Leigh Farmer and Craig DiSesa

Recorded June 24, 2021 Archived June 21, 2021 49:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv000935


One Small Step conversation partners Leigh Farmer (42) and Craig DiSesa (61) discuss how their beliefs have made them different from their friends and family as well as the impact of mental health and wellness on public policy and community.

Subject Log / Time Code

CD discusses becoming a stay at home Dad.
LF discusses her daughter’s perception of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CD talks about how his children influence him and how raising his children has shown him is faults.
LF discusses being “fiscally conservative” while being Liberal identified, stating solutions that worked 50 or 60 years ago don’t work anymore.
CD discusses a pivotal moment in mentoring and how it influenced his involvement in public policy.
CD and LF discuss being misunderstood among friends and family members.


  • Leigh Farmer
  • Craig DiSesa

Recording Location

Virtual Recording



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00:01 Okay, on Craig to sassa. I'm 61 years old. And today's date is June 24th, 2021. I am located in Ashland, Virginia, and Ali farmer is my conversation partner in my relationship to her is she is my OSS conversation partner.

00:21 And I am Leigh farmer. I'm 42 years olds. Today's date is June 24th. 2021. I am in Chesterfield County, Virginia. And Craig. Desesa is my conversation partner.

00:37 And he's an OSS conversation partner.

00:44 So am I go first Courtney? Okay, Sally. Why did you want to do this or this question for me or

00:56 Okay, what why did you leave? Why did you want to do this interview today? I actually questioned Craig. I wanted to do it. I think because they're it. There are many reasons why I think it's important to have a conversation with somebody that I don't know, but I think the state of our world right now. It's important for us to show examples of civil discourse. I think there's a lot of noise in a lot of yelling, but when we sit down and listen to each other. So we really learn too. That's why I wanted to do it. Why did you want to do this interview today with similar reasons? I happen to be in politics and as we all know it's very divisive and I've had some ugly things said about me over the years and I've tried to be civil and responses and things like this, and I agree completely with you. It's important that there are examples of people who may come from different experiences in life.

01:56 Different views on One Life to be able to have a conversation. The other reason is I was encouraged by my pastor. Who is it a church called Hill City Church in in Richmond that we, we meet often and he said, yeah, it would probably be good for this and it would be good to try it. So those are the primary reasons.

02:27 Okay.

02:42 Yeah, I'm still reading. Yeah, I'm still reading hers.

02:48 Oh, I want to read it out loud. Hello. There are several lenses with which I could probably introduce myself. I'll use my adult path. I started as a television, a small-market, reporter that work in small conservative areas around the country. I met my husband at my final new station. After that, I decided I want to start planning for the future. Begin working in non-profit PR and never left. In that time. I married my husband conservative former military and now a lawyer together. We are raising our little girl and Craig bio is as follows.

03:27 I'm 61 married to the love of my life and we have three grandchildren. I became a stay-at-home parent when we had our first child in 1993 and remained in that role until our youngest graduated from high school. I helped found a nonprofit called the middle resolution in 2009. We are a political action committee involved in elections and public policy. I am presently the president. I became a Christian in 1990 for my faith is guided me. All of my life of all of my life decisions and positions on relevant cultural issues.

04:09 I got to tell you Craig, I read your bio and it had. It didn't have as much and it before, but I read your bio before this. And I totally thought you were going to be a woman. That was really the one I saw you pop up on screen. I was kind of like, okay. Now I understand the short, the short story of how I got to be. The stay-at-home parent is, I married Heather in 91, and we were living in South Florida. And she had an opportunity to move to New York City with a job, which at first we said, that's nuts. Why would we do that? But we did it. And when we got there, I had, sold my business and South Florida, small construction, business building, tennis courts.

