The Atlantic Highlands Herald invited each of the candidates for office to school boards and governing bodies in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions about themselves to better inform our readers about their campaigns. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Politics Section.
General Election – November 2, 2021
Profile Date: 10/18/2021
Candidate Name: Morgan Spicer
Age (as of Election Day): 31
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Position Sought (term): Borough Council
Party Affiliation or Banner: Independent (Bring Back Balance)
Family: 5 Rescue Dogs: Jax, Roscoe, Kairi, Dezi & Tanuki – Husband Zack Brown
Education: Deane Porter, Forrestdale, RFH, and a degree from Syracuse University
Occupation: Illustrator, Designer, Activist & Organizer
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: None
Campaign Website or Facebook page: AtlanticHighlandsIndependents.com
Why are you seeking office?
I’ve been volunteering for various political campaigns since 2015. I’ve put a lot of my time, energy and money into helping people get elected. I’ve been both disillusioned and heartened by the political process. I am running as an independent because I have a politically diverse family and I’ve seen the pain and division up close and personal. I believe I have a unique perspective, an ability to empathize with all people regardless of their party affiliation, and I have a strong moral compass. I will be willing to work with anyone where our values align, and everyday I would acknowledge my position as a service, not about myself, but about the community as a whole. I will always strive to put my ego aside and make sure I am representing the will of the people, and never special interests. I never saw myself seeking political office until after the 2020 election when I grew tired of putting my hopes and dreams onto others who continued to disappoint, fail, or deviate in their missions.
The two most important issues facing our (board, district, council, committee etc.) are a lack of community involvement (due to lack of energy trying to empower residents and make it easier for them to engage), and Over-development, and this is what I intend to do about it:
Progress is not progress if it is leaving behind the lifetime residents who have built this town and made it what it is. Progress is not progress, if new projects make life difficult for residents by creating or exacerbating traffic or parking issues. Progress is not progress if our natural spaces are bought up, sold and demolished. Progress is not progress if it destroys local small businesses and the people who invest in our community. Progress brings everyone along and creates a sense of pride in the community. I have many creative ideas to empower our residents to be more involved in our community, and I hope I have an opportunity to share them as an elected councilmember, should I be fortunate enough to serve them.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Bring Back Balance to me, means leading with hope and not fear. It means ignoring labels and seeing people as individuals first.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I built my own business straight out of college, a business that enabled me to create while also giving my work a higher purpose. I’ve networked with non-profits all over the country and world to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes. I’ve been my own boss, and have successfully balanced my work, my life, and years of activism and a lifetime of volunteerism. I’ve illustrated over 40 picture books and have been able to donate thousands of dollars in royalties to causes ranging from Animal and Environmental Conservation, Animal and Wildlife Rescue, and Literacy programs for children.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I would like voters to know that I live a vegan life so that everyday I can freely live without contributing to animal cruelty or environmental degradation. But regardless of my own lifestyle, I respect and acknowledge every American’s freedom of choice. I believe in the freedom of speech, even when it offends or hurts. I believe in standing up for what you believe in, even when it makes others uncomfortable. I will treat others how I would like to be treated, and lead with kindness and compassion. However, being compassionate does not make me weak. Not a lot of people my age own a home or consider running for office. I believe the fact that I am significantly younger than most elected officials means that I can bring a new perspective to the council, and strongly advocate to fortify our community against the effects of the climate meltdown, in a way that respects our community’s history and our lifetime residents’ concerns.