—by Jo Thomson
“If only people took our City Council elections as seriously as 107IST board elections are taken,” was my spouse’s lament. I shrugged. He wasn’t wrong. In his own bid for a council seat, I recall one evening where he came home from a candidate forum where voter attendance could’ve been counted on one’s fingers. (On one hand, no less). Banter about the candidates on social media was virtually non-existent. In the same season, chatter about candidates for 107IST board was a common sight on Twitter and Facebook, and even popped up over drinks with friends.
Comparisons aside, 107IST elections are important, and are worthy of all members’ sincere attention. Some give their vote ample consideration — but it is a vote that should be important to all members.
Life has indulged me in several forced opportunities to slow down the last couple of months. And while I’ve not particularly enjoyed the time, it’s allowed for a lot of time to reflect on... stuff.
This past season has been the turning point where our six-year-old comes with us (or wants to) more matches than she doesn’t. She loves to be babysat at grandma’s house, but we’ve reached the age where she really loves the matches and has her favorite players (Allie, Hayley, the Diegos, and Zarek). She loves it for her favorite players, but she also loves it because of hot dogs, capos, confetti, other kiddos, and the general kindness of the supporters around her. (Oh — and the occasional round of foosball and candy at the Fanladen.) Everything associated with PTFC is glitter and rainbows to her. It’s all happy.
We all come from different experiences; different racial, cultural, religious, economic, and social backgrounds. The place where we meet is where we support our club.
The support of a club — our club in particular — is an inheritance.
Take away whatever we thought we could tuck aside — money, heirlooms, property, other investments — a couple major medical disasters or other bad luck could wash it all away like a predictable incoming tide. What’s left? The things that we showed them, the experiences they had, the friendships they made. And so much of that happens when we support our club.
However, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum, nor does it happen by magic or luck. Our standard for support and true sense of community is a bar that has been set so high in great part to those who have dutifully served on our board. Those who have tenderly ushered the Trust through transitions, from new leagues to ugly seasons; who have made certain we were not limited to mere soccer support, declaring outreach to the broader community an essential function. From gathering children’s books to planting trees to supporting accessible playgrounds and so much more, the board has set the tone and trajectory. Their wisdom, guidance, and passion is a cornerstone of what we’ve collectively become.
For this reason (and many more), it’s a distinct pleasure to know this is an inheritance we can all pass along. Parents or not, we are all contributing — intentionally or passively — to the next generation of supporters, and generations beyond them. The choices we make now — particularly in our leadership — will have a ripple effect far beyond today. How do we visualize our support in the future? What compassionate, community-building accomplishments will they make in the name of that support?
This is the inheritance — what we will to the younger ones. The best heirloom isn’t a bauble, it’s a feeling. “Deeper than love”, some have said.
The candidate forum is coming up soon, and I hope all who can attend will do so, and vote in a way that passes down the very best of our supporter culture to those who will support after us.
Editor's note: For this year's candidate and forum info, visit the 107IST Elections page.