04:57 And I was looking for jobs in New York City and I got an opportunity to work for American Express, selling their car to restaurants and I'm like, I do not want to do this over dinner one night. We were kind of, we had a glass of wine or two and I was kind of joking. I said, do not tell you what, I could be the stay-at-home parent if you want. And she looked at me and said, that would be great. That was literally a 10-second decision. We made, which of the probably the best decision. We made our marriage and we had her first and 93 a daughter. And the rest of this history. We have three kids, two boys, and a girl. And in the 2009, I got approached by some folks here in Hanover County to get involved politically. And so that's what I did and was a good timing for us as our kids are getting older and so forth. So I had more time. So that's kind of how that all came about. I know. That's awesome. That's really cool. It's, it's special that you got to spend that much time with your children, as they were in their developmental stages of life.

05:57 Yeah, how is your daughter? She said she's 7 and 1/2 and she is going into second grade. She she's the reason I changed my whole career around 2. I think thanks to covet. I've been able to work from home. So still bringing in an income. But but it's way more flexible than I used to be. So it's, it's nice to have that that time with her.

06:27 Yeah, it does. It's interesting that I have found the coat has provided a lot of obviously a lot of changes for people. But in a lot of ways it's been very positive and you could you talk about one of them. I think parents are finding that time, be home with the kids, finding out what they're learning, has been helpful for them and maybe opening up their eyes and some of the cases where the kids are learning things that maybe they didn't really want the kids to be learning appointment in the stage of their education. So, it's been a good thing. I did not expect you to be so close to us or to me here. Yeah, you're basically, if you think about where Courtney is, so that's interesting. And I feel like when I saw your face, that I had met you before I see you before, I'm not sure if that's the case. I don't know where the cross.

07:16 Pass, but that's all I can figure it out before the end of the conversation, went to Randolph-Macon College for two years and we are very weird. We're free of all day over there. As fact that the woman who is the president of the Board of Trustees, is one of my wife's closest friends and she will be staying here tonight Philadelphia. So when she comes down from eating the stuff she stays with us, so we are very engaged at the Randolph, not as much but your degree highly of the of the college transfer. My junior year for a part of a lot of personal reasons, and we ended up graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, which is where my

08:07 My past. So that, you know, communication stops went from there. But anyway, looping back around to what you said about covid and children. I definitely think there are many blessings to be had there. And that's what I kind of, you know, that's what I want to remember. I want my kids remember, out of all of this is is, is she and she's, she's at the age where she thinks. It's normal that we do this. She just says it's endemic times. Like it happens every five years or so and which isn't it. It's an interesting age, right? So she started kindergarten and left kindergarten halfway through and all she's known as pandemics is. So when she went back to school. She couldn't hug her friends anymore. She couldn't she couldn't get close to anybody. But what was it? Oh, they couldn't sign your books this year because of covid.

09:02 And that's all normal stuff to her. Like it wasn't as traumatic as say. I have friends that have seniors in high school, that really felt it, you know, but she left this morning to go to summer camp because we're allowed to hug at summer camp. She loved the idea.

09:26 So we have a new question here, who has been the most influential person in your life. What did they teach you? I'll let you go first lie.

09:36 I would say for this one. I don't have one person that's been extremely influential. I think, every person I meet influence of me in some way shape, or form, whether it's a deterrent or an attractor, if that makes sense, you know, it's either something that I'm really on board with, or something that affirms they definitely don't like hell. Yeah, my parents obviously, should have been influenced my life a lot. But my daughter has really shown me a new way of looking at the world. I didn't have her until I was there before and I I now I'm much more of an optimist is it than I was before she was born. So I think for me, that's probably the closest you're going to get to someone that influence is my day. Today. What about you? Who's the most influential person in your life?

