As her neighbor I’ve watched Robyn work quietly and diligently on something many of us never saw, even though we’ve all been driving, dropping off kids, shopping and socializing in the14th district for years.
Nearly a decade ago Robyn started her sex trafficking work and volunteered her photography storefront to serve as a safe haven for girls who were victims. We don’t like to think of our district as a place things like that can happen; but Robyn looked and saw what others didn’t.
There’s a word for this; psychological schotoma; it’s definition is a partial loss of vision or blind spot in an otherwise normal visual field. The explanation for it is psychological. Our minds play tricks on us, priming us to see only what we expect; what we are accustomed to; what we want to believe.
As a mother of two in the 14th District, I see the beauty in our neighborhoods and feel grateful for the freedom for my children; that they can scooter and bike freely without danger. I see our gorgeous schools and quaint restaurants and storefronts. These things remain true and real. But there have always been other stories here, stories of girls, of others’ daughters I’ve never met. I’ve looked, but not seen.
The value in Robyn as a woman, a mother and advocate, is she can help us see, through her ability to look deeper, ask questions, notice things. She sees what many of us can’t or won’t see because we are limited by what we presume to be true, or only look at others like ourselves. If we are going to continue working to make our district the best it can be, the safest it can be, we need a leader who will see things for us; help us see what is right in front of us. – Julie