homebuyers for saving?

Howard: Oh, gosh, save your cash, for certain. There’s lots of packages in place that assist make it simpler for first-time homebuyers. But it surely’s positively an odd market proper now, with inflation and such, to purchase a house. Possibly simply wait, when you’re wanting, possibly that’s type of in all probability dangerous recommendation, but it surely’s sensible recommendation, I suppose.

Allen: Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s a wild time.

Howard: Yeah, it’s.

Allen: All proper. Moving into what is definitely concerned in being a mayor: Have you learnt type of what your day-to-day will appear to be after you’re sworn in, in January?

Howard: That can also be an excellent query. The trustworthy reply is, I don’t actually know. I feel this function comes with, it’s type of what you make it, and my hope and my objective and type of what I ran on is, constructing bridges in my neighborhood.

Based mostly off of the Kinzua Bridge, I discussed our lovely landmark, I actually hope to take a few of these federal and state sources that I do know which might be on the market, simply given my very own expertise and cultivating that type of useful resource constructing in my neighborhood. My hope is that utilizing these experiences to attract in potential buyers into my city, people who find themselves coming as guests, hooking them in and seeing what all we’ve to supply in our neighborhood and within the hopes that they may come again and spend money on our city.

In fact, there’s the conferences that you just attend, and all that, however I feel in lots of these rural places of work, it’s loads about what you make it. And I feel once more, quoting again to the age issue, I’m so excited and enthusiastic about my neighborhood that I feel that positively interprets in how my day-to-day will type of happen.

Allen: Yeah. And is it a full-time job?

Howard: It’s not a full-time job. It’s type of like a volunteerish function in my neighborhood. And lots of people in my city are actually concerned within the Rotary Membership, and we’ve totally different sorts of organizations which were cultivated, which is de facto particular. I don’t suppose you get that in lots of locations, however we’re so fortunate to have a neighborhood the place folks simply actually are enthusiastic about our heritage and simply our historical past of our city.

Allen: Yeah, that’s actually, actually particular. Now, will you’ve got like a complete crew of individuals working with you? Or in a small city, I don’t know if it’s the mayor is a one-man present, or in case you have help and there may be that type of neighborhood involvement?

Howard: I don’t know if there’s essentially a crew I’d name them which might be on the mayor’s crew, quote-unquote. However we’ve a complete borough arrange for our city. And so there’s a borough supervisor, and we’ve our superior City Council. Simply type of pointing again to these of us who’re simply actually concerned on the town. These are primarily volunteer positions as nicely, and it’s simply pushed by individuals who wish to be concerned and make a distinction.

Allen: And also you’re serving for 4 years, proper? 4 years.

Howard: For 4 years. It’s type of humorous I had thought, after I’m finished being mayor, it’ll be my thirtieth birthday, mainly.

I’m born in January, so I’ll be sworn in in January, after which I’ll be finished the January of my thirtieth birthday, which is type of loopy to consider.

Allen: Not one thing many individuals can say that they’ve already been a mayor by the point they’ve hit 30.

Howard: So true.

Allen: That’s actually particular. When you concentrate on the legacy that you just wish to depart in your small city, the highest priorities that you’ve, what are these issues that come to thoughts?

Howard: I feel simply leaving it higher than I discovered it, I feel. I’m a former Lady Scout, so I at all times type of stay with that motto of leaving issues higher than how I discovered them. That was at all times my troop chief’s motto. Somebody who I do know in my hometown, truly I noticed her on Election Day.

Allen: That’s so cool.

Howard: I used to be like, “Oh, hello, Sue. It’s so good to see you.” As a result of I feel organizations like Lady Scouts or nevertheless persons are concerned of their neighborhood, I feel that’s all a part of the legacy of how the younger folks on the town, possibly they depart or possibly they don’t depart, after which they arrive again and the way they will serve their neighborhood.

I feel that’s type of a part of the legacy that I hope to domesticate in my neighborhood of simply being a voice for not simply even my neighborhood, however actually for rural America. Rural Individuals are in lots of methods at a drawback simply due to their location and the sources which might be out there to rural Individuals.

That’s type of the legacy that I hope to domesticate, of simply taking this city, giving it my all for the following 4 years, actually making an attempt to serve my neighborhood in any method that I can, small or giant. A variety of occasions I feel small, however in significant methods.