10:36 More than one person. I did say it would start the top of my father who passed away six or seven years ago, and he just, you know, it was somebody, I looked up to have a lot of respect for, but unfortunately, traveled a lot. And so, my mom raised 5 kids on her own, but a lot to my mom, obviously had a huge influence and she still around. And I talked to her on a regular basis still, even if she lives in Florida, but then I would say also my, when it became a Christian and when I develop a relationship with Jesus Christ, his teachings are have a huge impact on who I am today. I'm a very different, very different person. But I was, I became a person who understood why I believe in what I believe. And then of course you mentioned your children and clearly,

11:25 My children have become a huge influence on my life cuz I showed me a lot of my faults, you know, as you straight or is your children, you start to learn, you know, oh my gosh, I make a lot of mistakes and fortunately or unfortunately children of pretty bright as they were probably correct. So that's had a huge influence on me in that. I think I hope my children today. They're all 2325 and about to be 28, have a good relationship with them. I'm very blessed that they live nearby. They're all they're all in the area working at their game fully employed, which is always a real prayer for a parent. But father has grown tremendously over the years. I mean, when you say that they they point out your faults. Do you hear them? Do you correct? Do you say no you're wrong. YouTube.

12:25 Get it. All, or is it it's been a, it's all of the above. Right? If it's In the Heat of the Moment. Usually, it's, you know, you're wrong. If it's a more calm, calm situation, which we try to create around here, which is not always the case, but the will have that will have that conversation. But I had, I do have the benefit of experience and wisdom. I hope that I do. And so it's now those conversations can go in a lot of different directions, but I do listen more than I used to, and they're older and smarter too. And you'll find in that you probably found this with your parents, your kids get to be 21-22. They graduate from college or whatever. They also realize I look Mom and Dad are a lot smarter than I thought, you know what happened? That happened with me and my parents and my siblings as well. So,

13:25 But yeah, the conversations going a lot of different directions. It's best obviously to have those conversations when everybody is called. It's not the best. But I think we all we all know that, it's definitely a gift to be able to teach your children. Had to have this kind of conversation is a respectful debate without getting taking it to you personally and and getting heated and that's an art form that. I think we do a disservice. If we don't teach our children to have that. We really need to focus on is teaching our children to be able to have constructive conversations and not pointing fingers at me. It's in it's a natural thing for a human to wanna

14:13 Be right, right? All the time and then find fault with others. And I told my my son years ago. He was picked on by a girl. This was Kindergarten first grade second grade. They save the road, the same bus. They were in the same Sunday school class and they were in the same class in school. And this young lady was just with an unhappy little girl and she would pick on my son all the time cuz he was a great Target and and I told him I tried to explain to him. I said and I watch she probably has something going on in her life that we have no idea what's going on. And that's probably why she taking it out on you. She finds you an easy target and I said, you just kind. Of course, I try to teach my kids Grace. And, and it came to find out much later that her parents were going through a very difficult divorce, and actually they got to travel together to Latvia.

15:13 Trip and her father and her and then my wife in and my son, the travel together on a mission trip to where it's an organization called Camp. Hope we'll ride that were involved with and they became friends. Now they were me, guess they were probably four or five years older at the time. And when he found out about what happened with her, he became much more understanding of her situation and then they became friends. Friends. Now, because they've gone a different directions, but teaching your children, that there are things going on other people's lives, that they may not be aware of our part of who they are, and why they act the way they do. I need to remind myself of that sometimes I don't know if you do but you know, whether it's being cut off in a at a traffic stop or you know things that one act out in public. It's hard for me to get to remember and I try to remember but

16:13 It's not always there that that person is going through something that I don't know anything about and give them space because you can't give him anything else at that point Vice to give to anybody have mentored young men that are the ages of my son's for years through, you know, Bible studies and things like that. And one of the things I've always taught them and, you know, try to have conversation with people, you don't always agree with. Remember, they coming from, if they could be coming from a very different experience than you and that helps forms their opinions and who and who they are today. I actually had a conversation about Grace with my oldest son yesterday, because there's some people have done some things to him. He's in real estate and they didn't use them as their agent. Even though he'd worked hard to help them find a house. And in the end, they chose somebody else and he's very mad at it. And I said, this is an opportunity to show Grace cuz they're friends.

17:10 That's heart, that's hard. When you in and the real estate market is so damn competitive right now. It's it's it's past eight. You know, I wish that we would take what we've just been talking about, right? This this opportunity to learn this opportunity to just kind of stand back and listen in to the spectrum of the way. We govern the way we make decisions. It's very hard to do that. It's easier to do that in the microcosm than it is to do it in a larger space is when you want to get up to Washington, DC.

