Vanessa Steinkamp is running for the Colleyville City Council Place 2 seat in the May 4 election, in which she faces opposing candidate and incumbent Bobby Lindamood.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Steinkamp a series of questions about her candidacy. This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. Her written responses, edited for publication style, are below.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
First, I have a passion for public service, and I love our community. I want Colleyville to keep its well-deserved reputation for being a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Second, Colleyville is an island in a high-growth area, and we must build a sustainable and proactive economic plan that offsets skyrocketing property taxes. Finally, I have learned that effective leadership hinges upon the importance of listening and evaluating all ideas rather than dismissing an opposing viewpoint without consideration. I believe in respectful discourse while standing strong on my principles. I will be a responsive and effective council member for the citizens of Colleyville. To that end, I am including my number for any resident to reach out at any time: 469-476-2412.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
Various professional experiences have prepared me to serve on the Colleyville City Council. As an educator, I’ve focused on fostering respect for the Constitution, rights and responsibility. As an intern on Capitol Hill, I had the opportunity to evaluate a variety of ideas. And while serving on Gov. [Greg] Abbott’s [Task Force on Academic Credit and Industry Recognition], I have honed the ability to research multiple viewpoints and triangulate data and information. Dialogue, debate and deliberation are habits regularly practiced in my professional career. Additionally, quantitative data and regression analysis were core course components during my graduate studies. As a result, critical analysis of numbers and data are regularly integrated in my own classroom. My diverse skill set has proven to be successful on Capitol Hill, in graduate school, in the classroom for almost 20 years and over the past year tackling complex issues while serving on Gov. Abbott’s task force.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Colleyville, and how do you plan to address it on City Council?
All growing cities struggle with the issues of maintaining quality services and infrastructure while keeping taxes and debt low. Colleyville is no different. City officials must have strong working relationships with other governmental entities, such as [Grapevine-Colleyville ISD], Tarrant County, neighboring municipalities, state agencies like [the Texas Department of Transportation]and regional authorities. All of these entities make decisions that impact Colleyville, and we must work to have collaborative, not combative, engagement with them. As a councilwoman, I will encourage City Council to focus on the issues we are tasked to by our city charter to manage and to present a united and positive front when interacting other governmental agencies. My vision is city-focused where we can lower taxes and build bridges while maintaining the charm of Colleyville.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
I am the daughter of two immigrants from opposite sides of the world who came to America to fulfill their dreams of freedom and to achieve success. My mother fled Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s when the Soviet Union invaded the country determined to crush democratic reforms. My father, a successful surgeon, emigrated from India to build a career and family in a country that values contribution and sacrifice. Both parents instilled in me the belief that if you work hard and play by the rules you can become anything you want and that I was lucky to live in a land of such opportunity for success and achievement. From an early age, they expected me to set goals and find solutions to achieve them successfully. It is with this mindset that I will serve the needs of our community.
More information about Steinkamp and her campaign can be found here.