Allen: Yeah, yeah. Do you ever step again and simply form of say, “Whoa, that is truly occurring”?

Howard: Yeah. It’s type of humorous.

Allen: Since you are in so some ways dwelling that American dream of, you grew up, you got here to town, you type of skilled that, now you’ve gone again to your small city, you’re taking up this huge management function. I feel lots of people type of dream about doing issues like that, or we watch the Hallmark films, and we see folks doing issues like that. That to truly stay that, is it typically a bit overwhelming? Or how does it really feel?

Howard: I positively have had a pair moments up to now the place I’ve stepped again and been like, wow, I can’t consider I actually did that. Or wow, I’m simply so honored by the suggestions. I’ve had folks ship me such lovely messages from all around the nation, actually. I’m so blessed to have an in depth community of mates who’re from type of far and wide, they usually’ve been so supportive of me. Not even simply in my very own neighborhood, in my city bodily, geographically talking, however simply in my community that I’ve type of gathered.

I’m so honored to have all of those folks reaching out to me and saying how excited they’re for me. And that’s actually been simply such a blessing to have, to know. Typically, you lose contact with folks, after which out of the blue, I had folks from faculty that reached out to me that I hadn’t talked to in, like, years.

I used to be simply actually flattered by that. But it surely’s positively a bit overwhelming at first and simply to suppose, wow, I’ve such an important accountability right here and such an important alternative to assist enhance folks’s lives. I feel that’s simply so humbling and such an superior present.

Allen: Yeah. Are you nervous in any respect? I really feel like if I used to be in your place, I’d be actually nervous. Wow, it is a huge accountability to be coming underneath.

Howard: Yeah. It’s positively, it’s totally different to be working within the background of lots of this stuff occurring. I discussed, I labored to the Division of Labor, the place I used to be very a lot within the background, aiding the secretary and our objectives as an extension of the Trump administration.

I’ve been a lot in that seat of simply doing all the background work. Now, being the one to go to the conferences and to talk with the totally different companions that I’m hoping to work with on this capability. It’s positively a special expertise, however I wouldn’t say I’m nervous. I positively really feel as a result of I’m from my neighborhood, and I’ve lived there principally my entire life, I really feel that positively helps type of with that nervousness of simply familiarity with my neighborhood.

Allen: Yeah, completely. That’s so good. That’s wholesome, encouraging to listen to. For you, what are a number of the function fashions which might be in your life or those that possibly impressed you to run for mayor?

Howard: Yeah. I feel it’s so fantastic to look, particularly right here in D.C., we’ve such superior feminine congresswomen who’ve actually stepped as much as the plate. Particularly in these previous couple of years, we’ve seen the conservative ladies in Congress develop. And so I feel completely these ladies are function fashions. However I feel after I take into consideration my very own life, and I’m certain you’ll be able to relate to this, too, of simply the sturdy ladies which might be in my very own life. My grandmother, she’s completely phenomenal. She’s a public faculty superintendent.

She has simply years and years of data and a wealth of expertise that she’s actually imparted on me, and I’m so grateful for her function in my life. And I feel, after I take into consideration how a lot she’s impacted her neighborhood, being a superintendent in a rural place is a tough job. Everybody is aware of you. Everybody is aware of all the things that’s occurring, and she or he has simply dealt with that with such grace her entire life. She’s positively my largest function mannequin in that sense.

Allen: I really like that. That’s so good. What are you most enthusiastic about when you concentrate on being a mayor of a small city? After which, what are you a bit like, “Oh, I’m going to do it, however I don’t know if I’m going to love it”?

Howard: I’m positively excited in regards to the prospects which might be on the market. Rural once more, rural Individuals, and I feel lots of people are beginning to perceive this, particularly due to COVID, and I feel even simply one thing easy as the dearth of broadband that rural Individuals have.

I feel there’s so many prospects you could carry to a rural neighborhood by way of simply federal sources and grants and all of these type of issues. I’m enthusiastic about that. I do know these are greater, loftier objectives for certain. I don’t suppose there’s actually something that I’d say, “Oh, I don’t know if I’m going to do this or not.”