17:46 It is hard to sort of pinpoint and figure out everybody's Moto's politically and you know, everybody has a good reason for what they're doing. But I I just wish I could understand stand up more because then maybe we could see some middle ground and I don't think there's much middle ground right now. And that scares me for my children. That scares me for my daughter, the political environment and just enjoy the cultural. Environment is very divisive, the act, the organization. And I don't know if I'm allowed to do this, but I'm not trying to. I'm not trying to plug organization. We were actually called the middle resolution. We originally came together that we are conservative. We weave support, mostly conservative candidates, although there's been a Democrat or two that we wanted to support, but it would hurt them their campaign.

18:46 We came out and said we support so and so so we could get behind the scenes and help them. But the idea was to try to bring people together on issues that we could all agree with it. And I'm originally our first couple of meetings. We had a number of people that work on the on the left and we don't not an executive board, we do but not on our executive committee and we try to find issues that we have agreement on. One of our biggest issues is education Choice. Providing more options for families in the education world and I have worked with the n-double-acp on these issues. I've worked with a number of black Pastors in Richmond. The city of Richmond. I do a lot of work in the city on this issue. And so those are those are some of the ideas in areas that we can come together. And it was tried very hard. I've worked on

19:46 We got passed on state last year, maybe the year before where was also wouldn't call that alternative accountability for students to do certain things basically a salt and in the school, they are either nothing is done typically or their assigned to the resource officer which then has to report them. And so we were trying to find a middle ground where this child could be given some sort of a pass to perform their behavior and it actually got actually got past it down to General Assembly against the principles, an alternative to how to deal with it for the situation on Fairfax.

20:26 So, now I won't say that we're in the middle, if you think of the political Spectrum, but the whole idea was you have tyranny and you have Anarchy on either ends of the political spectrum. And we firmly believe that the constitution, the Declaration of dependence. I really that balance between the two, the perfect balance, which we will never get there. But if we could that be great and we believe that, that was a great start for this, country. Have a great start for this experiment that we have here in this country. If we can get back to that. I'm fearful that for our children for your daughter. That's going to be even tougher for them.

21:06 Babe, it is and I think starting with trying to find common ground is the most important part. Because once you once you're able to civilly discuss one topic that opens the door to learn how to discuss other topics in a more civil manner just to lay the foundation for political beliefs here. Am I right in assuming that you are pretty conservative? Yes, and I and I am

21:49 I'm liberal, but the older I get, the more fiscally conservative, I get especially when you know where it where.

22:02 A family that has two businesses. We aren't we own and operate two businesses, in a lot of money goes to taxes. So when it comes to, that sort of stuff, I sort of, I sort of see the broken system and the money that we're putting towards that broken system and I want to fix it. So that the system works better. I often say to my conservative friends, you know, we need to stop debating the Dismal issues because really, the bottom line, is it all needs an enema and we all need to start over for her and work from wasted on where to work on better Solutions because the the solution that worked 50 60 years ago, isn't what works now. It's now a Dives. Now things are different situations are different. So I am I enjoy the the policy that you got, that was passed because it is a different way of looking at it. Now, it, now the onus though is, on the on, on the principal to sort of figure out what works best for each individual student. And that's a

23:02 All responsibility for one printed book figure it out. If you're up here in Hanover city, which I've worked with many many kids in Richmond city and their their challenges, their home, their home environment and what they're coming from. And how do you, how do you help them? Because you're not imagine coming to school and I haven't had breakfast, or there's been some violence in the night before in your neighborhood, hearing gunshots, or, I mean, no kiss with her friends were killed, you know, 13, 14, 15 year old kids that we've had. It can't be, I mentioned Lafayette. We do the same camp here in Richmond and we do it in Costa Rica and Richmond by far. I mean the United States attorney generals much more violent than those other two countries, even though those kids deal with a lot of abuse and alcoholism and things like that, but the violence here is much worse.

