This Letter to the Editor is solely the opinion of its author.
It does not reflect the opinion of this newspaper.
We intend to present messages from both sides of the aisle.
Jessica Dyrdahl has served as an instrumental leader & mentor for not only me but hundreds of students in the time I’ve known her. I was privileged enough to have Jess both as a teacher and a mentor in my undergrad experience. Jess challenged and uplifted people, concepts, and organizations on topics of equity and inclusion. She authentically embodies what it means to be a teacher, leading by example while supporting through education and allyship.
Jess’s optimistic nature and high energy is an unmatched combination that inspired lasting change in the students and programs she advised. She made role modeling day after day look effortless. I can’t imagine this was true for her, but I’ve never crossed paths with Jess and not walked away uplifted and in a better mood. When I found myself answering the call to serve students and the university, I saw some of the same challenges she must have faced and am still in awe of how she accomplished so much progress for and with students in a system that is broken and resistant.
Couple that with her equally impressive dedication to personal growth, you start to see why so many people are inspired by Jess. I strongly believe Jess will bring those talents and skills to city council and will serve the people like she already has been. Now more than ever, we need leaders, women, and advocates of change and equity as we tackle the copious challenges presented before us.