It’s lots of simply seeing the place persons are at, I feel, and type of assembly folks the place they’re at. And it’s actually lots of simply holding folks knowledgeable. We’re a small city. There’s not a ton of loopy issues which might be occurring, however simply being type of an advocate for the parents in my neighborhood—I feel that’s actually the largest factor that I’m enthusiastic about.

Allen: Yeah. I feel that’s so good, as a result of actually, regardless of the place you might be, that’s what folks need. That’s what the American folks need from the president, all the best way down.

Howard: Sure, precisely.

Allen: We wish to learn. We wish to be within the know. We wish to know what’s occurring. We wish that transparency. That’s enormous and so, so wholesome. Wow! Find it irresistible. What’s your recommendation to different younger ladies who both are curious about someday operating for a public workplace themselves or who’re listening to your story and type of considering, “Oh, nicely, possibly I may do this”?

Howard: Yeah. I feel it’s up to now off to suppose you may run for workplace, and I by no means actually felt that method that I’d simply decide up and run for workplace. However I feel particularly for conservative ladies, we’re the problematic ladies. We’re the parents who the left actually doesn’t wish to see run for workplace as a result of whenever you consider younger ladies, we’re not supposed to carry conservative and rural values, however we’re actually those who’re essentially the most in contact with the individuals who stay in rural America.

I’d say metropolis or small city, I feel simply placing your self on the market and displaying folks that you’re genuine and that you’re caring and that you’ve the drive to make a distinction, that may be my recommendation.

That’s what I did from Day One. I simply, I laid all of it on the market for the parents in my city. I mentioned, “Hear, I don’t know all the things, however I do know that I really like this city, and I’ve referred to as this place house my entire life.” I feel whenever you’re an genuine particular person, that actually reveals by way of. I feel girl or man, I feel the authenticity you could carry to an election whenever you’re a teen, particularly, I feel that’s actually necessary.

Allen: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so necessary. I really like that. What are one or two possibly form of items of life recommendation which were actually useful for you or that you’ve carried with you, or simply form of gold nuggets of knowledge which have helped you as a teen start to navigate the profession area?

Howard: That could be a good one. I feel I’m nonetheless selecting up these little nuggets alongside the best way, and making an attempt to stay them in my pocket.

Allen: Completely.

Howard: I feel one thing that I’ve at all times type of dropped at my very own private model is simply by no means considering I’m the neatest particular person within the room and at all times making an attempt to be the nicest particular person within the room as a result of, once more, I feel you’ll be able to level again to the authenticity, and folks know when you’ve got their greatest pursuits at coronary heart.

And so I’ve at all times simply tried to be very real with folks, and I feel being the identical particular person it doesn’t matter what room you’re in, I feel that’s a giant deal. I’ve been within the White Home, and I’ve acted a sure method, the identical method that I’ve acted after I’m at a city corridor assembly or having breakfast on the cafe in my small city.

All these totally different experiences, regardless of how superior or how “common day” they’re, simply being your self and being your genuine self, it doesn’t matter what room you’re in, I feel that’s a extremely huge deal. And I feel that goes a great distance, and folks discover.

Allen: They do. Folks positively do discover that.

All proper, Brianna, we’ve to ask you this query. We ask all of our friends on “Problematic Ladies,” do you contemplate your self a feminist? Sure or no? Why or why not? No proper or mistaken reply right here.

Howard: Sure. That is the golden query. I’d not contemplate myself a feminist. I’d contemplate myself to be a robust, unbiased girl who doesn’t have to determine with a time period that has been mainly coined by the left to imply one thing that, in fact, I don’t suppose it truly is, however I’d not name myself a feminist. I’d name myself a robust, unbiased girl who is aware of who she is.

Allen: Find it irresistible. Good. Brief and candy. All proper, nicely, Brianna Howard, mayor-elect of Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania, inform us after we go to your city, the place do we have to go?

Howard: You positively should go to the Kinzua Bridge. That’s, I can’t carry it up sufficient. Should you come within the fall, we’ve essentially the most lovely foliage, I feel, in the entire world. Kaffe Sol is the beating coronary heart of our city, so go there, and have a cinnamon roll and a latte, and you can be simply in heaven.

Allen: Sounds nice.

Howard: Come on over.

Allen: Brianna, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us.

Howard: Thanks a lot, Virginia.

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