24:02 I wonder why though went went with the root cause is it? Do you know what I mean? Conversations around that and I think most people that go to camp with us and we take our kids. R kids are part of the ministry as well. And

24:20 I have my own opinions about that. I think part of it is we become much more of a faceless Society res in Latvia, in, in Costa Rica, Costa Rica's, most of Catholic, but it's Christian Lafayette, still it's the Protestant. But again, the kids are grown up with a face more so than here and we're taking it away. And I'm not talking about taking it out of schools or anything like that. It's just, we're moving away from that type of foundation and the kids were going from Costa Rica their poorer than the kids that can lock your poor than the kitchen and in the United States much poor. They have much less material things, but we have social poverty and here and that's a real problem and there they don't have it as much. They're raised for the most part. In two-parent families there racing at the other countries and their raised some sort of a face system and we don't hear, we're moving away from that. Until I think that kids are just think there's nothing for them.

25:20 If I was with my wife than one of the reasons games are so strong when they're looking for somebody to identify with it. So I'm speaking a lot. That's probably too much but that's sort of where we came down on from. Aren't you know, I don't holy disagree with you. I I think faith in any in any way I can help shape your morality. I think where we go at it wrong, in the United States, is that our faith is punitive and a lot of times we are legislating on face instead of principles and it in the actual situation at hand. And, you know, I'm a Christian, I go to church, I work at my church, but I would not be so apt to want to be at that church. If they were constantly, telling me I'm wrong about.

26:20 My decisions if they were constantly browbeating beating me about my decision. Now, I think when you're talking about inner-city Richmond or quite frankly Chesterfield, my husband's, a criminal attorney Morrissey comes time with every single day.

26:35 R. A n s as a person, that's had a lot of trouble having children. I often ask God, you know, why do you give these children to people that I obviously have trouble raising them and why didn't what my purpose? Why didn't I get that choice? Why didn't I get the chance to raise children? Because I want to take a lot of them and just bring them into my home and I know you're damaged. I know you're broken. Let me help fix you the right way and a little faith goes a long way with a lot of those kids. I'm sure I'm sure that if Grace were given to them on a daily basis. Do you know instead of saying no, you messed up, you're out or you don't believe in this, you're out but just continuously showing them love and affection and and that would go so much farther than then, then what?

27:35 Putting in their lives right now and taking it out, the political Spectrum, you know, and I don't want to go and you I don't want to go into politics with this, but its legislative words to be legislated and I just turned it into the devil. I think it turns it into a bad thing for a lot of for a, for a lot of people, I would agree. One of the reasons I got into policy was is 2011 and I was young boy, 11 years old, at Camp & Rich, the rich way. We used to go out to Scottsdale for this camp and we would take 200 kids and I was at a senior counselor for a group of 11 year old boys, which I will never do again.

28:19 Energy to spend Five Nights with infighting and 6 days with a friend, but two boys named Josh. In my group, one was as passive aggressive. The other one was very aggressive and aggressive. Josh ran off in the middle of Camp one day. And I had to chase him down. And I think chase him, I followed him till he collapsed, and he was sobbing, and so forth, and so on, and I asked him, I said, hey, you know, what's going on? And you said, why everybody is a bully to me? And it was the opposite. He was the bully in the group. And so I said, was a buddy taught you how to deal with this conflict stuff. And he looked at me for the first time that week and said Craig, you know, how we deal with conflict resolution, and use that phrase. So he has been taught right about conflict. Resolution in my house will use knives, and he showed me a 6-inch scar on his forearm.

