Central Student Looks to Serve Her Community on the City Council
SAN ANGELO, TX - Rebekah Coffman, an 18-year-old high school student from Central High School, is running for Single Member District (SMD) 6 on the San Angelo City Council. If elected, Coffman said she would bring a fresh perspective to the council.
Miss Coffman has lived in San Angelo her entire life and said she wants nothing more than to start her political career at home. Coffman has officially registered for the City Council election. Click here to read the story.
“I decided to run for City Council because I feel that being politically involved is the best avenue for me to make a difference,” Coffman said. “I saw this opportunity and figured that it is a logical first step toward my long-term career goals, as well as a way for me to serve the citizens of San Angelo by being their voice.”
She said that she loves this community and wants to be a part of its success.
Regarding her youth, which some may see as being inexperienced, Coffman explained that she is an open-minded person, and she would make sure to consider all sides of a situation when deciding what is in the best interest of those she represents.
Her current schedule at school also includes various advance placement classes, which requires her to keep consistent time management.
“Being a student in advanced placement classes, I know the importance of a good work ethic, and I will apply that to my duties if elected,” Coffman stated.
Regarding her qualifications for the position, Coffman said she keeps up to date with local news and she has always remained diligent and committed to her tasks.
Her goals for the election include wanting to be a voice for all citizens by ensuring their best interests are at heart, and by helping making San Angelo “ a safe, better, and more beautiful city than it already is.”
“I am devoted to ensuring a bright future for this community that I have loved my entire life,” Coffman said.
Current city council member for SMD 6, Charlotte Farmer, gave her advice for Coffman.
“I commend anyone for wanting to get involved with their government,” Farmer said.
As a job that requires an abundance of self-motivation for all the criticism that can come with being a public figure, Farmer gave her approach to using this criticism positively. She said any kind of criticism, if taken constructively, can help improve a person's perspective on the job.
“You need to have broad shoulders,” Farmer said. “Anybody going into the position can view negative comments constructively.”
Farmer said that her constituent’s criticism has helped her reevaluate her approach to certain issues that she needed to be more vocal on. This transitioned into Farmers advice on keeping personal beliefs and professional beliefs separate while representing the City.
City council members are directly elected by their constituents to speak on their behalf. One example Farmer gave was her personal beliefs on tobacco products. She can’t stand the habit of smoking cigarettes, but having a voice to speak out against the smoking ban is important to her constituency. She said Coffman, and anyone else running for the position, would need to understand this separation in beliefs.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I hope [council members'] opinions include all of the different views," Farmer said.
Her hopes for Coffman are that people won’t look at her youth in a negative way, for Farmer believes the younger generation is the future of this world. She also hopes that, if Coffman doesn’t get elected, she keeps her head up and continues to pursue her goals regardless of any setbacks.
“The fact that an individual feels strong enough, and definite about [her] beliefs, convictions, and views to put [her] name in the hat for a public position says a lot for [Coffman's] personality and character,” Farmer stated.
If Coffman was to get elected to SMD 6, Farmer said her greatest advice would be to always do research and review the agenda before any City Council meeting. It’s also important to listen to the experts available to lend advice, and never feel like you can’t ask for help if something isn’t making sense.
“You need to be the first one to admit, this isn’t my area of expertise,” Farmer said regarding asking for advice. “Never be afraid to say I don’t know, but I will do the research.”
The day of the election is May 6th. Coffman will be running against Steve Hampton and Billie DeWitt.
Voters must be registered to vote by April 7th. Information regarding voter registration can be found at votetomgreencounty.org or by visiting the Tom Green County Election/Voter Registration Office on the first floor of the Edd B. Keyes Building, 113 W. Beauregard Ave. Information is also available at all three Tom Green County library locations.