29:19 Trained are focused on how to deal with this, but I have no idea what kind of life he was going through it. So I started doing my homework and you mentioned it a while ago, with a lot of this comes from public policy. Why? Why are why are the cities? The way they are? Why are why do, why are things better and Hanover Chesterfield in most places and public policy is a big part of that. That's why we ended up going to try to get an education system. Is clearly a good education, is to escape that comedy. And why is it that Richmond schools perform? So poorly, and we became became clear to us that providing more options for more options. Like St. Anna, Julia. Episcopal School in right across from Creighton Court, the great little private school. That is doing wonderful, wonderful work. How can we promote that end in m m prove it. And it's been very very

30:19 At the legislative level. In fact, we left we stopped doing trying to do it because he kept getting me do stuff kept get beaten by the governor and we ended up bringing our own private school here, to Virginia that has a very low cost. They're actually building one in Chesterfield really look for it on the website and I guess Chesterfield County website, but we brought it here to Henrico and they started it in a church skate through to. Now they're going to K through three it's full time. So it's your round and the folks that develops a leaf out of North Carolina, have decided to build a permanent school system system here and they go through 12 in North Carolina, kids are going to the top-notch colleges tuition, six thousand bucks a year.

31:13 So it has to be able to afford to get in or other scholarship. We, this has never done this before, but we started offering scholarships for kids in Richmond. And so we have out of the 35 kids. I think there are six or seven that are coming up from Richmond. And we have a generous donor, who is who's paying for the scholarships. The school does not rely on any federal local or state money. It's all so, it's an incredible business model. It's all run by tuition and there are obviously some large donors who get the ball rolling. So the first building is I think they found their, they're closing on the property in Chesterfield. I have no idea where it is yet. I can find out lie. If we're allowed to communicate afterwards and then let you know where it is, but it's a, it's an amazing. It's the most exciting thing. I've done since I've been doing this since 2009, since it's being done right? You can see results right in front of you and it and it shows it's a good little case study about what act.

32:13 Makes a child successful. What actually has them growing? You know, the one thing that we haven't talked about that, the huge part of my life is mental health. My dad was a psychologist. My sister's a school counselor. My grandfather was a psychologist. I, I mean, I could go on. I am not a counselor, but I do a lot of nonprofit. PR work in the counseling world. What I can tell you is one of the things that really, a lot of the children are speaking about suffer from is,

32:46 Trauma in a in a way that sticks with them mentally and physically. And when they don't have tools for resiliency that trauma, it is the imprint in their lives, that determines their success. And so, I hope if you haven't already consider having counselors in those schools that are trauma-informed counselors, who can really determine the wraparound Services. These children need to not only survive but Thrive as adults, we do not run the schools once we brought them here. We convince them to come to Virginia. They had not been another state outside of North Carolina. The founder is a Visionaries very wealthy businessman who went from Rags to Riches, riches story, and it's a great story.

33:46 Fisher became his focus and their late 90s, but they had cater mostly to middle class because that was the largest segment market for that market 2nd. And then we had encouraged them to look at bringing in a trip. What I call a truce children and they said actually we talked about that we would like to see if there's a way to the Belt that model. So because we're doing that here, I do believe they're going to need something like that. And I that's a great question. The woman who runs this is a woman named Ashley, Dundas and I have spoke to Ashley in a while, but I do need to follow up with her. And I will ask the question because I'm sure she's discovered that there are has been situations that these kids. Now they're coming from some more difficult environments. Now, I will say what I observed with these, the kids coming out of the city. They have parents who care very much, and want their child to have a really good education. So, my guess is at home. It's a pretty

34:46 Environment, that's my guess. I don't know for sure. So I'm not sure if you know, they're dealing with some of the extreme stuff. You would get out of a place like Creighton court or Mosby Court or something like that. Just so you know, what I'm really talking about is called adverse childhood experiences and we all have them will even you who probably grow up and I'm assuming a lot here but I grew up in a fairly good childhood environment because your mother was the primary sold by my caretaker and your father was gone a lot. Not put you on the aces scale.

35:24 If there was any sort of conflict or injury or I mean, it's amazing. I'm, I'm on the Asus bill and I had a great childhood. My father was a psychologist, but my parents are divorced that puts me on the Asus scale. You know, there's. I'm sure if I, if I went down the list of the crap, that's happened to me over the past 42 years. I can give you some Aces. My dad will probably roll his eyes when he sees because I'm not very high on the scale. But I'm, I'm, I'm just saying that there is an actual map that with exciting about it. For me, is for years. We have been able to measure trauma, like we measure blood, pressure, or, or a cholesterol and now we're able. This is the first time we've had tangible evidence of what what your childhood experience can do for the rest of your life with the physically, mentally. And so it's the most exciting thing for me that I've seen in my million.

36:24 Mental health just as an observer because the people that don't believe in mental health. There are still those out there. That think it's taboo. That don't believe that, you know, it exists and now it's it's, it's really kind of hard to deny because we can follow the trajectory of someone and how long they'll live based on what they've experienced, the kind of, how do you spell it? And what it is, it it is an acronym, so a c e s.

36:55 Adverse childhood experiences.

36:58 Okay. So what's the camp counselors? We we've been training them on confident. What is it, competent care something? Like they're similar. I'm sure how to deal with a child with. Like I just described a little while ago because we recognized, you know, you have to really be trained and how to help a child. I deal with that. And I would agree with you that probably every child has to deal with some sort of trauma and in their life and used in the scale, is the lower. Your score, the less trauma you had and the higher, the score you for the Marquis. Had that correct.

37:43 And you can take online. I'm pretty sure to find out. How messed up you are.

37:51 30 people in my family. That would argue. I messed up. Okay, Aces adverse childhood experiences.

38:05 The other adult version of that is mental health, first aid, which I believe that anybody that

38:13 Isn't public service needs to know. Because a lot of what happens, what we see on YouTube, what we see on the news, Mental Health crisis.

38:25 People not getting the help they need. And now I'm on, you went on your political. You told me about your political, your pack organization. And now I'm telling you about mine. If my my passion but in a mental health, first aid has been is slowly been rolled out in Virginia, two police officers and two First Responders for the past seven years or so. And have been legislated and required I think in some places but it's basically the mental health version of Red Cross, first aid. Nice. When someone is going through an episode and you figure out how to help them deescalate them and get them, the help they need.

39:15 I knew that the police were getting this kind of training. I wasn't, I don't know the details of it, and I didn't even know the name of it as I've talked to my Sheriff often and he's talked about it a little bit, but, you know, it's interesting. I was talking with a, we are interviewing candidates are running for office coming up in November and several of them have talked about. You know, we ask him. What is your policy? You know what platform can I think that many of them talked about this? So I think there's a greater awareness for this and people are recognizing. What's your? Put your stating that we have on this one of the questions that she brought up that we haven't talked about is maybe we should touch on. Do you ever feel?

40:01 You ever feel misunderstood by people with different beliefs than you.

40:06 Yes, I need to have for whatever reason. Accidentally surrounded myself with a bunch of conservative human beings, including my husband. I came from a very liberal family. A family that loves everyone just the same. What in? I'm not saying that, they don't love everybody, just the same. But, you know, a very welcoming open family.

40:32 I married a conservative. My best friends are conservative and I find myself on Friday nights.

40:39 Sitting with them. And before I can even open my mouth to be a part of the discussion. They go up that we know what you're going to say. We know what you're no thanks, and I'll say wait a minute I get to talk now too. And at what I love about those Friday night conversations is that we end up learning from each other, but they always assumed right off the bat that I'm going to have something in their mind. That's ridiculous to say about the conversation. So constantly I'm constantly misunderstood. What about you?

41:15 I don't I don't run into it that often.

41:20 The only time I've run into this is where people have become very aggressive. They show up at a meet, you know, they come at one of our meetings and start screaming Nazi and things like that at me and then you try to have a conversation with them and they won't even shake my hand and I'm like, so it's not for me. It's not worth my time. If you're not going to have sit down, have a dialog. I can't waste my time with you and I don't see it that way, but I'm just going to say, okay. Well, you know, I'm sorry. You didn't we just agree on this. I love to have a conversation when you're ready to do that, you know, please come back and we'll talk to you tomorrow. But for the most part, I work with folks and then double ACP and other organizations that typically are diametrically opposed to a lot of what we were in favor of. But the goal is to find a common ground. If I come having conversations now, with this with these folks and they want to talk about certain things about police reform and it's going to be

42:20 But at the same time, they're willing to have that conversation. They know that they need to have that conversation as well. So I don't I don't run into that very often and when I do deal with my work with Democrats in the legislature, it's usually people. I've gone to and said, hey, I think you might be interested in this and to some degree, they are, but at least we can have a conversation. One of the things I would encourage you to read a book called The Righteous Mind by Jonathan hate in the subtitle is the reason people pick your politics in their religion, and he's got a bunch of TED talks, but it's a great. It help me as a would really help me understand what other people are coming from.

43:09 You know why people believe what they believe and I don't think he has all the answers but he breaks it down into a moral Matrix. We all have their about a Blazers 7 moral values that we all have that sort of guide us and that liberals that use different moral values than conservatives, but we all use them. But we just use them at different levels to The Righteous Mind by Jonathan hating that haidt. Unfortunate last name, maybe go look to see one of his TED Talks. There's one he's got about 18 minutes and it's about the five five moral values, increased it to 7 since he did that TED Talk.

44:09 Find them, they existed. But what he, what, what happened was he realized these are moral values that you people use to develop their opinions on things like politics or religion. It gets you into the mind of somebody else and and to figure out how their feet but she lives in Manhattan. And so, you know, after 25 years of living in Manhattan, you know, she's been around surrounded by folks who are very liberal very little and so she she sort of adapted to that for various reasons and but I have I now have a much better understanding of why. She's she's become the way she had and 15 years ago. That basically says your, your life is Guided, by the way, your foundation and the way you grew up.

45:06 And you're either really attracted to the way. You grew up. It's comfortable. It's good. Feels great. Or you think the way you grew up with totally wrong, like you disagree with everything. You never saw eye-to-eye. And then split from that and that's the way that's, that's who you become as an adult and it I'm not doing it justice, but it's a fascinating article. If you could look it up, but you can find any, I'll Google it, it kind of it spoke to me because my sister and I love each other dearly but grew up to be very different people for that reason. I think it's actually about siblings and how they shape shape each other two. But anyway, we've got about five minutes left and I just wanted to thank you for this. I was really nervous about coming on here and, and having a conversation and right off the gate, you surprise me with being a guy. So,

46:06 Well done on that. I didn't have any of that.

46:13 Can't help can't help it. No pronouns.

46:18 Yeah, so well in Lisbon and it's been great to know you too, and I would encourage you if you're interested in thales just look it up. Thales Academy, North Carolina website, but they'll I don't do talk that there is a web page about sales in Henrico right now, but can they may not have mentioned Chesterfield yet in it, but my understanding is that they purchased property. They're about to close on the deal. So they're actually moving the school. The goal was to have it in Henrico, but cost of land is so expensive and I happen to have a very good friend who runs Chesterfield County Administration there. His name is Joe Casey. Do you know Joe? But when I told you about sale, he's probably been over a year ago. He became very intrigued, and the next thing I knew cuz he didn't tell me he was doing this. He got him to move it to Chesterfield, so, which is great. I'm so happy for you.

47:18 So, so anyway, it's a, it's a, it's a great. It's a great school, and it's going to take off a building and through five, I think. And then they have high school, middle school, high school building is what they have in North Carolina. So I will be nearby that want to be like a campus is my guess. There's any way that I can help facilitate identifying their children or any sort of counseling, that that could add to that education. I thought I would be happy to help, so, I don't know. Let me know. I don't know if we're allowed to share personal contact information. Is that allowed Courtney?

48:01 Go for it. After we're done recording, so that my personal email PL.

48:23 And that's my personal email. Okay, and then

48:36 I'll just mention three ways here. That's my number.

48:50 Bailey's Academy is the school and now I think, especially since we are bringing kids, I don't mean to just pigeonhole them.

49:01 That the kids to come out of the city or the only ones with drama. Cuz as you pointed out, everybody has drama and I'm going to contact.

49:17 Ashley Dundas at Daly's and talk to her a little bit about this as well to see what they've come up with, if there's nothing wrong with it. So, I appreciate it. Thank you very much lady. I really appreciate you doing this.

49:35 I think we're done Courtney.